Lighthouses of Scotland

Start Point (Sanday)

[Photo: Ken Trethewey (2016)

This wonderful lighthouse on the Orkney island of Sanday is very recognisable because of its vertical stripes, a unique identifier in England, Scotland and Wales. Built by Robert Stevenson in 1806, it was the first lighthouse to have a revolving light in Scotland. The lighthouse has been automatic since the end of the 20th century and the original buildings are disused and sealed to access.

The lighthouse is actually not entirely part of Sanday since the small islet on which it is built is cut off by the sea at high tides. Consequently, it is necessary to wait for the tide to retreat before close access can be achieved (below). Permission to do so should be obtained from the island wildlife ranger for this is a busy bird sanctuary at certain times of the year. She is based in the island's Heritage Centre.

Crossing to the lighthouse at low tide. [Ken Trethewey (2016)]

Approaching the lighthouse. [Ken Trethewey (2016)]

Inside the service room (watch room), lighthouse attendant on the left. [Ken Trethewey (2016)]

The ladder from the service room up to the lantern room and the exit to the balcony (centre). [Ken Trethewey (2016)]

The optic (or Fresnel lens) produces a characteristic of two white flashes every twenty seconds [Ken Trethewey (2016)]

Close-up of the lantern and balcony. The emergency light is attached to the balcony railings, centre left. [Ken Trethewey (2016)]

The solar panels to provide the electricity. [Ken Trethewey (2016)]

Returning from the lighthouse at very low tide. [Ken Trethewey (2016)]

Returning from the lighthouse at very low tide. [Ken Trethewey (2016)]