The Butt of Lewis (Rubha Robhanais), in Ness, is the most northerly point of the Western Isles and appeared in the Guinness Book of Records as the UK’s windiest place. The area comprises of rocks and cliffs up to 25 metres high (80 feet) and is the location of the 37 metre-tall (121 feet) lighthouse that stands proud against the storms that often rage.
The lighthouse was first lit in 1862 and automated in 1998. The present equipment in the lighthouse was installed in 1905, when the characteristics of the light was one flash every 20 seconds. In 1869 paraffin replaced the vegetable or fish oil that was previously used as a light source and continued in use until it was replaced by electricity in 1976.
The station became the radio link for the keepers on the isolated Flannan Islands in the early 1930s and continued to function as such until 1971, when the Flannan Island lighthouse was de-manned and the light made automatic. Today the Butt of Lewis acts as the monitoring station for the automatic light on the Flannans, North Rona and Sula Sgeir and is the area control station for the North Minch area.
The colossal cliffs along the Butt of Lewis attract many magnificent seabirds, including fulmars, kittiwakes and shags, while the waters play host to basking sharks, bottlenose dolphins, orcas and grey seals. During migration time many bird species may be seen on passage.
Walking trails take visitors on a 4 kilometre (2.5 mile) hike to Roainn a’Roidh and Luchruban, past a large natural arch and through Port Stoth. Nearby, an alternative trail commences at the Port of Ness and follows the lovely, sandy beach of Buail a’Muigh and then the low cliff to Port Skigersta.
1 week camper van road-trip with Hebridean Campervan Holidays
- The Outer Hebrides Guide Book