Standing proud against the fearsome storms that ravage the north coast of Lewis is the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse. Designed by Scottish lighthouse engineer David Stevenson in the 1860s, the watchtower wasn’t automated until 1998, making it one of the last in the British Isles to lose its lighthouse keeper.
While you can no longer go inside, there are information plaques outside, and it’s interesting just to see the lighthouse in all its exposed red-brick glory instead of the usual white.
A birdwatcher’s paradise, look out for buzzards, gulls and the occasional puffin soaring around the cliffs. Also, take a close look at the crags being buffeted by the North Sea, some of the oldest exposed rock in Europe, created up to 300 million years ago back in the Cambrian period. While you’re here, follow the coast southwest past the lighthouse. You’ll soon see a natural sea cave, known as the Eye of the Butt.
The lighthouse sits a 28-mile drive to the north from Lewis’ main town of Stornoway. In summer, buses run about five times a day from town to the Butt of Lewis Lighthouse.