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Mull of Galloway Lighthouse


Featured Location Guide

  Photo by: Derek Ball

This famous and historic light station stands on the southernmost point of Scotland and at the northern end of the Irish Sea, marking the entrance to the North Channel. It is one of only two operational Northern Lighthouse Board lighthouses open for climbing. It is located on top of a vertical cliff at the southern tip of the Rhins of Galloway, about 5 miles south of Drummore. It marks the south western tip of Scotland.  It's as far South as you can go in Scotland, without falling off the 260ft cliffs.  On a clear day, it is said you can see Cumbria, Ireland and the Isle of Man from the lighthouse. 

It was built in 1830, again by Robert Stevenson, and the lamps have changed several times over the years until in 1971 when it was converted to electric. The lamp units are light, produce a good beam for a very low power input and being sealed in a vacuum these do not deteriorate or tarnish, but the main advantage of this system is that it is almost fully automatic. The light keeper visited the light room hourly until 10pm and then did not have to go near it until extinguishing time the next morning, unless summoned by the alarm bell. The cleaning of the lighthouse was also easier with no lenses to polish.

During the Second World War in 1944 a Beaufighter aircraft crashed into the lighthouse stores building. It was foggy at the time, and two men were killed as part of the roof of the store was blown off.

It was demanned in 1988 and fully automated.

The Mull of Galloway Visitor Centre

The Visitor Centre is adjacent to the light station, and occupies a building that originally housed the workers building the lighthouse. A coffee shop was added to the site in 2004. The exhibition centre includes the former engine room, workshop and paraffin store at the lighthouse. Visitors can learn about the workings of the lighthouse, the working practices and lives of the keepers as well as being able to wander amongst the Kelvin Diesel engines (fitted 1955), which replaced the original paraffin Atlantic Engines.

At weekends from Easter to October the Lighthouse tower is also open to visitors with guided tours taking you up the 115 steps. The view from the balcony and the light rooms is worth the climb.

The former light keepers cottage, with views across the Irish Sea is available for rent as a holiday cottage through the Mull of Galloway Trust.

The surrounding area is an RSPB Reserve.    Everywhere you turn there's a view worth absorbing. To the west is the Solway Firth and Irish Sea, with the Isle of Man in the distance, while all around you is the frenzied activity of a large cliff colony of sea birds, including guillemots, razorbills and kittiwakes.

Meanwhile, the coastal heath of the cliff tops is also alive with wildlife, including rare basking butterflies in the summer, and more birds like the linnet and the stonechat. Take care on the cliff paths. The reserve is open at all times with the visitor facilities open from Easter to end of October, within the visitor centre you can see close up footage of the seabird colony.

Other Nearby lighthouses are:

Corsewall Lighthouse at Kirkcolm, and the Killantringan Lighthouse at 25 miles away.

Lighthouse information Grid


Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, Wigtownshire

Current status:


Geographic Position:

54 38.105'N  04 51.436'W

Grid Reference:


Ceremonial County:



White round tower with 114 steps to the top of the tower, attached to a 1 storey keeper's house. Lighthouse painted white with buff trim, lantern painted black.

Map Link:

Google Map 

Aerial photo:


Other photos:

photo   Geograph

Originally built:


Current lighthouse built:


Height of Tower:

26 metres

Height of light above mean sea level:

99 metres

Character of light:

Flashing White every 20 seconds

Character of fog signal:


Range of light:

28 nautical miles

How powered:


Owned / run by:

Northern Lighthouse Board


Trust      Open detail  

Other Useful Websites:

NLB      Mull Of Galloway Leaflet

Holiday Accommodation 






Lighthouse Visit Planning Grid


Mull of Galloway Lighthouse, Wigtownshire

Grid Reference: NX156304
Getting there:

From Stranraer follow the A77 then the A716 in the direction of Sandhead. Continue on to Drummore then follow the signs for the lighthouse out to East Tarbet.

Access: Site open. Visitor centre and Lighthouse tower restricted opening times. The Tower is not suitable for anyone with heart, breathing or balance difficulties and children under one metre are not allowed up.


Parking provided








Opening times:

Site open all year. Visitor centre open daily Apr-Oct.

Lighthouse Tower Weekends only Easter-Oct 10am-4pm. Last tour at 3.45pm.


Exhibition: Adult 2.50, Child (<14) 1

Tower: Adult 2.50, Child (<14) 1. Access by guided tour only.

Combined Tower & Exhibition: Adult 4, Child (<14) 1.50

Best Times to Visit:  



Things To Do, See and Photograph:

lighthouse, bird colony, butterflies, views, coastal views, cliff landscapes

What to take:


Nature highlights:

bird colony, butterflies

Photo Restrictions:


Other Restrictions:  
Nearby Locations:

Corsewall Lighthouse

Killantringan Lighthouse

Other Relevant pages:

For more articles, lists and other information see the Lighthouses Section

Lighthouse Map of Scotland

Featured List of lighthouses - Scotland 

List of minor lighthouses and lights - Scotland  

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By:  Tracey Park    Section: Lighthouses Key:
Page Ref: Mull_of_Galloway Topic: Lighthouses Last Updated: 07/2015


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