Our wonderful coastline has provided the Rhins with many treasures, our lighthouses are just one of them. Featured below are the 6 Lighthouses' of the Rhins.
1. Lochryan Lighthouse
Established in 1847, Loch Ryan Lighthouse was created by Alan Stevenson, the lighthouse was automated in 1964. The development of the lighthouse can be correlated to change of operating route by ships at the time. Previously, Portpatrick was the main harbour used by service ships, but the harsh weather condition on the Rhins coast made it more viable for ships to come into the calmer waters of the loch. As a result, there was an increase of demand and much larger ships utilized the loch. Today Loch Ryan is home to Stena Line and P&O Ferries which is the main transport service to Northern Ireland.
Additionally, Loch Ryan is home to one of the last wild, native oysters bed in Scotland. The area’s unique seafood heritage, the local cuisine, the stunning scenery, and the vision of the Stranraer business community, collectively inspired the first oyster festival held in Stranraer in September 2017. The festival has became a finalist in the prestigious CIS Excellence Awards in the Food Tourism Award category. These awards celebrate the very best in Scotland’s hospitality industry.
2. Corsewall Lighthouse
Established in 1817, northern tip of the peninsula, Corsewall lighthouse is the oldest functioning lighthouse on the trail. The lighthouse became automated in 1994 and is now monitored from Edinburgh. The lighthouse and outer buildings currently function as a hotel accommodation. The hotel offers 360 views of the Ayrshire coast, Irish Coast, Ailsa Craig, the Isle of Arran over coffee and snacks during the day, followed by a 5-course fine dining experience (must be pre-booked). On occasion visitors have seen glimpses of the northern lights from Corsewall point.
There are walking paths situated round the lighthouse, some of which will be part of the Rhins coastal path – soon to be completed – connecting the northerly point to the mostly southernly point of the Rhins.
3. Killantrigan Lighthouse
Built in 1900 Killantrigan lighthouse sits on the west coast of the peninsula. The lighthouse itself stands at 72ft but its composition on the cliff edge takes its height to 160ft. The lighthouse once had fog-signal installed which was later discontinued in 1987, the lighthouse itself was automated a year later in 1988. The lightkeepers’ cottages were subsequently sold and now privately owned.
Although there is no longer access into the lighthouse, there are several viewpoints around the lighthouse - from these you will see the stretch of the Irish coastline. Killantrigan Lighthouse is on the route of The Southern Upland way, this makes for easy access from the lighthouse to Portpatrick
4. Portpatrick Lighthouse
Portpatrick was once a prominent harbour, receiving travellers and cattle but the harbour became less used when service boats switched to Stranraer harbour. The disuse of the harbour and the construction of Killantrigan Lighthouse led to the previous lighthouse being decommissioned, dismantled, and re-erected in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The lighthouse that stands in Portpatrick today was built in the late 1800s and served to light the seafront and the harbour, however, was later decommissioned in 1900.
The lighthouse is now an iconic feature in panoramic harbour photographs of Portpatrick. Although access inside the lighthouse is not permitted, you can get up close to the lighthouse and explore round about it.
5. Port Logan Beacon
Although Port Logan doesn’t have an authentic lighthouse, it does have a beacon which is worthy of being on the lighthouse trail. In 1818 the beacon was designed by Thomas Telford, financed by the Laird of Logan. The harbour was created to challenge that of Portpatrick Harbour however, it was unsuccessful at developing a bustling trade. The beacon itself in 10m high constructed with granite and sandstone ashlar, there is an open light-chamber on the 3rd stage which would have been used to create the beacon of light for the harbour.
Similarly, to Portpatrick lighthouse access inside is not permitted, however you can get up close and explore around it. Today Port Logan boasts a active beach, due to the warm temperatures of the sea generated by gulf stream, perfect for swimming and paddle boarding.
6. The Mull of Galloway
The most famed lighthouse of all the trail and a distinctive for Scotland, the Mull of Galloway is home to the the most southernly Lighthouse in Scotland. The lighthouse was built by Robert Stevenson, taking two years to complete, it was first lit in 1830. The lighthouse can be visible from 32 miles away on a clear night due it is 26m high stature, which is 99m above sea level. The lighthouse was converted to electric in 1971 and eventually automated in 1988, which is remotely control in Edinburgh by the Northern Lighthouse Board.
Today visitors can enjoy the ‘Mull of Galloway Experience’, within the experience visitors can enjoy the history of the lighthouse, view the vintage engines and foghorns, climb to the top of the lighthouse, walk round the RSPB Scotland Nature Reserve, and enjoy food and drink at the Gallie Craig coffee house. The lighthouse now also functions as a wedding venue and provides self-catering accommodation. There are walking and cycling paths in and around the Mull, which can be printed at Gateway to Galloway.
Location: Cairnryan, Stranraer DG9 8QY Miles From Stranraer: 6.5 Miles
Location: Corsewall Point, Kirkcolm, Stranraer DG9 0QG Miles From Stranraer: 10.6 Miles
Location: Killantringan Lighthouse, Portpatrick, Stranraer, DG9 8TW Miles From Stranraer: 9 Miles
Location: South Crescent, Portpatrick, Stranraer DG9 8JS Miles From Stranraer: 6.8 Miles
Location: Laigh Street Port Logan, Port Logan DG9 9NG Miles From Stranraer: 14 Miles
Location: Mull of Galloway, Drummore DG9 9HP Miles From Stranraer: 22 Miles