Did you ever wonder how many active lighthouses there are on Islay? Well I did and counted seven, correct me when I am wrong. Not strange considering the total coastline of Islay being 130 miles. They vary from quite tall and remote lighthouses to smaller ones and on more accessible places. As far as I know all the lighthouses on Islay are operated by the Northern Lighthouse Board.
The most famous one is probably the lighthouse at Port Ellen near Carraig Fhada. The lighthouse was commissioned in 1832 by Walter Frederick Campbell in memory of Lady Eleanor Campbell. There is a plaque over the door with a very nice poem commemorating Eleanor Campbell. The engineer of this lighthouse was David Hamilton & Son. The Port Ellen lighthouse flashes every 3 seconds with white, red and green sectors. The height of this beautiful building is 57 metres and is the tallest lighthouse on Islay.
Another very nice lighthouse is the one near Port Charlotte called the Loch Indaal lighthouse. This lighthouse was established in 1869 and was engineered by David and Thomas Stevenson who are responsible for the engineering of a lot of lighthouses in Scotland. The Port Charlotte lighthouse is 13 metres in height and flashes every 7 seconds in white and red depending on the direction.
The lighthouse at the Isle of Orsay is called the Rinns lighthouse and can be found opposite the lovely villages of Portnahaven and Port Wemyss. This lighthouse is 29 metres in height and flashes white every 5 seconds.
The remaining 4 lighthouses are on remote locations and can therefore only be visited on foot or by boat. Rhuvaal lighthouse can be found at the entrance of the Sound of Islay on the most northerly tip of Islay. Others are MacArthurs head and Carraig Mhor which are both located on the banks of the Sound of Islay and very well visible from the Kennacraig to Port Askaig Ferry. Eilean a Chuirn Lighthouse is a different story. This lighthouse is located on a small island, Eilean à Chuirn, on the most easterly point of Islay near Kildalton and is probably the most remote lighthouse of Islay. This is the only lighthouse I dont have a picture from. For a complete overview check out the new page on the Islayinfo website: Lighthouses on Islay.