McArthur’s Head Lighthouse is perched high up on a cliff, overlooking the entrance to the Sound of Islay. Its elevation of 39 metres means that the lighthouse tower is only 13 metres high. Its whitewashed walls make the whole station stand out very well from seaward. It is easily seen from the ferry to Port Askaig.
The lighthouse was designed by David and Thomas Stevenson and was established in 1861. It was automated in 1969, and in 2005 it was converted to a solar-powered electric lamp.
Like Ruvaal Lighthouse, further up the coast, McArthur’s Head Lighthouse is only really accessible by boat. The overland walk is challenging and can be very boggy. Even this is not easy due to the tides and landing conditions.
There is evidence of the former keepers’ cottages, but these have since been demolished. There is also an overgrown footpath which in times past would have led to Port Askaig—7 miles away.
It is possible to get a boat trip from Craighouse on Jura.