Sandaig Lighthouse

Sandaig Lighthouse at the ferry
Former Sandaig Lighthouse at the Glenelg-Kylerhea Ferry
Photo © Andrew Hill (cc-by-sa/2.0)

The current Sandaig Lighthouse is a modern lighthouse located on Eilean Mor, the largest of the Sandaig Islands, overlooking the Sound of Sleat.  The Sandaig Islands are around 5 miles southwest of Glenelg.

Conservationist Gavin Maxwell had lived at Camusfeàrna, an empty lighthouse keeper’s cottage at Sandaig.  It was from here that he wrote Ring of Bright Water. On 20th January 1968, his house was destroyed by fire, and one of his beloved otters, Edal, was killed in the inferno.  Maxwell then moved to Eilean Ban Lighthouse where he wrote Raven Seek Thy Brother.

Maxwell had tried to keep the location of Camusfeàrna secret whilst living at Sandaig, but later explained its location. “With the necessarily precise placing of the lighthouses of Ornsay and Kyleakin it will be obvious to any interested reader that Camusfeàrna is Sandaig, by Sandaig Lighthouse, on the mainland of Scotland, some five miles south of Glenelg village”.


His ashes were scattered close to the site of his former house at Sandaig. The site is marked with a boulder bearing a bronze plaque.

The new solar-powered lighthouse was built in 2004 and replaces the earlier one built in 1909, designed by David A and Charles Stevenson. 

Following its decommissioning, the original octagonal white cast-iron tower was restored.  Saved by the local community, the Northern Lighthouse Board carried out its restoration.  It was then relocated to the ferry terminal at Glenelg for the Glenelg-Kylerhea ferry.  The restored lighthouse now serves as an information centre and mini shop at the ferry. 

Established: 1909 (1), 2004 (2)
Engineer: David A and Charles Stevenson (1)
Tower Height: 7.3 metres (1), 5 metres (2)
Light Character: Fl W 6 s (2)
Light Range: 8 miles (2)
Elevation: 13 metres 92)