Access To Grounds…

Noss Head Lighthouse Station

This lighthouse station was completely renovated between 2017 and 2018. The new owners of the private buildings, plus the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB) were fortunate in being able to restore the entire site at the same time. Meaning the lighthouse tower and the private (former lighthouse keeper) houses were brought back to their former glory in the days when there were lighthouse keepers’ in residence. Indeed the lighthouse crew were staying at our house for a year! The buildings went from this…

Courtesy of Mr Thomas Dornfield

To this…

This Photo Can Be Reproduced Freely

Original By Russ McLean

Since buying the lighthouse station (tower still owned by the NLB) we have been asked about access. Our view is that access to the private areas of this lighthouse station should be as open as possible.

Though mutual responsibility and respect are important if more than the basic Land Reform access is to work. Anyone entering the private home and garden area (shaded light red) does so on the strict understanding that they are responsible and liable for their own safety and of those in their charge…

To help visitors appreciate accessible areas of the Noss Head Lighthouse Compound, we have provided a map (above) showing the official Registers of Scotland (HM Land Registry equivalent) title boundaries.

Light green shaded area = Right-to-roam accessible: subject to the Scottish Access Code (click here).

Light red area = Private garden and private residences. No right-to-roam (as per statute: click here).

However, we do welcome visitors who are respectful of our personal home and garden.

A reasonable analogy is if you would allow strangers into your garden or to wander through your unlocked front door at your home? That is not meant to be pejorative. It is to inspire thoughtfulness and hopefully mutual respect.

Thank you.

Noss Head Lighthouse Tower

Frequently we are asked by tourists and visitors to clarify what part of the grounds are publicly accessible. Organisations such as Walk Highlands and other excellent website operators promote walking as a fine way to stay healthy and admire the countryside. We wholeheartedly agree with this. However, there are a few folk who generally misunderstand the Scottish Access Code. One Austrian family actually opened the unlocked door of our home, walked straight in, then wandered through to our living room looking for the coffee machine! They were making best efforts to follow a map they had printed off: click here (or here).

The Austrian family who wandered into our home at the lighthouses only spoke Austrian, so we ended up making them a cup of coffee in our house rather than shove them out of the front door. It was easier to put the kettle on. In fact the teenage son managed to get a “translator app” onto his phone and we have all become good friends. We also see the funny side in what happened.

 But this also makes a point: mutual respect. . 

Anyone travelling this far to see a lighthouse is generally the sort of person we love to meet. We have friendships going back 30 years through folk just visiting to take a photo of a lighthouse tower at our previous lighthouse stations, Davaar Island, Ailsa Craig Island and Strathy Point.

So you are more than welcome to come into the private garden and residence area of Noss Head Lighthouse Station (light red shaded area on the map above). But when you are in the private garden area, PLEASE stay on the main driveway, and NEVER climb over the seaward walls as the cliffs can be lethal.

We would remind folk that private gardens and domestic residences are not included under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003 as places that have a right-to-roam access. As such we ask car drivers to leave their vehicles in the public carpark by the main gate. The exception of course is for Blue Badge holders who are welcome to drive up to our house by the lighthouse tower. This is a private road and folk drive over it at their own risk.

We have been asked if it is possible to provide facilities: a viewing shelter or tea~room.  

If there is a demand, then we are more than happy to share what we have.

For example there is an old Walled Garden Building laying unused…

^^^ The Walled Garden Building ^^^

The family from Austria who wandered into our house looking for a tea-room, suggested this very idea whilst they were drying off from the rainy day. Literal food for thought.

Our main business is re-opening closed shops and creating newstart jobs. So if anyone wished to open a tea-room at Noss Head Lighthouse Station, we would do all we can to help, including renovate one of the empty buildings not yet renovated and provide working capital etc.

If you would like a tea-room at Noss Head Lighthouse Station, please let Russ McLean know: Click here & write… “TEA ROOM AT NOSS PLEASE!”

We hope anyone coming up to visit the inner garden and grounds will reciprocate the grace of access to private garden areas with mutual respect. We are more than happy to share access to this wonderful place, but merely ask those who do visit to appreciate the fact that you are entering the private garden area and are very close to someone’s home.

Privacy matters aside, we worry about visitors unfamiliar with Noss Head…

1]. PLEASE: Do NOT climb over the walls to the cliffs. This is incredibly dangerous. Thank you.

2]. PLEASE do not look into the bedroom windows. You might catch an eye full of Mrs Lighthouse Lady or even Grandad emerging naked from the bath tub! Once that sight has implanted itself in your mind, you may need professional counselling to remove the memory!

3]. For the time being, PLEASE stay on the driveway. You should manage plenty of photographs of the lighthouse tower, the whales, puffins, wildlife from the ample roadway area.

4]. PLEASE do not enter the inner paved courtyard between the former keeper’s houses and the tower – marked red on the plan below. This is an important health and safety issue. We are currently making the uneven flagstones and rusted manhole covers safe. Until these works are concluded the owners of the lighthouses and gardens would be grateful if you could keep to the main drive. Thank you.

Consequently, for health and safety reasons, the inner courtyard is currently off limits. It is shown on the undernoted plan as the area coloured RED.

The driveway that can be accessed across the private residence (on foot) and private gardens for taking photographs of the lighthouse and scenery etc., is shaded GREEN…

We strongly believe that visitor access to the countryside should be encouraged, and that includes lighthouses.

But this needs to be tempered with an understanding of personal safety and also respect for the fact you are visiting a private residence that is exempted from right-to-roam.

In return for respect and a healthy regard for your responsibility to your own health and safety, we are more than happy to welcome visitors to the Noss Head Lighthouse garden and private residence area (shaded salmon pink on the plan above).

Sunset At Noss Head Lighthouse

Any questions, please feel free to write to our admin., offices. You can contact us at:-

Noss Lighthouse Estate Office, Endeavour House, 1 James Street, Arbroath, Angus, DD11 1JP.

We will respond as soon as practicable. Please note, we do not publish email addresses on our internet sites as thousands of “spam robots” automatically hoover these up and then the email account is flooded with hundreds of junk communications offering knock-off handbags, fake trainers and little blue pills.

Kindest regards.