Everyone visiting Skye will have heard of Neist Point Lighthouse. But what is it that brings thousands of tourists here every year?
A wee overview
Located on the Duirinish Peninsula, Neist Point Lighthouse (pronounced neest) is the most westerly tip of Skye. Looking over Moonen Bay to the Outer Hebrides it is the spot for sunsets in summer. The Lighthouse itself is part of the Stevenson family built by David Alan Stevenson. He had worked on a total of 26 lighthouses in his career. The now privately owned Neist Point lighthouse, was first lit on November 1st 1909 and since 1990 has been controlled remotely by The Northern Lighthouse Board in Edinburgh.
Neist Point in summer
The Isle of Skye is the second most visited place in Scotland, after Edinburgh. The impact has been huge on the tourist industry here. Summer months are aimed at tourists and therefore the roads are busier than ever before. The Neist Point road is no exception. The gnarly single track road, is long, winding and jam packed. As a local, even out of summer months, I avoid the road at all costs. However, blissful ignorance means that campervans, caravans and rental cars all make the journey for the Skye summer and mostly successfully. The drive go Neist Point takes you past The Three Chimney’s, Skye Silver and the lovely Cafe Lephin, whilst offering some incredible views on the way. Once you have negotiated your way around the oncoming traffic, that for all accounts are trying their absolute best and hit either the breaks too hard or a rock/ditch once too many times you are greeted with the car park. Or what should resemble one. It has been extended this year so there is room for at least 20 cars now! The success has even brought a small coffee/tea shack for if the walk is all too much!
Looking across the water, at the sloping and dramatic landscape and of course Neist Point Lighthouse itself, it is beautiful. Busy but beautiful. Walking down is great,those steps don’t hurt at all. Back up. I believe I won’t need to say a thing!
The SeaSkye Solution!
As a boat tour company, there is only so much in our control as to Skye’s busy roads…however we have found a solution. Not only that, a great solution! See Neist Point and it’s lighthouse from a different perspective…from the sea! Our 3 hour Neist Point Explorer Trip (see Neist Point must be a big deal, it’s got a whole tour named after it!) gives you more than a muddy walk across to the not very well maintained lighthouse. We first explore seacaves, go through natural arches, are blessed with waterfalls rolling off the steep cliffs and once we have arrived at Neist Point you can see the lighthouse perfectly but also get to enjoy the fisherman standing on the columns of basalt rock and slightly past the lighthouse we can see the truly incredible cliffs with colonies of kittiwakes and other seabird visitors such as gannets, puffins and great skua! Avoiding the crowds, feeling the thrill of a rib and getting to see Neist Point. Case and point!
I’ll leave you with this…
“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer