The Butt of Lewis


On the northernmost point of the Outer Hebrides stands the lighthouse and weather station of the Butt of Lewis.

The northernmost of the Outer Hebrides is the divided island of Lewis and Harris - divided by history, not by geography. On the northernmost point of the island of Lewis, which is therefore the northernmost point of the Outer Hebrides, stands the lighthouse and weather station on the promentory known as the Butt of Lewis.

There is only one road leading up to the Butt - I presume the eastern part of the island is an impenetrable morass of bog and moorland - and that road ends at the Port of Ness. You have to turn off to the left and follow a narrow lane across the fields to reach the lighthouse, which figures in the Shipping Forecast on the BBC.

It is quite an experience to stand on the Butt and look out to the west and know that there is nothing between you and America, then look north and there is nothing between you and the North Pole (unless you deviate slightly and end up in the Faroes!) To the east the hills of the mainland line the horizon. What it must be like on a stormy day beggars the imagination, because the sea was rough enough with nothing more than a brisk breeze blowing.