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Rattray Head Lighthouse

Photographs of Rattray Head Lighthouse Scotland with a visitor guide and the history of Rattray Head Lighthouse Aberdeenshire:

Rattray Head Lighthouse is the jewel of the Aberdeenshire lighthouses with its stunning location in the North Sea during high tide and with the beautiful sight of a lighthouse and causeway set in the beach during low tide.

Rattray Head Lighthouse

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The short walk from the Rattray Head Lighthouse Keepers Cottages car park rewards you with some stunning views across the Rattray Head beach dunes. A further walk from the lighthouse towards St Fergus reveals some ship wreck remains which includes the Excelsior of Laurwig, a 462 tonnage Norwegian barque built in 1869, that ran aground between Scotstown Head and Rattray Head on 22nd November 1881.

Fraserburgh Sand Dunes Beach

The Lighthouse was automated in February 1982 by the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Lighthouse Keepers Cottages are now Bed and Breakfast accommodation.

Lighthouse Keepers Cottages Rattray Head

Rattray Head can be found by taking the Peterhead to Fraserburgh Road where after Starthbeg it is clearly signposted. The road to Rattray Head is narrow with passing places so please drive carefully.

RattrayHead Lighthouse

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Rattray Head Lighthouse Scotland

Rattray Head Lighthouse was built in 1895 by the brother Engineers David Alan Stevenson and Charles Alexander Stevenson. The white light flashed a candle power of 44,000 every 30 seconds at a height of 28 metres for 28 nautical miles.

Rattray Head Lighthouse Scotland

The lower structure is granite, mostly locally sourced at Rubislaw Quarry Aberdeen, and houses the foghorn and engine room whilst the lighthouse tower, which houses the lighthouse keeper room and lantern, is brick painted white.

Lighthouse Causeway

Rattray Head Lighthouse is 34 metres high with 64 steps to the top of the tower. The foghorn would have blasted twice every 45 seconds.

Lighthouse in Sea

Rattray Head Lighthouse Scotland was targeted by the German Luftwaffe during World War Two on 20 September 1941. The plane circled the lighthouse and dropped three bombs of which one did not explode. The Luftwaffe pilot then gunned the lantern with his machine gun but caused no injury to the Lighthouse Keepers or to the equipment.

Lighthouse over sand dunes

Mains electric nor a telephone was not supplied to Rattray Head Lighthouse until 1977 when these were laid under the seabed. In 1982 the last Lighthouse Keeper of Rattray Head Lighthouse Scotland was withdrawn when the building became fully automated. More on how this works can be found at

Lighthouse Beach

The history of Rattray head Lighthouse can be read on the Northern Lighthouse Board website at

Photo Rattray Head Lighthouse

Rattray Head Lighthouse Cottages

The Rattray Head Lighthouse Cottages were used for the off duty Lighthouse Keepers and their families. They are now Bed and Breakfast accommodation. See

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Rattray Head Cottages

Lighthouse Sand

Rattray Head

Rattray Head Lighthouse Aberdeenshire

Sand Dunes

 Ship Distance Sea Horizon

Scottish Lighthouse by beach

Scottish Lighthouse in sea

I could not resist taking a photo of this weathered piece of driftwood in the sand by the beach on the way to Rattray Head Lighthouse.

Driftwood in sand by beach

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