One of my favorite things to do is watch the sunset. There is just something relaxing about it and I never cease to be amazed by Mother Nature. I try to plan some sunset time whenever I travel. When I was researching my trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland, I read that the Neist Point Lighthouse was the best place to watch the sunset. I wanted to see it for myself!
Driving to Neist Point
Neist Point is located on the most westerly tip of Isle of Skye near the township of Glendale. It was about a 40 minute drive from the B&B where we were staying and the drive there was quite an adventure. Since it is on an isolated part of the island, you have to go on one lane roads to get there.
Yes, one lane roads for two way traffic! If you happen to see someone coming from the opposite direction you have to wait by one of the passing places to allow them to go by. Plus, the road was winding up some pretty steep hills. Luckily, Russell had experience with roads like this, but it still made me nervous.
Just a few minutes before we reached our destination, it started pouring. We debated about just going back to the B&B, we wouldn’t be able to see the sunset with this weather. I know in Scotland the weather can change quickly, and we had driven all the way there so we thought we should at least explore a bit.
Hiking to the Neist Point Lighthouse
We put on our rain jackets and got out of the car. It was rough out there, very windy and heavy rain. We headed to the beginning of the trail. The Neist Point hike starts with lots of steep steps going down. Again I was tempted to turn around but we had come all the way there, plus the scenery was so beautiful. So we started down the steps holding on tight to the handrail.
A few minutes later the rain miraculously stopped! All of a sudden the stairs didn’t look quite as steep. Once we got to the bottom of the steps it was an easy walk to the Neist lighthouse through sheep pastures. Well not sure if it was a pasture, there were sheep roaming freely around us. I loved watching the sheep. They seemed like they were trying to talk to us and some really had personality!
We came to see the Neist Point sunset but I didn’t realize how beautiful the area was going to be in its own right. The cliffs were absolutely stunning and reminded me of the west coast of Ireland. I loved the intense green with all the sheep too. Pictures don’t really do it justice! So even if you can’t make it at sunset time, I would definitely add Neist Point to your Isle of Skye Itinerary.
More About the Neist Point Lighthouse
The Isle of Skye has several lighthouses, but some say that the Neist Point Lighthouse is the most dramatic. It was built in 1900 and has since been updated to an automated lighting system. The light is 140 feet above sea level and can be seen up to 16 nautical miles offshore.
The keeper’s cottages that surround the main tower are privately owned, and for a few years were holiday rentals, but they don’t seem to have been used for awhile. If someone would fix them up again, I would love to spend a weekend staying at the Neist Point lighthouse! How neat would it be to sleep inside a lighthouse!
It’s about a 20 minute walk, not counting time for pictures, from the parking lot to the Neist Point lighthouse. You use the same path to return to your car. The only part that is difficult is climbing the stairs back up to the parking lot. There is a nice handrail, but the stairs are steep. Please be careful hiking to this Skye lighthouse if the weather conditions are not ideal.
It ended up being a bit too cloudy for us to really get a good sunset. Still, I really enjoyed my visit. The area is so beautiful and definitely doesn’t need a sunset to make the visit worthwhile. I will definitely go back to Neist Point next time I am in Isle of Skye and see if I can catch the sunset. I would also like to visit the other Isle of Skye lighthouses. What other sunset watching places do you have on your list? I would love to hear about them in the comments.
Expert Tips for Visiting the Neist Point Lighthouse, Scotland:
- Be prepared for the single lane road that you have to drive on to get to Neist Point. Make sure you understand the driving rules.
- Wear proper shoes as the beginning and end of the hike are steep.
- Neist Point is worth a visit even if you can’t make it for sunset.
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