South Light on Fair Isle is a pharologist's*  delight - a superb  example of a 'Stevenson Lighthouse', one of many built around the shores of mainland Scotland and the isles during the Victorian era by this famous and prolific family of Scottish engineers.

(*pharology - the study of lighthouses!)

Designed and built in 1891 by David A. and Charles Stevenson (cousin of author Robert Louis Stevenson) it entered service in 1892. The lighthouse tower at 85 feet is the tallest one in Shetland and there are 106 steps to the top.

In 1998 it became the last lighthouse in Scotland to be automated. Its foghorn - also Scotland's last - was dismantled in 2005.   

Its light is still operated by the Northern Lighthouse Board and the beam, consisting of 4 flashes every 30 seconds, can be seen from at least as far as Orkney - some 25 miles away across open sea.

 

  • An arrangement with the Northern Lighthouse Board and the Fair Isle Lighthouse Society lets us offer our visitors  an official guided tour of the lighthouse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To watch a  short BBC video of the late Angus Hutchison, last principal keeper,  talking about automation of the lighthouse, click on the link below

Here Angus talks from the top of the lighthouse about the life of a keeper

(The much photographed lighthouse also features on the cover of 'Blue Lightning'  - set on Fair Isle it is the last novel in 'The Shetland Quartet' by best-selling crime writer  Ann Cleeves.)

(Macmillan Books)