Cape Wrath lighthouse keeper job has a romantic appeal – Scotsman comment

The lighthouse at Cape Wrath in Sutherland has to be among the most dramatic and romantic places in all of the UK. And certainly one of the most windswept.

Cape Wrath lighthouse is on the north-west tip of mainland Scotland (Picture: Ian Cowe/Northern Lighthouse Board)
Cape Wrath lighthouse is on the north-west tip of mainland Scotland (Picture: Ian Cowe/Northern Lighthouse Board)

Its life-saving light shines with the power of 204,000 candles from a building built by the famed civil engineer Robert Stevenson in 1828.

However if, for whatever reason, that light was ever to dim, the consequences could be dire.

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And so, while it has been automated since 1998, it still needs to be checked by a lighthouse keeper once a month between April and September, with two other visits in November and February.

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Now the Northern Lighthouse Board is looking for someone to take on that vital job, which also involves making regular checks on the Stoer Head lighthouse, just north of Lochinver.

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Dream job Scotland: Visiting lighthouse keeper for remote Cape Wrath and Stoer H...
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To many people stuck in the bowels of an office that might well sound like a most wonderful job, given its importance, the wonders of the great outdoors, and the bracing weather.

And, it appears, they could well be right. For, according to Barry Miller, 74, who looks after seven other lighthouses including Ailsa Craig, Turnberry and Mull of Galloway, being a keeper is “close to a dream job”. "You hear all sorts of howls and screams from the wind,” he added. “It's very atmospheric.”

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And for those of us similarly attracted to the wild charm of lighthouses, but not the actual work of a keeper, the Stoer Head lighthouse has two fully furnished self-catering holiday flats, once home to permanent on-site keepers, with “all the necessities essential for a comfortable stay” – including wifi.

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