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Stoer Lighthouse & The Old Man Of Stoer: The Complete Guide

Stoer Lighthouse & The Old Man Of Stoer: The Complete Guide

Stoer Lighthouse is one of the prettiest lighthouses along the NC500 (North Coast 500) scenic drive in northern Scotland. Located on the Stoer Head peninsula, along with the lighthouse, it’s also possible to take a picturesque coastal walk to the wonderful Old Man of Stoer. This breathtaking sea stack is a popular climbing location close to the Point of Stoer – the very tip of the peninsula. The Stoer Head peninsula feels as far removed from civilization as can be and is a breath of fresh air. Better still, if you love the remote feeling of Stoer Head enough, then it’s possible to stay in the lighthouse itself.

Read 25 Epic Beaches To Visit On The NC500 and Complete Guide to Hikes Along the NC500 guides.

About Stoer Lighthouse

Stoer Lighthouse, AKA Stoer Head Lighthouse and Point of Stoer Lighthouse, is a 14 metre high lighthouse on the Stoer Head peninsula in the northwest Highlands of Scotland. The lighthouse at Stoer is brilliant white in colour and trimmed in golden yellow. This combo easily makes it one of the prettiest lighthouses in Scotland. The Stoer Head peninsula, which the lighthouse stands atop, rises strikingly from the rough seas below. This choppy stretch of water divides mainland Scotland from the Isle of Harris.

Falling within the Sutherland region of Scotland, the area around Stoer Head and the Point of Stoer feels quite remote. But they are, in fact, only a little off the NC500 route, requiring only a small detour. The nearest town with a decent selection of amenities is Lochinver, located a short 12.5 miles (20km) away and just a 30 minute drive.

Feel free to click on the interactive Google Map below to see the location of Stoer Lighthouse and the Old Man of Stoer.

Stoer Head Lighthouse map

Stoer Lighthouse Fun Facts

  • Stoer Head Lighthouse was built by pioneering Scottish engineers David and Thomas Stevenson.
  • Building was completed in 1870.
  • Stoer Lighthouse attracts more than 10,000 visitors each year.
  • The lighthouse was automated in 1978.
  • Stoer is under the management of the Northern Lighthouse Board.

How to Get to Stoer Lighthouse

Access to Stoer Lighthouse is made by taking a detour from the B869 which runs between Lochinver and Drumbeg. At the Assynt Crofters’ Trust on the B869, turn towards Balchladich. From here, follow the road to Stoer Head. You’ll see signs indicating the way to Stoer Lighthouse.

At Stoer Head Lighthouse is a large car park, set a little below the lighthouse on Stoer Head. Parking is free and the views from the car park alone are quite spectacular.

Public Transport to Point of Stoer

As far as we can tell, there is no public transport access to the Point of Stoer, the lighthouse and the Old Man of Stoer. So, you’ll really be relying on your own vehicle for this NC500 attraction.

Car Hire

If you don’t have your own car, you should hire one using Discover Cars. Personally, we use Discover Cars and highly recommend them for finding your ideal car hire at an affordable price. Booking online is super easy and the free cancellation policy is great.

To find out more about renting a car with Discover Cars, read our Discover Cars review and Discover Cars Insurance review.

Visiting Stoer Lighthouse

From the car park, it’s a short uphill climb over the grassy terrain to reach the lighthouse. We enjoyed the pockets of sheep grazing on the remote promontory as we explored. You’re free to walk around the stunning and picturesque lighthouse, as it stands watch over the rough seas below. Entering Stoer Lighthouse is reserved for those staying here. More on that below.

Walking beyond Stoer Lighthouse brings you to some striking cliff walls. Here, you’ll find fantastic views of this rugged coastline. You’ll likely see an abundance of seabirds too while you’re soaking up your surroundings. We found the grasslands surrounding the lighthouse uber inviting for a quick laze and rest from driving.

In the summer months, there’s sometimes a coffee van that will operate out of the lighthouse car park. And, because visitor numbers have increased so much to Stoer Lighthouse and the Old Man of Stoer, public toilets were built in 2013.

In truth, you won’t need to spend too much of your NC500 time at the Point of Stoer and lighthouse. But, it’s definitely worth a stop at. And, if the weather is particularly nice, a picnic on the clifftops is quite lovely.

Stoer Lighthouse

Old Man of Stoer

Another excellent reason to visit Stoer Head peninsula is to take the coastal walk to the Old Man of Stoer and the Point of Stoer. This popular natural attraction is a 62 metre high sea stack and is very popular with climbers. From Stoer Lighthouse, you can follow a small coastal trail north to reach the Old Man of Stoer sea stack. The walk will take you from the Stoer Lighthouse Car Park, along the rugged coastal cliffs, to the sea stack and beyond to the Point of Stoer, if you wish. The return trail climbs higher up the hillside to enjoy spectacular mountain and sea views.

In total, the walk between Stoer Lighthouse and the Old Man of Stoer and Point of Stoer is around 6km and will take 2–3 hours to complete.

You can follow a GPS map of the trail by clicking the link here.

Stoer Head Lighthouse Accommodation

It’s possible to book and stay at Stoer Head Lighthouse. For something remote and a little quirky along your NC500 road trip, a stay here could be something quite wonderful. The Keeper’s House has two holiday apartments, both with two twin bedrooms. The apartments sleep four people and come with fully fitted kitchens, so you can go full self-catering and truly get away from it all.

The lighthouse is a popular place to stay, so you should check availability ahead of your visit.

Looking out towards the Old Man of Stoer

Other Attractions Near Stoer Lighthouse

  • Suilven: an iconic mountain peak that you can see from Point of Stoer and the lighthouse.
  • Achmelvich Beach: you won’t believe this stunning beach exists in the British Isles.
  • Clachtoll Beach: if Achmelvich is too busy, head to this outstanding Scottish beach instead.
  • Kylesku Bridge: a stunning bridge built to be sympathetic to its surroundings, and a popular stop along the NC500.
Dan stands and admires the views from Suilven in Scotland
Hiking Suilven

Travel Insurance For the NC500

Whether you’re from the UK or further afield, travel insurance is a necessary evil, especially if taking on a road trip like the NC500.

Heymondo is one of the best budget travel insurance providers on the market. They provide comprehensive travel and medical insurance that won’t break the bank. Whether it’s single trip insurance, annual multi-trip insurance or long stay insurance, Heymondo offers affordable travel and medical insurance to suit all of your needs. Personally, we use Heymondo travel insurance and highly recommend it. To find out more about Heymondo travel and medical insurance, read our Heymondo travel insurance review.

Travel Insurance

Heymondo Travel Insurance

Don’t leave for your trip without booking travel insurance. We all know accidents can happen and having Heymondo travel insurance could save you thousands of dollars if something goes wrong. Click the button below to receive a 5% discount!

Travel Essentials For Stoer Head Lighthouse

These are our travel essentials for visiting Stoer Lighthouse and the Old Man of Stoer in Scotland. You should also pack water and snacks.

Anker Portable Power Bank
Anker Portable Power Bank

Keep your phone, laptop and other accessories charged while you’re on the go with the Anker Portable Power Bank. We wouldn’t travel without this high-quality portable charger.

Sea to Summit DryLite Towel
Sea to Summit DryLite Towel

The Sea to Summit DryLite Towel is the best quick-dry microfibre towel. This compact, lightweight and super-absorbent towel is perfect for travel.

EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter
EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter

Having an EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter is one of the best accessories to travel with, especially if you’re travelling to multiple continents during your trip.

Noise Cancelling Headphones
Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you’re looking for the most budget-friendly yet high-quality noise-cancelling headphones for travel, then look no further than the Anker Soundcore Space Q45.

Wise Multi-Currency Card
Wise Multi-Currency Card

We use the Wise Multi-Currency Card to pay online and when we travel abroad. It’s really easy to use and a lot cheaper than using bank cards. To order a free card, click the button below.

To find out more about all of the gear that we use and recommend, read our guides about our favourite travel gear, camera gear and hiking gear. Otherwise, read our comprehensive travel packing checklist.

Views from Stoer Lighthouse near the Old Man of Stoer

Bonus Tips

  • Weather: the weather doesn’t always behave in Scotland, but don’t let that put you off a quick visit to Stoer Lighthouse. You can check the forecast here.
  • Visit at sunset: as Stoer Lighthouse and the Old Man of Stoer sea stack sit on the northwest coast of Scotland, watching a sunset here is particularly spectacular.
  • Tours and Activities of Wester Ross: if you love the more remote areas of the Scottish Highlands, but prefer the organising to be done for you, then GetYourGuide offers some pretty excellent tour options.

Share this post with your NC500 road trip buddies!

Beck Piggott

With an art and design based background, Beck uses photography and writing to help inspire readers to climb mountains, hike coastal trails and chase waterfalls around the globe.

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