Southerness Lighthouse is located towards the south east point in the village of Southerness, in Dumfries and Galloway, in South West Scotland.
The 18m tall lighthouse sits overlooking the Solway Firth, towards the Lake District. It was commissioned by the local council back in 1749 to aid the safe passage of ships through the Firth towards the Nith Estuary. At that time, this was an important shipping route in Scotland, with cargo boats coming from Liverpool and Ireland carrying goods to the local area and beyond.
Although the lighthouse is no longer in operation, it is an interesting landmark in a beautiful location that deserves to be put on any travel itinerary. The lighthouse is often open to the public in high season, where views from the top are said to be well worth the climb.
Getting there and things you should know
Southerness Lighthouse is most easily reached by road. Follow signs to Dumfries (approximately 13 miles to the north of Southerness), and then take the A710 Solway Coast Road. Turn left towards Southerness and carry on the main road towards the lighthouse.
If arriving by public transport, take the train to Dumfries. Services are frequent from Glasgow if coming from the north, and is also served by Carlisle if arriving from the south. Once in Dumfries, head to the main bus terminal and catch the number 372 bus to Southerness, which departs almost every hour.
Public toilets and free parking are available once you reach Southerness Point.
Things to see nearby
Southerness Lighthouse is situated on a wide expanse of beach, so is a popular location for families and dog walkers. With rock pools forming at low tide, it’s also a great spot for youngsters to explore. At the opposite end of the beach, the rock formations towards Powillimount Beach are worth taking a peek at.
Once you have visited the lighthouse, there are plenty of other local attractions nearby to keep the whole family busy and entertained. Sports enthusiasts will be happy to note there is a golf course within the village, while Mersehead Nature Reserve is situated approximately four miles away in nearby Dalbeattie. The John Paul Jones Birthplace Cottage & Museum makes for an interesting stop-off and is just a couple of miles from Southerness. For those thirsty for historical attractions, Caerlaverock Castle and Sweetheart Abbey are just seven miles away.
Places to eat and drink nearby
If you’re looking to refuel on your visit to Southerness Lighthouse, there are plenty of options nearby to cater for every taste. The Paul Jones Hotel is close to the lighthouse and serves hearty meals. Visitors also highly rate the Tea Caddy, located at The 19th Hole pub, for its breakfasts. The Steamboat Inn also gets the thumbs up from diners and is just over three miles away from the lighthouse.
Interesting facts about Southerness Lighthouse
As one of the oldest lighthouses in Scotland, Southerness Lighthouse has seen a number of changes over the years. It underwent renovations during 1805, executed by the famous engineer Robert Stevenson and with the assistance of James Slight. Since its construction, the lighthouse has also been raised twice, back in 1843. A light was added to the building for the first time in 1800, where it remained in use until 1936.
Unusually for a lighthouse, the one at Southerness is mainly square in shape, rather than round, making it a very distinctive landmark.