Tarbat Ness Lighthouse, with its stunning views, is located at the end of the Tarbat Peninsula on the east coast of Scotland. Here is a complete guide.
How To Get To Tarbat Ness Lighthouse
This lighthouse is located at the north west tip of the Tarbat Ness peninsula, near the small fishing village of Portmahomack on the east coast of Scotland.
It’s about an hours drive from Inverness and a couple of miles from the village of Portmahomack in Easter Ross Scotland.
Portmahomack village is 6 miles from the main A9 road, part of the NC500 route, north of Inverness.
To find the car park, turn off to the left, opposite the lighthouse itself, following the sign to the car park. (There is no charge to park here.)
The Lighthouse is a short walk down a lane from the car park.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
Tarbat Ness Lighthouse Entrance Fee
It is free to view the Lighthouse, although you will not be allowed entry to the lighthouse as it is privately owned.
Tarbat Ness Lighthouse Opening Times
You can view the lighthouse every day of the year.
Best Time To Visit Tarbat Ness Lighthouse + Tips
The summer months would be the best time to visit the lighthouse when the weather is calmer and you can see the stunning views.
However, can be very windy at the lighthouse, even in the summer.
During the winter it is very stormy and cold here.
The nearest facilities are in the village of Portmahomack.
It doesn’t seem to get overly busy at any time of the day.
If the weather allows, take a picnic and watch a stunning sunset from here.
What To Pack
The History Of Tarbat Ness Lighthouse
In November 1826 there was a storm in the Moray Firth that saw the terrible loss of 16 ships. Following this tragedy, many requests were put forward for a lighthouse to be built at Tarbat Ness.
Subsequently, in 1830 this spectacular lighthouse was built by Scottish civil engineer, Robert Stevenson, grandfather of the famous Scottish novelist, Robert Louis Stevenson.
(Robert Louis Stevenson’s most famous book being Treasure Island.)
Rising to an elevation of 53 metres (174 ft) and with 203 steps to the top of the tower, this is the third tallest lighthouse in Scotland.
Local tradition has it that the lighthouse was built on the site of a Roman fort. As well as this, it is said that this area was later used for witches covens.
What To Expect At Tarbat Ness Lighthouse
This stunning, traditional red and white striped lighthouse stands proudly on the coast of this remote but beautiful part of Scotland.
However, the lighthouse is now privately owned and you cannot view inside.
Nevertheless, you can get quite close and it is definitely worth the visit for the scenic views and some great photo opportunities.
We arrived quite late in the evening and visited the Lighthouse both at dusk, and the following morning.
From its position on the peninsula, it offers spectacular 360 degree views across northern Scotland as well as Aberdeenshire.
There are also some beautiful walks around the light house with interesting cliffs and rock formations to catch your eye.
Furthermore, the Tarbat Ness area is also known as a place of special interest for bird watchers to see the many migratory birds and, if you are very lucky, you may well get to see some dolphins!
A great spot on the North Coast 500 if you’re looking for somewhere to camp in your van too.
Where To Stay In Scotland
Luxury – exploreNESS Apartment
Offering free WiFi and free private parking, exploreNESS Apartment is located in Inverness, just 0.8 miles from Inverness Castle.
The property is less than 0.6 miles from Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and 1.6 miles from Caledonian Thistle.
The apartment features 1 bedroom, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 1 bathroom with a shower. Towels and bed linen are provided.
A buffet breakfast is available daily at the apartment.
Mid-Budget – Loch Earn
Located 1.7 miles from Inverness Castle, Loch Earn provides accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking.
There is also a kitchen in some of the units with a dishwasher, a fridge, and an oven.
A continental breakfast is available daily at the bed and breakfast.
Guests can relax in the garden at the property.
Budget – Inverness Youth Hostel
Just 10 minutes’ walk from Inverness Rail Station, Inverness Youth Hostel offers free private parking and bicycle storage.
Eastgate shopping centre is a 10-minute walk from this hostel. Hootananny, a popular music venue, is just 15 minutes’ walk away.
Culloden Battlefield and its visitor centre is just a 10-minute drive away. The banks of Loch Ness and the country village of Dores are both a 20-minute drive away.
All rooms have a shared bathroom. Packed lunch and luggage storage is available on request.
For more places to stay in Scotland, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.