Corsewall Lighthouse was built in 1815 by Robert Stevenson. It still operates from its position on the cliffs above the North Rhins of Galloway. Its automatic (unmanned) light marks the entrance to Loch Ryan. The lighthouse, 83 feet high, is a listed category ‘A’ building.
The Lighthouse keeper`s house has been converted into a luxury hotel and offers stunning views over the Irish Sea, northwards to Ailsa Craig and Arran, the Mull of Kintyre and the Firth of Clyde. By night you can see the lights of other lighthouses and passing ships.
A spectacular shipwreck here in 1898 provided the denizens of the Rhins with a windfall. The barque ‘Firth of Cromarty’ was wrecked near the lighthouse and its cargo of whisky washed ashore. Very little was recovered by the Excise men, the locals having drunk most of it!
The area makes an ideal place to come to watch birds and other wildlife on and around the cliffs and coastline. There are a number of camp sites and holiday cottages within the North Rhins where one can stay and enjoy the local area.
From the car park adjacent to the hotel a short walk southwards along the shoreline takes you past the remains of a WWII radar station. Here are coastal features with delightful names such as Horseback Rock, Emer`s Isle and Ship`s Slouch around where a colony of seals can often be seen. It is also rewarding to explore the coastline northwards however the paths, where they exist can be a bit tricky!
Lady Bay is another nearby beauty spot well worth exploring. The bay is on the shore of Loch Ryan, about 2 km to the south of Milleur Point which is the northern tip of the North Rhins. Here, the loch is fairly narrow and a bit fjord like – an ideal spot for a picnic, to admire the views including the Mull of Kintyre or to watch the ferries passing on their way to and from Northern Ireland.
Where can I get a coffee? Corsewall Lighthouse Hotel of course!
Slide of Corsewall Lighthouse at night by Iain Mathieson.
Corsewall Lighthouse in the north Rhins of Galloway. Image Copyright Andy Farrington. This work is licensed for re-use under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Licence.