Active Outdoors

Lighthouse vision was reality

The photograph shows Cape Wrath lighthouse from Sandwood Bay – honestly! Picture: John Davidson
The photograph shows Cape Wrath lighthouse from Sandwood Bay – honestly! Picture: John Davidson

Our photograph on page 3 of Active Outdoors magazine (issue four, autumn/winter 2013/14) has elicited a wave of comments from readers – many suggesting it’s not possible to see the lighthouse at Cape Wrath from Sandwood Bay.

As the person who took the photograph, I can assure you it is possible. The picture was taken from a point around grid reference NC218654 (with the tide out). The land to the left of the picture seems to be causing the confusion, creating an optical illusion that it projects many miles to the west of the lighthouse.

The fact that the tip of the lighthouse can be seen can probably be explained by the fact that the lighthouse stands on land about 122m above sea level and rises a further 20m in height. The way the sun was catching the white walls also made it much more clearly visible than it would be in other conditions, I suspect.

I can assure readers that there was no photographic skulduggery involved – I don’t have the expertise or the time for that! Neither was this “a slip of the editorial eye”, as one letter suggested.

The editorial eye did slip, however, in the Cape Wrath article on page 14, where we suggest a return to the ferry “11 miles to the west” of the lighthouse – obviously we meant east!

Many thanks for all your feedback on the latest magazine. We’re always delighted to receive your thoughts and comments on the places we visit.

We also still want photographs of your own adventures across the north of Scotland, so if you’ve any pictures to share please email them to with brief details of where the pictures are taken as well as your name and address. We will publish a selection of the best in our next magazine in the spring.

* Read the magazine online here.

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