Walk at the Butt of Lewis

On a gray and misty day, we drove up to the Butt of Lewis to go for a walk around the headland. The lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis was built in 1886, and was manned until 1998 when it became fully automated. There has been much discussion about what to do with the residence building, since it is now empty, but no decisions have been made yet. My vote is for a tea house, as a hot cup of tea would be perfect after a long, windy and cold walk around the headlands.

Butt of Lewis Lighthouse
The lighthouse at the Butt of Lewis. Built in 1862, it was manned by a lighthouse keeper until 1998, when it was fully automated. The old residence buildings were recently repainted and the council is trying to figure out what to do with them. My vote is for a tea room with hot tea and buttery scones.

The cliffs at the Butt of Lewis are dramatic, dropping straight down onto rocky bottoms where the sea churns and the waves crash. There are no fences on the cliff edges, which I am glad about as fences would ruin the view. The only accident I've heard about (and for which there is a plaque on the cliff edge) is a young football (soccer for Americans) player who fell off.

Butt of Lewis Cliffs, 2
Cliffs at the Butt of Lewis.

The sea cliffs are filled with birds that somehow find small ledges upon which to nest. We saw fulmars, herring gulls, shags and gannets flying around the cliffs.

Butt of Lewis Cliffs, 2
Cliffs at the Butt of Lewis.

There are also beautiful wildflowers at the Butt of Lewis, on the sandy soil near the cliffs, including pink sea thrift and ragged robin, as well as beautiful spotted wild orchid.

Wildflowers at the Butt of Lewis
Pink Sea Thrift on the cliffs at the Butt of Lewis. This flower was in full bloom when I arrived in Lewis. It grows primarily in the machair near the shoreline (rather than in boggy ground) and is a beautiful light pink color.

Ragged Robin at the Butt of Lewis
Ragged Robin.

Common Spotted Wild Orchid at the Butt of Lewis.
Spotted Wild Orchid. These beautiful flowers grow in the machair near the shore.