The Queen of Scottish Mountains and Dunnet Head Lighthouse


Pictured above, from a recent 2 week trip to Scotland, is the mountain Ben Loyal, also known as the Queen of Scottish Mountains due to its majestic profile. Golden eagles, ospreys and sea otters call this location home. I crossed the bridge in this picture a number of times when heading out to Thurso and Dunnet Head Lighthouse.


The second photo is of Moine House and Ben Loyal. The Moine is a vast area of heather moor and peat moss which for centuries has made travel difficult in this remote region. The first good road across the Moine was built in 1830 with Moine House providing a welcome rest for travellers. The third photo is also from the Moine, this time picturing Ben Loyal and the Munro, Ben Hope, reflected in a lochan.


Below is Dunnet Head Lighthouse at dawn with Orkney veiled in mist on the horizon. The Old Man of Hoy, a 449 ft sea stack, can also be seen in the far distance. Dunnet Head is a great place for whale watching. Hoping to spend 4 or 5 days at Cape Wrath Lighthouse next year. It’s well off the beaten track – a 12 mile coastal walk from Blairmore.


© Simon Howlett 2019. All rights reserved

17 thoughts on “The Queen of Scottish Mountains and Dunnet Head Lighthouse

  1. Beautiful photos in beautiful light. What’s the bridge in the first one? I don’t remember seeing that – would I have driven over it? I’ve been around all the roads around Ben Loyal – is it on the main road?

    We did Ben Loyal from that side – was a few miles to walk across wet bog but there was a track and it was a nice walk. The hill itself is great – you’ll have to go up it next time.

    • Thank you Carol. Yes, on the main road. It’s the Kyle of Tongue bridge on the western end of the causeway, so you would have driven over it.

      Next time I’m there I will head up Ben Loyal, it looks magnificent. Ben Hope is on the list too!

      • I suppose it must be the usual case of not noticing the bridge then because we were driving over it rather than looking at it!

        Ben Hope is lovely – a really quite and easy Munro and probably has great views (we didn’t have a good weather day on it). It’s probably also the only Munro with a sign at the bottom saying ‘way up (Ben Hope)’ LOL

      • Good to hear there’s a sign at the bottom of Ben Hope. Will help in guiding me up to the top of my first Munro 🙂 Need all the help I can get when out on the mountains these days lol

    • Thank you Katherine. Scotland is a place I’ve become really attached to as well, I’m hoping to pay a return visit in the not too distant future, thinking about spending a week based in Thurso. Nice to hear you have been to Scotland too, which places have you visited, do you have a particular favourite?

    • Thanks for the link Carol. I agree, it’s a good job we turned back, looks very steep and a big drop if it all goes wrong. Really enjoyed the walk – I’ll be studying the map and guide ready for our next day out in the Howgills 🙂

    • Thank you Otto, I’m keeping well. Planning to visit Scotland again in October, hopefully travel will be back to normal by then. I hope you are keeping fine too. Stay safe and thanks for getting in touch, I really appreciate it.

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