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Rattray Head and its lighthouse

ASPC invited photographers to participate in our 2023 photography competition by submitting images of the local area. We have selected 12 winners, who, in addition to receiving a modest gift, are featured on our website home page.

Rattray Head and its lighthouse

ASPC extended an invitation to photographers in our area to send us their favourite snaps showcasing the North-East. Twelve exceptional pictures were selected to feature on our website home page.  Along with our thanks, the authors of the photographs selected received a gift for their contribution.

This month’s lovely photo was submitted by Sean Harrower. We were struck by the composition and subject of the lighthouse at Rattray Head.

Rattray Head is known throughout the maritime world as a landmark, not only because of its pivotal position on the North East of Scotland coastline, but also because of its prominence in the UK Maritime and Coastal Agency’s shipping forecast, broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

For those unfamiliar with the area, it may be hard to pinpoint the exact location. Rattray head is situated between Strathbeg Bay and Rattray Beach. The Head is almost exactly the turning point between the Moray Firth and the North Sea. Rattray Head is a striking and secluded spot, jutting out into the North Sea, with a fabulous sand beach and dunes. The beach stretches for 17 miles, but for many people the focal point of interest is the lighthouse.

Constructed in the late nineteenth century by the renowned Stevenson brothers, the structure is a little quirky in being situated, not on the adjacent land, but a little out to sea. In fact, at low tide the lighthouse can be reached along a causeway, submerged at high tide.

Its striking and singular design makes a strong impression on the surrounding seascape, with the lower section constructed in granite and standing 46 feet tall. The lighthouse itself is constructed of brick. Testimony to the skill of its builders, it has withstood the ferocious storms that can afflict the area, unscathed, over the years. An automated light, nowadays, still continues to serve and protect mariners.

We were struck by the sense of peace and tranquillity conveyed by Sean’s photograph. We also liked the view, taken from within the dunes, placing the lighthouse firmly in connection with the coast, although itself seaborne.

Many of us will have happy memories of days at ‘the beach’ with vivid recollections of the chill of the sea when we went in for a dook, mitigated by the invigorating towel down afterwards. If you were lucky, there would be a “chittery bite” to help ease the pain!

Sean’s photograph will, I am sure, strike a chord with many of us.

If you’re interested in learning more about each one of our images as part of our photography competition, then why not take a look at one of our previous submissions, here.


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