Now a new guidebook - the product of 20 years’ work - explores the variety found across the country.
Photographer Peter Gellatly visits around 15 lighthouses each year, and has now collected his work in Following The Lights, which will be launched at Port Logan harbour in association with Mull of Galloway Lighthouse Trust next weekend.
The book offers stunning images of many of Scotland’s 200 lighthouses, which still play an important role for mariners and coastal communities alike.
The are operated by the Northern Lighthouse Board (NLB), which covers Scotland and the Isle of Man, has maintained navigational aids since 1786 and is based in Edinburgh.
Gellatly, 45, a lecturer at New College Lanarkshire, has spent more than two decades visiting lighthouses across the country.
“There’s nothing like this – it’s completely unique,” he said. “What was interesting to me initially was that I wanted to stay in a lighthouse, because many of them have been sold off, and there wasn’t anywhere that I could go to find that resource. I thought, well, if there’s nothing there, then I’m going to do it myself.
“People do like a tangible thing, especially when you’re travelling where there’s often no mobile phone coverage or wi-fi, so that’s why I’ve created a hard copy book.”
He travels from his home in Coatbridge all over Scotland, but without a car he must make use of planes, trains, taxis, buses, bicycles and boats in his crusade.
Peter’s interest in lighthouses began around the age of 19 on a holiday to the Isle of Man, travelling between Heysham ferry port and Douglas.
He added: “It was the first time that I had ever seen a lighthouse on a cliff-top and it caught my imagination. I was mesmerised and started to learn more about them.”
Scotland’s final lighthouse keeper, Angus Hutchison, died aged 75 in 2013.
He was the last man to leave the country’s last manned lighthouse on Fair Isle, between Orkney and Shetland, in 1998.
All lighthouses have been fully automated since.