Cape Wrath

An isolated headland of the Sutherland district in Highland Council Area, Cape Wrath is the most northwesterly point on the British Mainland and lies 11 miles (18 km) northwest of Durness. The name derives from the Old Norse word 'hvarf' meaning a turning point and indeed it was used by the Vikings as a navigation aid, where they turned to head down their conquests on west coast of Scotland. A Robert Stephenson lighthouse is located on the cliffs of the headland. Built in 1827, it stands 121m (400 feet) above sea level and is constructed of granite and dressed stone. The area surrounding Cape Wrath is home to a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Special Protection Area for birds (SPA), developed under the European Union Birds Directive, together with military ranges. Established before World War II, the Cape Wrath Training Area comprises the largest live-firing range in Europe, including a naval bombardment range, an aircraft gunnery target range, a bombing range on Garvie Island and a torpedo range lying offshore. Access to the Cape is therefore limited by barriers when the ranges are active.

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