admin posted 7 years ago

Best beaches in Scotland: Highlands and Islands

Clachan Sands, North Uist

The best beaches in Scotland are some of the best beaches in the UK and even the world. It’s rumoured that the beaches in the Outer Hebrides have even featured on some tourism marketing material for Thailand.

The best beaches in Scotland: Highlands & Islands

I’ve picked some of what I consider to be the best beaches in Scotland and some that are on my list to visit. Whether it’s a gorgeous summer day or a winter storm is blowing, I think these beaches will be stunning.

Clachan Sands, North Uist, Outer Hebrides

This is one of my favourite Scottish beaches and the Uists offer a lot of competition. Flowering machair, white sands, turquoise sea and the mountains of Harris in the distance…

Clachan Sands, North Uist (Scottish Beaches)

Stay on North Uist

West coast of Scotland beaches

Achnahaird, Coigach, Ross and Cromarty

As the sea withdraws from the salt marsh at Achnahaird, the glorious rose-gold sand beach is revealed. This photo was taken from the car park and I love the mountain backdrop.

Achmelvich beach

Sanna Sands, Ardnamurchan

A cloudy day still can’t diminish the beauty of this bay on the Ardnamurchan coast, not far from Ardnamurchan Point, the most westerly point of the UK.

Best beaches in Scotland Sanna Sands scottish beaches

Silver Sands of Morar, near Mallaig

The Silver Sands are a dazzling (if the sun’s out) series of beaches along the west coast of Scotland from Arisaig to Mallaig. Morar beach is easily accessible from the road and if you’re lucky you may also see the steam train puffing along the track as seen in the Harry Potter films.

Local Hero film location

Morar beach also featured in the great 1980s film, Local Hero, starring Burt Lancaster, Denis Lawson, Peter Capaldi, Fulton Mackay and Jenny Seagrove.

Best beaches in Scotland - Morar Sands

Sandwood Bay, Kinlochbervie, Sutherland

Remote Sandwood Bay is often called the most beautiful beach in Great Britain, not just in Scotland. For those making the 4-mile walk, the reward is a freshwater loch, sand dunes, over a mile of pink sand and the photogenic sea stack of Am Buachaille.

There is no road access to Sandwood Bay but there is parking available in a car park in Blairmore. The bay is part of the Sandwood Estate which is run by the John Muir Trust.

St. Ninian’s, Shetland

St Ninian’s is a sand tombolo (or bar) which joins Mainland Shetland to St Ninian’s Isle. Visit this beautiful Scottish beach and you actually get two beaches with different characters. A rich Pictish treasure hoard was found in the ancient Chapel site on the island of St. Ninian’s.

Luskentyre, Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides

Harris and Lewis have some stunning beaches but if white sand, blue sea and mountains are your thing then Luskentyre will hold a special place in your heart. Photographer and Harris addict, Christopher Swan, picked Luskentyre as the best beach in Scotland in his Local Tips: Beautiful places in Scotland’s Highlands & Islands – Christopher Swan, photographer. Looking at this photo, we can see why!

Luskentyre beach, Isle of Harris
Luskentyre beach, Isle of Harris

Achmelvich Beach, Assynt

Achmelvich beach is a breath-taking mix of turquoise sea, powder white sand and flowering machair and has to be seen to be believed.

Achmelvich beach - best beaches in Scotland

So what have we missed. I’m sure you have your own favourite Scottish beaches. Please share your best beaches in Scotland in the comments or tweet us a photo @holidayhighland.


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