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Scotland’s Most Spectacular Beaches: The Ultimate Guide 2021

We don’t know about you, but we have a long list of Scottish beaches we just can’t wait to visit again! It really is surprising how many absolutely stunning beaches there are in Scotland. I know, right? Scotland & Beaches?!

We have created our ultimate guide of Scotland’s most spectacular beaches, packed full of our suggestions, to ignite and inspire your future travel plans. We can practically feel the sand between our toes already… Enjoy!

Sango Sands, Scotlander Beach, Scottish Beach Guide, Scotlander

Sango Sands, Durness

An iconic beauty spot in Durness for travellers exploring the North Coast 500. In recent years its campsite was listed as one of the ‘Top 10 in the UK.’ With excellent facilities in stunning surroundings, it’s easy to see why! With golden sands, rocky formations and plenty of sheltered outcrops, Sango Sands offers visitors the best of everything. With its cliffs, rocks and sand dunes, Sango Sands is one of the most spectacular and varied beaches in the Highlands. It is easily accessible from various car parks.

Brora Beach, Scotlander Beach, Scottish Beach Guide, Scotlander

Brora Beach, Sutherland

Brora’s rural beach, with its Jurassic rocks and sloping seafront, is the perfect place to spot dolphins, minke whales and both grey and common seals. It has ample seating to stop for a picnic, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Brora beach has to be one of Scotland’s most pristine and well looked after. Stretching for a few miles it is spotless and free of litter and seaweeds. There’s also a bonus for birdwatchers around the time I visited, in the form of a colony of terns nesting in a protected area of sand dunes. The beach is accessible from Dalchalm or Brora itself.

Cruden Beach, Scotlander Beach, Scottish Beach Guide, Scotlander

Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire

Cruden Bay’s sweeping pink sands, near the red granite cliffs of Longhaven, form one of Aberdeenshire’s most beautiful beaches. The entire bay is a designated bathing water area, making it a popular destination for watersports, sea fishing and wild swimming.

Portobello Beach, Scotlander Beach, Scottish Beach Guide, Scotlander

Portobello Beach, Edinburgh

Edinburgh’s most central beach is Portobello Beach which is a popular beach that’s perfect for a day of exploring. Portobello Beach boasts a surfaced promenade with various cafés, ice cream shops, amusement arcades and shops to venture to with your friends and family. As it is the most central beach for the majority of Edinburgh residents, it can become busy during peak times but their really is plenty of room for everyone.

Gullane Beach, Scotlander Beach, Scottish Beach Guide, Scotlander

Gullane Beach, Edinburgh

Gullane Beach is a magnificent sandy beach which is popular among local residents however, due to it being further away from the city centre of Edinburgh, it is definitely quieter than Portobello Beach. With vast stretches of sand and rocks there is something for everyone to have a great day out. Wait… did we mention the delicious Ice Cream Van that sits in the beach carpark.

Claigan Coral Beach, Scotlander Beach, Scottish Beach Guide, Scotlander

Claigan Coral Beach, Isle of Skye

Just north of Dunvegan lies Claigan’s expansive Coral Beach, with its tropical blue waters and lucious white sand. Claigan Coral Beach can stake a serious claim to being the most beautiful beach on the Isle of Skye. Fine white sand rolls into the tranquil, crystalline waters of a sea loch, offering peaceful views of Dunvegan Head. The beach is also known for the unusual coral that is scattered across the sand. Known locally as ‘wee gem,’ the beach’s sand is made from the red coralline seaweed which grows on the reef by the Island of Lampay.

Achmelvich Beach, Scotlander Beach, Scottish Beach Guide, Scotlander

Achmelvich Beach, Wester Ross

This beach is up there, being regarded as one of Scotland’s most stunning beaches. Very photogenic, with it’s soft white sand, blue and green clear coloured water looking out over Achmelvich Bay, to the Minch. The name ‘Achmelvich’, comes from the Gaelic ‘Achadh’ – Meadow, and ‘mealbhaich’ – sandy dunes. Achmelvich lies just 3 miles north-west of Lochinver, though don’t underestimate how long it can take you to get there along its challenging single track roads! Its incredible white beaches are a pure delight, making it a popular destination for fishing, watersports and camping, especially in the summer months.

Lunderston Beach, Scotlander Beach, Scottish Beach Guide, Scotlander

Lunderston Bay, Glasgow

Lunderston Bay is the nearest sandy beach to Glasgow, and is popular with families, walkers and picnickers. Not surprisingly it can get pretty busy when the sun is shining, although there is usually plenty of space here to let off steam. There is a large, free car park, near which is a wide, grassy area with picnic tables and space for games.

Oldshoremore Bay, Scotlander Beach, Scottish Beach Guide, Scotlander

Oldshoremore Bay, Kinlochbervie

A short drive up a single-track road from the harbour village of Kinlochbervie lies the isolated community of Oldshoremore. Renowned for its unspoilt scenery, its stunning white sand beach is truly something to behold. Once owned by the Duke of Sutherland, Oldshoremore and the surrounding area are now part of the Sandwood Estate, a nature reserve. Oldshoremore Bay, a sandy beach with a large headland at its northern end known as Eilean na h-Aiteig. The hamlet also contains a car park and toilet facilities, perfect for a beach day with friends & family.

Sandwood Bay, Scotlander Beach, Scottish Beach Guide, Scotlander

Sandwood Bay, Blairmore

Further along the coast from Oldshoremore Bay lies the scenic wild beach of Sandwood Bay. The bay is backed by huge dunes and a loch which creates a surreal atmosphere. It’s a 4 mile walk from nearby Blairmore and well worth the journey. The views out to sea feature high cliffs and the famous Am Buachaille sea stack. The beach is exceptionally quiet as the public road ends at Blairmore a few miles to the northwest.

Sanna Bay, Scotlander Beach, Scottish Beach Guide, Scotlander

Sanna Bay, Faskadale

Sanna Bay is an unexpected treasure at the end of a long drive along lots of single track roads. One of the most stunning beaches on the Ardnamurchan peninsula which is mainland Britain’s most westerly point. Its magnificent scenery, white sand and turquoise seas make it truly picture perfect. Enjoy superb views of the Isles of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna while spotting dolphins and whales at sea.

Benderloch Beach, Scotlander Beach, Scottish Beach Guide, Scotlander

Benderloch Beach, Ledaig

On the main road between Oban and Ballachulish lies the small settlement of Benderloch. Its quaint coastline is made even more fascinating by the nearby Barcaldine Castle, Scottish Sea Life & Marine Sanctuary and Ardchattan Priory Garden. This attractive quiet beach, with shingle at one end and sand dunes at the other, is a short walk by a signposted footpath from Benderloch, where there is a car park, cafe and shops.