Beach, please: Scotland’s most beautiful beaches

With Visit Scotland announcing that The Year of Scotland's Coasts and Waters will be celebrated in 2020, get ahead of the game by visiting these beautiful Scottish beaches. From white sands in the Outer Hebrides to famous dunes in Fife, we are lucky to be surrounded by so many picturesque and tranquil spots. Here are some of our favourites…

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West Sands beach, St Andrews, Fife

Famous for the opening scene in Chariots of Fire, St Andrew’s West Sands runs for about two miles and offers walkers the chance to view the world-famous golf course. A winner of many awards including a Keep Scotland Beautiful 2018 Beach Award, West Sands is a popular spot on a sunny day in the picturesque town.

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Lossiemouth East Beach, Moray

A popular location for surfers, East Beach starts off pebbly but soon turns to smooth sand, making it an ideal spot for running or a good, bracing walk. While there, lookout for local birds and wildlife, including the famous bottlenose dolphins. If you venture to the west beach, make sure to look out for the Covesea Lighthouse.

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Eoligarry, Isle of Barra

Ideal for walks and picnics, this white shell sand beach can be found near the most northerly point on the Isle of Barra. This picture perfect beach is backed by dunes and the sands connect the rocky northern part of Barra in the southern Outer Hebrides to the rocks of Ben Eoligarry Mór.

Mellon Udrigle, Wester Ross

This exquisite white sandy beach offers unparalleled views of the spectacular Highland mountains. Mellon Udrigle is an incredibly attractive piece of coastline in Wester Ross and a must-visit for those looking for a quiet spot on a summer’s day. With clear, turquoise water and clean white sand, the beach is spectacular, but with the distant mountain views, this place is truly unique.

Silver Sands of Morar

The Silver Sands of Morar are a series of beaches which run along the coastline from Arisaig to Morar. They offer spectacular views across to the island of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna. All the beaches are accessible by road and are popular with walkers.

Famous for their stunning silver sands and crystal clear turquoise water, the beaches have shallow water to paddle in making it ideal for some family friendly fun.

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North coast of Iona

The small island of Iona lies off the southwest coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides. At just 1.5 miles wide and 3 miles long, it won’t take you long to experience all the beautiful beaches on offer. 

One of the most picturesque is The Monks - the full name of this white shell sand beach is Traigh Ban Nam Monach, which is Gaelic for 'white strand of the monks'. With Iona getting quite busy in the summertime, the beautiful beaches and striking landscape it offers can make for a tranquil escape. 

Traigh Lar, Isle of Harris

The expansive beach provides stunning views across to the Isle of Taransay and towards the Harris Hills. It’s an ideal spot for anyone looking for a bracing walk, at the end of which you can visit the famous standing stone of Clach MhicLeoid. Located up a short, steep slope, Clach MhicLeoid is rumoured to have been erected about 5000 years ago.

West Beach, Berneray

Located on the Isle of Berneray in the Outer Hebrides, this beach stretches for about three miles, and offers wonderful views across to the mountains of Harris. Looking like something from a Thai beach, this expanse of white sand made up from broken shells is ideal for walking and is also a haven for wildlife and wild flowers in the summer months. 

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Luskentyre Sands and Seilebost Beach, Isle of Harris

Located on the west coast of South Harris in the Outer Hebrides, Luskentyre is one of the largest and most spectacular beaches on Harris, and one of the most photographed given the fact most people can’t believe it’s in Scotland.

Boasting miles of white sand and stunning green-blue water, this beautiful beach was named as one of the UK’s best beaches in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards – high praise indeed. 

Langamull Beach, Mull

Dubbed the Mull Caribbean, this beach is one of Mull's best kept secrets. Visitors can look forward to an expanse of glistening white shell sand, and it also boasts some hidden coves to explore – perfect for kids big and small. It’ll take about 20 minutes to walk to this secluded beach, but the spectacular views out to Rum on a clear day make a trip well worth it.

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Ness Beach, Isle of Lewis

Ness is the most northerly village on Lewis, and Ness Beach is its most northerly beach. The picturesque harbour is worth a visit, as is a play park for kids located on the western shore. But if you find the weather turning, there’s a sports centre nearby.