Beach Holidays Scotland

There is nothing quite like a beach retreat to soothe the soul and recharge the batteries.  If you’re thinking about a coastal getaway, head to the Scottish Highlands to experience truly breathtaking beaches (yes, we’re talking white sands and turquoise waters) and remote, unspoilt sandy beaches that you can often hug to yourself.  Here are some suggestions for your ‘beaches in the Highlands’ bucket list.

Beaches in the Highlands

Gairloch Beach

Gairloch Beach

Road to the Isles

Perhaps one of the most famous cluster of beaches in the Highlands is the rather lovely sounding Silver Sands of Morar, which had a starring role in the 80’s film Local Hero.    These stunning white sand beaches are framed by rocks, and are strung along the coastline from Arisaig to Morar.   Don’t miss Camusdarach Beach, with its sweeping views across to Skye and the Small Isles, and amazing sunsets.


The Gairloch area in Wester Ross is home to a number of lovely gems.  The sheltered Gairloch Beach is lined with sand dunes and backed by the Gairloch Golf Club, offering wonderful views of the nearby islands and a safe stretch of beach for families to enjoy.  Just outside Gairloch you’ll find Big Sands, another secluded beach with fantastic views of the Torridon mountains and the Isle of Skye.

From Gairloch follow the A832 north to Poolewe and then take the road that winds along the western edge of Loch Ewe to reach the beautiful Firemore Beach.  This lovely sandy beach lies opposite the northern tip of the Isle of Ewe and is a perfect place to paddle, with its warm waters.  The A832 has more coastal treats in store, with the stunning sands of Mellon Udrigle just a twenty minute drive north of Poolewe.  As well as enjoying the unspoilt sands, you can soak up glorious mountain-clad landscape, with views of Suilven, the mountains of Coigach, Stac Pollaidh, and An Teallach.

The West Coast of the Scottish Highlands

Firemore Beach

And if you’re looking for a base in which to explore the beautiful beaches in the area, we have a number of lovely holiday cottages in and around Gairloch that would be ideal.


The North West Highlands is known for its spectacular beaches, such as the Mediterranean-esque beach at Achmelvich.  On the Drumbeg Road looping north of Lochinver, the blue flag beach at Achmelvich is a highlight for many visitors to this scenic area.  The spellbinding clean white sands and azure waters are gathered in by rugged arms of rocky cliff.   There is also a second, smaller bay tucked behind its main beach which is usually quieter and just a short walk away.

Also on the Drumbeg Road you’ll find the equally captivating Clachtoll Beach, with its rocky cliffs and two white sand beaches, and a large sandy beach at Clashnessie.

The famous, and remote, Sandwood Beach in North Sutherland is often referred to as the most beautiful beach in the country.  There is no road access but visitors are rewarded for their 4 mile walk to the beach (which takes around an hour) with a truly magnificent seascape, including a sea stack and views of the North Atlantic.  The mile and a half of golden sand is backed by large dunes and a loch, and it is an awe-inspiring, wild place in which to immerse yourself in tranquil sea views.



Outside Durness, on the mainland’s most northerly coastline, Balnakeil Beach is known for its wonderful sunsets.  This large, crescent-shaped white sand beach is popular with families.

Near Thurso keen surfers flock to Dunnet Bay, a two mile stretch of golden sand edged with dunes.  This sheltered beach is a great place to spot wildlife and there is also a visitor centre at the north end of the beach giving information on what can be seen in the bay.

In East Sutherland, there are award-winning beaches at Golspie and Brora, and you can immerse yourself in views of the Dornoch Firth at the blug flag Embo Beach.  This is another clean, sandy beach with large dunes, and there is free parking and facilities such as toilets nearby.

Nearby Dornoch Beach is another gem with miles of golden sands to enjoy and clean waters.

Near Inverness

Lovely Rosemarkie Beach in the Black Isle is a great place to try to spot the Moray Firth bottlenose dolphins (who are frequent visitors to nearby Chanonry Point).  There is a cafe at the end of the beach where you can enjoy the stunning views.

Beautiful Nairn Beach won a 2014 TripAdvisor Traveller’s Choice Award, showing how loved this beach is by visitors and locals alike.  The long stretch of golden, clean sands is a wonderful place for children to explore, and there is also a pretty harbour at the eastern end.  The beach offers great views of the Moray Firth and the Black Isle.

The Moray Coast

The Moray Coast is a treasure trove of scenic beaches, from the pine forest-fringed Roseisle to Cullen’s picturesque shoreline.  Whether you discover Findhorn’s sweeping stretch of golden sands that curves round to Burghead or explore Lossiemouth’s two pretty beaches, you’re sure to have a tranquil coastal break.

Take a look at our range of quality holiday cottages, ideal for beach holidays Scotland.