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Beaches of Scotland Guide

With a coastline estimated at 8197 miles (13,115 km) long, there is plenty of room for Scottish beaches! The east coast has plenty of unspoilt stretches of sands, with places like Dunbar, St Andrews, Montrose, Aberdeen, Fraserburgh, Lossiemouth, Nairn, and Dornoch just some of the towns and cities close to superb stretches of beach.

The more rugged north and west coasts likewise have beautiful sands, often as smaller coves set amongst magnificent cliff scenery, while the dazzling white beaches of the Hebrides – look for the Gaelic word ‘traigh’ on maps – are an essential element of the island experience and a real highlight of a visit to, for example, Harris or Islay. The Big Strand on Islay, for example, is at least 7.5 miles (12 km) long.

Some beaches have an association with a particular leisure pursuit – Thurso (Dunnet Bay) for surfing, for instance; beaches on Tiree for wind surfing; St Andrews for kite-surfing – but all of these are practiced at a variety of Scottish beaches.

Scotland’s beaches are also leisurely places for beachcombing – lobster buoys from Maine, coconuts from the Caribbean and pumice from Icelandic volcanoes may add a touch of the exotic!

More than 60 of Scotland’s beaches hold Seaside Awards – but the Scottish beach, especially in the Highlands, can still be an off-the-beaten-track location, unspoilt and hardly visited.

 

Shetland Orkney Northern Highlands Western Isles Skye & Lochalsh Inverness, Loch Ness & Nairn Aberdeen & Grampian Highlands Aviemore and the Cairngorms Fort William & Lochaber Argyll & Bute Perthshire, Angus & Dundee Loch Lomond, Stirling & the Trossachs Ayrshire, Arran & Clyde Valley Glasgow Dumfries & Galloway Kingdom of Fife Lothians & Borders Edinburgh

 

West coast beaches of Luskentyre and Seilebost in South Harris

Near Sangobeg, Northern Highlands; Copyright Alan Bird 2009 Scotland's Natural Attractions »

Great sea stacks, deep caves, fossil sites, spectacular waterfalls, - just some of the rich options.

Nature Reserves in Scotland Nature Reserves in Scotland »

From ancient pine forests, to cliffs covered with gannets and marshland loud with the call of geese, Scotland's wildlife opportunities are many and varied.

© Copyright Edinburgh Boat Charters Ltd, www.edinburghboatcharters.com Sailing in Scotland »

When you dream of sailing, make Scotland part of that dream. A coastline of lochs, mountains, islands and beaches joined by a clear and uncrowded sea. Waters that offer both sheltered sailing and challenging adventures, according to the yachtsman's mood and experience. A natural freshness and unspoilt environment and a haven for sailors.

© Copyright Galloway Activity Centre, www.lochken.co.uk Watersports in Scotland »

Scotland is a great setting for sailing and watersports of all kinds and has well-developed watersports facilities with centres in many parts of the country – from sea kayaking around Barra in the Outer Hebrides to wind-surfing on Loch Ken in Galloway.

Sea Angling »

Whether you just need local information for the best local marks, or intend to hire a boat for the day, you’ll find plenty of good advice.