With 7,330 miles of coastline to explore, Scotland is the perfect destination for a seaside break. Scotland is home to a variety of beautiful beaches, from family-friendly strands to quieter coves. Check out our list of the best beaches in Scotland.
Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris
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The aquamarine water and powder-soft white sands of Luskentyre Beach, located in the south of the Isle of Harris, are so pristine that they wouldn't look out of place in a Caribbean travel brochure. There are no facilities at this tranquil beach, however, so make the most of your day here by bringing along a picnic.
Sanday, Orkney Islands
Sanday is a beach lover's paradise that's well off the beaten track, with - as this island's name suggests - a number of unspoilt sandy beaches to discover. Visit shallow Otterswick Beach, which is ideal for swimming, or venture to the Bay of Lopness, where a shipwreck becomes visible at low tide.
Aberdeen City Beach
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For those wanting to combine a beach visit with a city break, Aberdeen is a top choice. Base yourself at a hotel in Aberdeen and then head to the city's golden-sand beach; once there, go surfing, eat at one of the restaurants or spot the dolphins that frequent these waters.
West Beach, Isle of Berneray
Nature enthusiasts will adore Berneray's West Beach, a broad length of white sand where your only companions will likely consist of the resident birdlife. This beach sits next to a machair, which is the Scottish term for a grassy plain. During the warmer months, colourful wildflowers bloom here in abundance.
Calgary Bay, Isle of Mull
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Calgary Beach is the Isle of Mull's most popular beach, with far-reaching views towards neighbouring islands. If you'd like to linger, stay at a hotel in Calgary Bay and hike up to the nearby abandoned village of Inivea or seek out the Isle of Mull's famous puffin colony.
Silver Sands of Morar, West Highlands
The Silver Sands of Morar is the name for a series of immaculate sandy beaches on Scotland's western coastline. These can get busy during the summer months, with visitors being drawn to beaches like Camusdarach and Keppoch, where the shimmering turquoise seawater is backed by the silhouettes of tall mountain peaks.
West Sands, St Andrews
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With white sand on one side and a world-famous golf course on the other, West Sands is a unique Scottish beach that holds appeal for the whole family. This spotless beach is accessible for anyone planning a holiday to St Andrews, as a 15-minute walk from the town centre brings you right to the shoreline.
Sango Sands, North Highlands
The sheltered pink-sand beach of Sango Sands is a lovely spot for families. After swimming in the crystal-clear water, there is a wealth of other activities to enjoy in the surrounding area, such as zip lining or a visit to Smoo Cave, which has a waterfall inside.
Sandwood Bay, Sutherland
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Sandwood Bay may require some effort to find, but this hidden gem is worth every step of the four-mile trail you'll need to traverse to get here. This startlingly photogenic beach is a local favourite, with its stretch of undisturbed golden sand and views of crumbling rock stacks.
St Ninian's Isle, Shetland Islands
St Ninian's Isle plays host to a stunning tombolo, which is the term for a sandy causeway that has seawater on either side. This sliver of white sand goes on for over 500 yards, creating an utterly breathtaking beach while simultaneously serving as a natural bridge between Shetland's mainland and St Ninian's Isle.
Whichever beach you choose, you're guaranteed to have an incredible time at the Scottish seaside.