When most people think of Scotland, they picture vast hillscapes, medieval history, vast lochs and lush forests. And while, yes, we do have all of those in spades, the country also boasts countless stunning beaches.
Blessed by nature, Scotland’s beaches are wholly unique. Fine, white sands similar to what you’d find in the Caribbean, juxtaposed against deep greens and abundant native wildlife. The only thing you won’t find much of here is people, because while they are as stunning as the country’s most famous beaches, they are all but untouched.
In no particular order, these are our picks for Scotland’s best secluded beaches for a peaceful seaside retreat.
1. Huisinis Beach – Harris
This small slice of coastal perfection is without a doubt one of the UK’s most beautiful beaches. It’s huge, and sheltered by mountains on all sides, with pure white sands and clear blue water. Picturesque in the most literal sense of the word, Huisinis would be right at home on the Mediterranean coastline.
It’s an essential stop for anyone exploring the Hebrides, and makes a perfect follow-up to lunch in Flavour, Uig Sands, or any of the island’s many boutique restaurants.
2. Coral Beach – Isle of Skye
Near the small crofting community of Claigan, on the northwest side of the Isle of Skye, is a stretch of beach that many claim to be the island’s finest. Sculpted by the ages, this beach is made mostly of coral, giving it a gorgeously soft coating. It is surrounded by wild, open grassland that gives way to steep hills, making this quiet stretch of beach feel almost tropical.
3. Luskentyre Beach – Harris
Luskentyre is one of the largest and most spectacular beaches on Harris. Named one of the UK’s best beaches in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, Luskentyre sands boasts miles of white sand and stunning green-blue water.
3. Balnakeil Beach – Durness
Situated near Cape Wrath in the very north of Scotland, Balkaneil Beach is a spectacular, spotless stretch of coastline. The beach is known for its countless nooks, crannies and interesting natural features that make it ripe for exploration. The grassy dunes are a perfect starting point, and climbing them will reveal more spots to venture to.
In the evening, Balnakeil Beach’s sunset is a sight to be hold, and a perfect way to end a day, perhaps after visiting Smoo Cave or Dunrobin Castle.
4. West Sands – St. Andrews
Famous for the opening scenes of the film Chariots of Fire, west sands extends for almost two miles of uninterrupted beach backed with untamed sand dunes. While slightly more popular than other beaches on this list, it’s featured here for a very specific reason – It backs right onto St Andrews Links, the proverbial ‘home of golf’, making it the ideal spot to wind down after a playing this iconic course.
5. Calgaray Bay – Mull
The tiny settlement of Calgary lies west of Dervaig on the west coast of Mull. A quiet glen opens up onto Mull’s (and one of Scotland’s) finest beaches, backed by low dunes and machair. Pictured here on one of its busiest days.0