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We all love discovering a hidden gem, and Scotland is positively bursting with them. With help from the author's of Wild Guide Scotland we bring you a selection of some of this country’s most spectacular lesser-known beaches, from clear turquoise water and beautiful white sands to weather beaten rocky coves, these are some of Scotland's best beaches.

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Scotland has a good selection of the most uniquely beautiful and unspoilt beaches in the world. In the Outer Hebrides, some of these stretch on for miles, with pristine white sands rinsed by the North Atlantic and high undulating dunes backed by colourful flowering machair. Others are hidden within sheltered rocky coves where the sea is azure-green and crystal-clear, perfect for a peaceful and refreshing swim! 

Even on dull or stormy days, there is a brightness along the shimmering silver sands on the west coast. At beaches in the north, you can wrap up warm and watch powerful waves roll in and crash along the coastline, creating pools of sea foam on the sand. The most accessible beaches are still largely quiet places, while those which are more hidden and remote, often requiring a long walk in, are often completely deserted – just you, the sea and views out over the Scottish islands.


Kilnaughton Bay, Islay 

A long stretch of sandy beach backed by grassy hillside. A ruined chapel sits half buried by the rising ground in the graveyard above – look for the medieval knight’s effigy, known as the Warrior’s Grave, inside.

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Fidden Beach, Mull

On a sunny day the bay at Fidden could be easily mistaken for the Caribbean. The beautiful west-facing beach with its crystal- clear waters and pink granite outcrops is a perfect place for wild swimming, kayaking and watching sunsets over the islets lying in front of Iona.

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Kilmory Bay, Rùm

Magnificent remote bay with a sandy beach, looking straight out over the staggering Skye Cuillins. Kilmory is the heart of the Red Deer Project, one of the longest and most complete studies of a wild animal population in the world. In late September and early October, it’s sometimes possible to watch rutting stags near the bay. Good wild camping in calm weather.



West Beach, Berneray 

Ideal for long walks, this magnificent 3-mile, white sand beach is backed by high dunes and an impressive border of machair, home to an assortment of wildflowers in the summer months.

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Ardroil Beach, Lewis 

Also called Uig Sands or Tràigh Uige, this is one of the most unusual beach landscapes in the country – an astonishingly huge expanse of flat sand surrounded by dunes and rolling hills. Best viewed from the southern end.

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Sanna Sands, Ardnamurchan Peninsula 

Stunning bay situated at the tip of the British mainland’s most westerly peninsula, with great views of the Small Isles. Around a series of coves and rocky islets, clear turquoise water laps beautiful white sands.

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Uyea, Shetland 

Undoubtedly a contender for Shetland’s greatest beach, although you need a low tide to see it at its best. This remote and wild tombolo beach links jagged sea stacks and cliffs with pristine white sands, beset by the sea on both sides. Seals play in turquoise surf that looks almost Caribbean. The beach is reached by a scramble down the rough cliff side. In recent years erosion and rock fall have made this more difficult, and is not recommended unless you are confident and the tide is out. However, the cliff top overlooking the beach is an excellent spot for a picnic in its own right.

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Tràigh Allt Chàilgeag, Sutherland

Quiet northern beach surrounded by pink granite and sea caves, and sitting below the ruined lost village Ceannabeinne, meaning head or end of the mountains in Gaelic.

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Eathie Haven & Salmon Bothy, Easter Ross and the Black Isle 

Descend on a path through pine and spruce trees to reach Eathie beach, where Scottish geologist Hugh Miller found his first fossils. The haven was originally a salmon fishing station, where fishermen would often live isolated for months. The former fishermen’s bothy is now open to the public and provides good shelter during bad weather, and inside you will find more information on Miller’s discoveries and the natural history of the woodland and shore. The area is also a great place to spot dolphin.

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Cullykhan Bay, Aberdeenshire 

Delightful little cove with several sites of interest. Fort Fiddes is above, and beyond it to the North is Hell’s Lum, a collapsed sea cave, which is particularly atmospheric when the waves can be heard through it.

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Wild Guide Scotland, published by Wild Things Publishing, is a celebration of the ‘hidden places, adventure and the good life’ to be found in Scotland. It was created by travel and lifestyle journalist and photographer, Kimberly Grant, photographer, writer and mountaineer, David Cooper, and travel and fashion photographer, Richard Gaston.


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