There are no end of stunning beaches and lochs to be seen across the Highlands and Islands. Many are easily accessed but some will require a sturdy pair of walking boots! Whether fishing, swimming or relaxing with a book, bear in mind that the Scottish weather can change in the blink of an eye, so a backpack with towel, waterproof and sun cream should cover all bases!


Ettrick Bay

Ettrick Bay is a wide, sandy beach with a cafeteria and shipwreck which runs for approximately a mile and is popular with both visitors and locals who enjoy paddling in the beautiful, clear waters.

ettrick bay


Stravannan Bay can be reached on foot by following the signs for the West Island Way from the coast road to Kingarth , it sits directly opposite Arran and is wonderfully peaceful. From here you can see the different layers of volcanic rock that make up this part of the island and further round the bay you can see the vitrified fort at Dunagoil.

Lamlash Beach

The still bay and view of Holy Isle make Lamlash beach a favourite with active locals. The little ones can collect seashells or play on the swings while you get together your picnic.

kildonan beaxc

Kildonan Beach

Kildonan is home to Silver Sands – probably the most beautiful beach on Arran. To access this beach you can use the steps down from the cliff top, or meander from Kildonan Campsite along to the left – watch out for the seals basking on the rocks.

Corran Sands

To access Corran Sands and stunning views of the paps head north from Craighouse until you reach the arched bridge. Just over the bridge turn right to Knockrome and a wee track on your right that takes you to the airstrip and beach.

corran sands
big strand islay

Big Strand

At seven miles long this is Islay’s longest beach so there is little chance you wont be able to find a spot all to yourself.

Killinallan Beach

A forty minute walk from the road takes you down to a completely unspoiled part of Islay. Wildlife abounds and the views are spectacular. Its adjacent to the RSPB reserve so you should see lots of interesting birds (and few people).

Killinallan beach
Machir bay Islay

Machir Bay

Take a walk along the green, boggy flatlands, pass the iconic stone Celtic Cross of Kilchoman and you’ll come to Machir, one of the fairest stretches of sand of them all. It’s got a simple but perennially pleasing beauty: more than a mile of white-sand shoreline and a well-deserved reputation for stunning sunsets. Hike down to the south end and you’ll also come across a crumbling Iron Age fort hidden amongst the coastal crags.

Oronsay Island

Cross The Strand at low tide to reach the island of Oronsay and visit the ancient Priory before heading round the coast renowned for its grey seal colony.

saddell bay

Saddell Bay

Famous for being the place where the music video for Paul McCartney’s Mull of Kintyre was filmed and a fantastic area ideal for wild swimming.

Machrihanish Beach

This golden beach next to the Golf Club runs for over 3 miles and provides some of the best surfing in Scotland.

machrihanish beach
ganavan sands

Ganavan Sands

Two miles north of Oban past the ruin of Dunollie Castle with paid parking and free toilets. Popular with locals and dog walkers.

Tralee Beach

A quiet beach, with shingle at one end and sand dunes at the other a short walk from Benderloch. Just offshore is the wreck of the Breda, one of the most popular dive sites in the area.

kilchurn castle

Loch Awe

The photogenic Kilchurn castle sits at the northern end of this loch and can be visited by a short walk from the car park near the River Orchy.