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!
Beaches & Lochs in Skye and Lochalsh
Although the name may bring to mind whisky rather than beaches, Talisker Bay is a wonderful little sandy beach on the west coast of Skye just a short, easy walk from a car park. A huge sea stack, cliffs and waterfalls make this a wonderfully diverse and stunning beach.
Glen Brittle Beach
Glen Brittle Beach, a dark sand beach located at the head of the sea loch, Loch Brittle, and at the base of the Cuillin. A nearby campsite provides drinks, ice creams and snacks. Waterfalls dropping down the cliffs right into the sea provide dramatic scener. There is easy access to the beach. Located not far from Skye’s famous fairy pools, many choose to combine these two in an adventurous day out.
On the north east coast of Skye, 17 miles north of portree, Staffin Bay is popular with geologists since the discovery of some of Scotland’s largest dinosaur footprints in 2002. The beach is accessed by a one-mile single track road, there is a car park close to the beach.
Claigan Coral Beach
Despite its name, the beach is actually made form desiccated, sun-bleached algae rather than coral. In well-walked areas this has been ground to white sand. Accessibility is easy but care must be taken as it requires a drive up a track followed by a short walk.
Ardnish is a fantastic area for collecting fossils. The actual point, has only weatherd cup-corals but the nature of the collapsed sheets of bedrock make it an interesting place to visit. Otters, sea eagles, seals and even dolphins are commonly seen, and the shoreline has an array of seashore birdlife. There are also many interesting archaeological features and ruined crofts to explore.
The beach here gives some of the finest views of the Cuillin and is a jumping off point for boat trips to loch Coruisk The rocky shorline also gives great fossil collecting opportunities.
Camas Ban is Portree’s only sandy beach. Back in the early twentieth century small boats would ferry holidaymakers back and forth across the bay, today you either need your own transport (a sea kayak is ideal) or you need to negotiate rough ground and a steep slope to the sand. You might even get the whole beach to yourself.
Braes beach is easily accessible being close to the road, and is sheltered and sandy. With superb views towards Raasay and caves, sea stacks and an ancient fort to explore it is the perfect choice for those less than perfect weather days.
Camas Daraich, at the far south of Skye, is one of the best places on the island to spend a warm, sunny day. It’s a bit of a walk from the nearest road though, park up at Aird of Sleat and follow the signs.
Coral Beach, just north of Dunvegan is made from crushed white coral like seaweed that makes the water look tropical blue when the sun comes out. A truly magical place, perfect for a family picnic and maybe a swim.
To access this most interesting beach, the nearest parking place is located at the South West corner of Plockton airstrip. A well signposted footpath leads to a croft track which will take you to the beach in about 10 minutes. A beautiful and completely peaceful spot to linger for a while spotting wildlife.
This little visited and extremely peaceful freshwater loch just east of Kyle offers views of the Applecross mountains and remains of Neolithic settlements to discover, all on a well sign posted path.
Loch Achaidh na h-Inich
A popular hike from Balmacara this loch contains a crannog, and has the remains of a fort to investigate.