Sailing Scotland's best beaches

Date published: 03 July 2020

From sparkling white sands that look as if they’ve been imported from the Caribbean to cobalt coasts chock-full of incredible wildlife, Scotland’s beaches are among the best in the world.

Whether you’re searching for sands so spectacular they’ve lured photographers and filmmakers for decades or secluded shores that offer the kind of serenity that’s almost impossible to find in the modern world, there’s a Scottish beach that offers exactly what you’re looking for. You simply #MustSeaScotland and sink your toes into their sands!

Grab your free Sail Scotland brochure, plan your own unforgettable adventure sailing Scotland and make sure you share them with us on social media by tagging them with #MustSeaScotland or uploading them to our gallery - but please be sure to follow all guidance and #RespectTheDestination. 

Silver Sands of Morar

Morar, West Coast

Strung like pearls along the coastline from Arisaig to Morar, the Silver Sands of Morar are some of Scotland’s most beautiful beaches. Featured in films such as Highlander and Local Hero, their spectacularly blue shallows and sparkling shores have long lured photographers, film-makers and lovers seeking to score their names in the sand. You can see why.

Looking to step behind the silver screen? Check out our guide to sailing iconic film and tv locations in Scotland!

East Beach

Vatersay, Outer Hebrides

The first time you catch a glimpse of the Isle of Vatersay’s East Beach and you might think you’ve strayed far, far off course and ended up in the Seychelles. Sweeping white sands, sparkling aquamarine waters and rolling hills in the distance – the bay is one of Scotland’s most beautiful beaches and well worth the trip to the southernmost tip of the Outer Hebrides.

Sanna Bay

Ardnamurchan, West Coast

Set on mainland Britain’s most westerly point on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, Sanna Bay offers magnificent scenery, rolling sands plucked straight from a picture postcard and breathtaking views of the Small Isles. Even dolphins seem taken by its spectacular landscapes and can often be found frolicking in its azure waters.

(c) Moonshadow Yacht Charter

Luskentyre Sands

Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides

No cruise to the Outer Hebrides is complete without a visit to South Harris’ spectacular Luskentyre Sands – although you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d sailed into the Caribbean. Miles of blindingly white sands, crystal-clear turquoise water – it’s like a little Hebridean slice of Barbados!

East Sands

St Andrews, East Coast

It may be known worldwide as The Home of Golf but there’s much more to the beautiful coastal town of St Andrews than just gorgeous greens and fairways. The medieval town’s spectacular beaches played a pivotal role in the Oscar-winning film Chariots of Fire, with the two rival runners pounding the shores in the iconic scenes that bookend the movie. Setting sail to pay homage? Make sure you have Vangelis’ titular theme song on your iPod!

Scotland’s incredible landscapes and coasts are no stranger to the silver screen. Find out more in our #SailHollywood guide!

(c) VisitScotland

Sandwood Bay

Kinlochbervie, Sutherland

Often called the most beautiful beach in Britain, Sandwood Bay is a striking stretch of pink sand flanked by colossal cliffs and backed by the large dunes of Sandwood Loch. Unreachable by road, it’s also known as Britain’s most remote beach. Standing alone on its dunes, admiring the haunting beauty of the sea stack of Am Buachaille (“the shepherd”) as it stands its ground against the might of the Atlantic Ocean is an unforgettable experience.

Camus Cul an Tabh

Iona, Inner Hebrides

“The Bay at the Back of the Ocean” (so called because the next landfall is Newfoundland) might be one of Iona’s lesser-known beaches but it’s also arguably its most spectacular. Bordered by beautiful wildflower meadows and a cobalt coastline, its blindingly white sands are among the best Scotland has to offer.

Traigh Mhor

Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides

Only in Scotland can a trip to the beach mean sharing the sands with aircraft! On Barra’s Traigh Mhor (“Big Beach”), propeller planes swoop right onto the sands.  It’s the only scheduled flight in the world that lands on a runway that's washed by tides twice a day! When it’s not serving as the planet’s most spectacular landing strip, its wide arc of gleaming white sand makes it one of Scotland's most beautiful beaches.

(c)  Julia Amies-Green

Bostadh Beach

Great Bernera, Outer Hebrides  

Whether you’re stepping back in time in the Bosta Iron Age House, ringing the Time & Tide Bell, or simply strolling along the sparkling white shell sands and enjoying it spectacular views, Bosta Beach is a unique experience. Set sail and experience it for yourself.

(c) Moonshadow Yacht Charter