Live by the sea

Our nation has beaches to rival Bali, ice-cream that’s world-renowned and more priceless gems than an episode of Fawlty Towers. We’ve trawled the coastline to bring you our guide to the quirkiest, quaintest and most jaw-droppineg beautiful beaches in Scotland. Words: Maureen Ellis


The rich. golden. sloping sands of the Fife reson and its brightly- painted beach huts make Elie picture-postcard central. lts dunes and curved bay means that the beach IS sheltered and sea IS safe for bathing. Nostalgia-freaks will be disappomted that the donkey rides are no longer available. but the town does have good faCiIities including a waterspOrts centre. Great Views of Bass Rock. Don’t miss: The Elie and Earlsferry sailing school can turn the picture-postcard dream into reality.

I Fife. Situated to the east of Kirkcaldy on the A97 7. Nearest train.- Kirkca/dy.

Fiscavalg Bay

Nestled towards the SOuth-west of Skye in a sheltered bay. Fiscavaig IS a hidden trove of white sands and clear waters. The name means ‘harbour of vessels' which is ironic. given its deserted nature. Head towards the north of the island to take in the famOtis coral sands of Claigan, near Dunvegan.

I Portna/ong, near Ardtreck Point, Isle of Skye, Inner Hebrides. Accessed by heading north-west along Skye '3 88009. Daily ferries from Mal/aig to Skye. Nearest train: Kyle of Lochalsh.

Kiloran Beach [

A Virtually untouched stretch of coast. regarded as the best and I most popular in the Hebrides. Kiloran's golden crescent of sand is i over a mile long and a viking ship was once excavated from its , dunes. The beach is also home to varied wildlife. with some of its rock pools deep enough for diving. Be warned. though: strong currents can make bathing dangerous.

I Isle of Colonsay, Inner Hebrides. Accessed by ferry from Oban. which operates three times a week. Nearest train: Oban.

Vatersay Bay

Lying to the south of Barra. and joined by a man-made causeway. Vatersay has two stretches of breath-taking white sand lapped by Crystal clear waters. Green hills border the coastlines; the east lacing beach is sheltered and calm. while the west-facing shore is good for surfing.

I Vatersay, Outer Hebrides. Accessible from Barra. See Traigh Eais, below.

Sango Bay

Close to Durness. the most north-westerly village in Scotland. Sango Bay's scenic turquoise waters and imposing cliffs on three sides w0uldn't look out of place in southern Spain. The Blue Flag beach has a visitOrs' centre and good camping facilities.

I Durness. High/ands. Accessible by single track road from the A838. Nearest train: Thurso.

Traigh Eats

Most famous for having the world‘s only landing airstrip on a beach. Barra's beaches are a mix of sand and shell. Traigh Eais beach lies to the west of the island, where the next westerly land is in the good ol' US of A. The deserted stretches of white sands are banked by graSSy verges and the area is growing in prominence as a surfers' destination.

I Berra. Western Isles. Can be reached by ferry from Oban. and the A888 encircles the island. Nearest train: Oban.

West and Best Beach

A centuries-old holiday destination, Nairn's histOry as a beach locale is reflected in its designation as a royal burgh. The west beach is particularly rocky with many pools ripe f0r exploring. while the expanse of white sand on the east beach stretches for miles. I Nairn. 50 miles north-east of lnverness on the A96. Nearest train: Nairn.

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