Posted 30th Nov 2017
Ask anyone to think of Scotland, and they’d probably conjure up images of rolling green valleys and glens with the odd loch thrown in for good measure. But… did you know Scotland is also bursting at the seams with utterly idyllic white sand beaches?
Some are so picture-perfect they could be mistaken for far flung tropical locations like the Maldives, Hawaii or Mauritius.
Alas, the temperatures may differ ever so slightly, but to celebrate St Andrew’s Day, and with over 50 hotels in Scotland, Premier Inn has rounded up some of the most beautiful beaches that definitely don’t look like they’re in Scotland!
North Coast of Iona
The small island of Iona lies off the southwest coast of Mull in the Inner Hebrides. At just 1.5 miles wide and 3 miles long, it won’t take you long to experience all the beautiful beaches on offer. It has a population of just 120 permanent residents, and in addition to the scattering of stunning beaches, there’s also an array of incredible wildlife to spot when you visit this achingly beautiful place, like seals, puffins, dolphins, whales and basking sharks.
Luskentyre sands, Isle of Harris
Located on the west coast of South Harris in the Outer Hebrides, Luskentyre is one of the largest and most spectacular beaches on Harris. Boasting miles of white sand and stunning green-blue water, this unique place was actually named as one of the UK’s best beaches in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.
Morar beach, Morar
On the West coast of Scotland, north of Fort William, you’ll find the beach of Morar. Famous for its stunning silver sands and crystal clear turquoise water, the beach has shallow water to paddle in. From here, you can also marvel at views out to the wonderfully-named isles of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna.
Eoligarry Beach, Isle of Barra
Ideal for walks and picnics, this white shell sand beach can be found near the most northerly point on the Isle Of Barra. The magnificent sandy beach is backed by dunes and the sands connect the rocky northern part of Barra, in the southern Outer Hebrides to the rocks of Ben Eoligarry Mór.
Traigh Lar, Isle of Harris
The expansive beach provides stunning views across to the Isle of Taransay and towards the Harris Hills. A great spot for bracing walks and at the north end of the beach, you will find the legendary standing stone of Clach MhicLeoid, up a short, steep slope, which is rumoured to have been erected around 5,000 years ago.
Bhatarsaigh Bay, Vatersay
Vatersay is the southernmost inhabited island in the Outer Hebrides. Approximately, it spans just three miles by three, but is so deeply indented by the sea from the east and west that only a narrow strip of sandy grassland and dunes prevent it from actually being two separate islands. The eastern bay is where we find our long and absolutely beautiful sandy beach.
Langamull beach, Isle of Mull
Dubbed the Mull Caribbean, this beach is ‘one of Mull’s best kept secrets’. Treating visitors to an expanse of glistening white shell sand, it also boasts some hidden coves to explore. It’s a stunning secluded beach that requires a good 20 minute walk to get there, but the spectacular views out to Rum on a clear day make a trip well worth it.
Mellon Udrigle, Wester Ross
This exquisite white sandy beach offers unparalleled views of the spectacular Highland mountains. Backed by dunes, Mellon Udrigle is an incredibly attractive piece of coastline in Wester Ross. With clear, turquoise water and clean white sand, the beach is spectacular, but with the distant mountain vista this place is truly unique.
West Beach, Berneray
Stretching for a massive three miles, this expanse of white sand made up from broken shells is ideal for walking and is also a haven for wildlife in the summer months. The grassland is also dotted with an assorted variety of wildflowers, including some rare orchids that make a visit well worth it.
The Monks, Iona
The full name of this glistening white shell sand beach is Traigh Ban Nam Monach, which is Gaelic for ‘white strand of the monks’. It’s an incredibly striking landscape - Iona can get quite busy in the summer months, so the beautiful beaches are a perfect retreat for a more tranquil experience.
Imagery courtesy of Alamy