The scenery surrounding St Ninian’s Isle in Shetland looks like something straight out of National Geographic. This wee island is attached to the largest active ‘tombolo’ (or ‘ayre’ in local lingo) in the UK. The great big bays sweep around the ‘muckle’ (huge) swathes of silver sands. Keen fishermen gravitate to this haven to fish in the ‘voes’, or bays. There is nothing more fascinating than watching sea trout dancing above and below Atlantic-sized waves chasing the minnow bait. In 1958, a local schoolboy and archaeologists unearthed hidden treasure that dated back to 800 AD, which contained silver bowls and jewellery. The real treasure, however, is the spectacular beaches.
The Isle of Skye hosts a myriad of majestic beaches that are begging to be explored – here you have a real pick of the bunch. Staffin is famed for its geology and rugged setting. However, there is one detail that makes this beach extra special – dinosaurs! Yes, dinosaur footprints were discovered on the An Corran beach. Put yourself in the shoes of these fascinating creatures and trek across the remarkable land. Most find it to be wonderfully peaceful.
Here, 46 miles worth of beautiful beaches wrap and wind around the glorious Isle of Tiree (the most westerly isle of the Inner Hebrides). The silky white sands are stunning and the little pockets of tidal paddling pools could not be more conveniently placed across the area. Don’t forget sunglasses – Tiree happens to be one of the sunniest places in the British Isles. Surfers that are constantly searching for that perfect wave may just find it here. The prevailing southwesterly winds from the Atlantic are ideal for the Tiree Wave Classic, a National Championship Windsurfing Contest.
When the trials and tribulations of life become too much, take a well-deserved break and venture to Nairn, just like the Victorians did in the 19th century. The waters of this sandy beach are said to contain medicinal qualities. It is no surprise that this ancient fishing port has won multiple awards for its beaches. Take a stroll along the pretty promenade and enjoy the views – make sure you bring binoculars too and start practicing animal calls because dolphins dwell at Moray Firth. Charlie Chaplin was a big fan of Nairn, too.
The sand dunes at Tyninghame Beach in East Lothian are there to be marvelled at. Standing tall and proud, these dunes are remarkable and offer panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. Set your eyes upon the Bass Rock (the famous island sanctuary for seabirds) in North Berwick, and the Firth Of Forth. With its hidden paths, forest entrance, undulating surfaces and vast open space, this beach is popular for walkers and horse riders. The dozens of concrete anti-tank blocks from the Second World War that are dotted along the beach are like something straight out of a surreal sci-fi movie.
Machrihanish is a surfer’s paradise. Waves reach ridiculous heights, and the choppy waters make it a surfing playground. Have a gander at all the wonderful stones scattered around, too. The main beach is approximately three miles south of Westport, and the south end of the beach provides a shelter from the south-western gales. Surfing enthusiasts, what are you waiting for?
Harris boasts a great number of the most iconic and beautiful beaches in the British Isles. Each and every one looks like a scene straight out of Game Of Thrones. Luskentyre is on the west coast of South Harris and is an ideal sanctuary, where people can take refuge and recuperate. The sea is picture perfect with its terrific shades of blue and green. Head just along the coast and witness the sensational Scarista beach, another fine jewel of Scotland. Seals frequent this sparkling land, as should you.