Summer is nearly here and in Scotland that means we’ll want to make the most of any sunshine we get.
So instead of going to the usual haunts, where should we be going to find the most rewarding beaches with pristine golden sands and beautiful aquamarine water?
Not only does Scotland have an abundance of beaches that will rival any in the world, influential travel mag Condé Nast Traveler has put together its list of the best beaches in the UK and six of them are in Scotland.
The team wrote: “From the well-loved Cornwall coast to the secret sandy spots in Scotland, we’ve searched high and low to bring you our pick of the best beaches in the UK.”
Here are the beautiful Scottish beaches they recommend.
Luskentyre, Outer Hebrides
Voted one of the top 25 beaches in the world by travelers based on TripAdvisor reviews and ratings in 2020, Luskentyre on the Isle of Harris is truly one of Scotland’s best.
Conde Nast said: “Azure-green waters less associated with Scotland than with the Caribbean: clear as crystal, and trimmed by vast white coastline.
“Occasionally, wild ponies are spotted grazing along the dunes.”
Scarista Beach, Isle of Harris
The Isle of Harris is home to a number of truly stunning white sandy beaches, and Scarista might be the best of them
Conde Nast said: “Scarista Beach is one of its best beaches: an immense space, made up of thousands of shell-scattered pale-gold sand, backed with dunes and lapped by waters that look decidedly un-Scottish (though a wetsuit might be advisable outside of summer months).”
Achmelvich Beach, North West Highlands
The west coast is home to some of Scotland’s most dramatic and windswept scenery. Heading up the northwestern coast, you’ll discover one of Scotland’s best-kept secrets.
Conde Nast said: “Achmelvich has a series of lovely, intimate beaches backed by a picturesque, flowering landscape. It offers clean white sands (no dogs in summer holidays), clear, safe waters where porpoises swim in summer, an annual sandcastle-building competition and Europe’s tiniest castle, Hermit’s Castle.”
Machir Bay, Islay
Considered to be the spiritual home of whiskey (well of the peated variety at the very least), Islay – The Queen of the Hebrides – has many strings to its bow including its beautiful beaches.
Conde Nast said: “One of the fairest stretches of sand of them all. It’s got a simple but perennially pleasing beauty: more than a mile of white-sand shoreline and a well-deserved reputation for stunning sunsets.”
Uig Beach, Isle of Lewis
Much like the aforementioned Harris, the Isle of Lewis is home to some truly breathtaking stretches of white sand and aquamarine waters.
Conde Nast said: “Uig Beach itself, or Uig Sands, is our pick – an unusually stunning landscape with bright, inviting waters.”
“‘Here are golden shifting sand dunes, machair grassland, myriad islets and rugged cliffs,” writes former Acting Deputy Editor Michelle Jana Chan, who wishes she could once more “camp here on the springy moss, awaken to the trill of the curlew, and then kite-surf at high tide in the shallow waters.”
St Cyrus, Aberdeenshire
Not to be outdone by the west coast and its dynamic array of islands, the northeast coast is represented on the list by the idyllic St Cyrus beach.
Conde Nast said: “Bordered by red granite cliffs and set in a National Nature Reserve, it plays host to a superabundance of wildlife: butterflies and fulmars reign the skies, whilst porpoises are often spotted in the sea.”
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