Some of our best beaches and coastal treasures in the Highlands

7 Reasons to Be(ach)eerful

Your bedroom has turned into a sauna, the smoky aromas of the barbecue are wafting in through the window, and that faint tune you hear can only be the unmistakable sound of the ice cream van. It can only mean one thing: summer is here!

Covering over 6,000 miles on the mainland alone, Scotland slots in just above Mexico, Italy, and Brazil on the list of the world’s longest coastlines. Ok so the temperature might not be quite the same, but who wants to be toasted anyway? Now that the sun’s out, August is the perfect time to strip off and soak up some Vitamin D on our bonnie banks and beaches!

You are never more than 40 miles from the coast in Scotland and to prove it here are a few of our favourite beaches within a couple of hours of our bonny Estate in Glenloy

The Silver Sands and Camusdarach Beach, Morar

silver sands

Where else to start but this ridiculously picturesque 5-mile strip between the villages of Arisaig and Morar? Often listed among the most beautiful spots in the UK, the scenes here would hardly look out of place in the Caribbean, as majestic turquoise waves break onto the dazzling sandy shores.

80s comedy Local Hero clearly played a part in raising the profile of these beaches and all kinds of day-trippers have been able to enjoy the rocky islets, machairs and dunes, enclosed on one side by Loch Morar and the other by the silhouettes of Eigg, Rum and Muck. We prefer to stay until visitors have gone through to bathe in the breath-taking colours of the sun as it exits the sky to hide behind Skye.

Distance from Glenloy: 1 hour

Sanna Sands Beach, near Kilchoan

Sanna 1

If ever you needed proof that dolphins are one of nature’s smartest animals, you only need to look where they take their holidays! Luckily there is enough of the pristine Sanna Bay for man and beast alike, as visitors soon agree when they descend from the dunes to be met with sweeping views of the sparkling sea.

This is a marine playground enjoyed not only by dolphins but also butterflies, sand martens, elusive sea eagles and even the odd whale, making it a favourite for wildlife watchers. But if that’s not your thing there’s nothing to stop you from stretching out on the sand and simply relaxing at Britain’s most westerly point.

Distance from Glenloy: 2 hours

Kentra Bay Beach, near Acharacle

Kentra Bay

Let your ears guide you round the rugged Ardnamurchan peninsula to Camas an Lighe, otherwise known as the Singing Sands. Here the size and silica content of the sand grains combine in a unique fashion when a breeze passes over, creating a melody that serenades you as you take a pleasant walk across Kentra Bay.

Round the other side, Ardtoe Beach offers not just great views, but also fantastic opportunities for swimming, canoeing, and kayaking. If you’re not planning to end up in the water, make sure you visit at low tide to take advantage of miles of exposed sand across one of the loveliest beaches on the west coast.

Distance from Glenloy: 1 hour 30 mins

Ganavan Sands Beach, Oban

Ganavan Sands copyright Allan Ogg
Copyright Allan Ogg

This charming Blue Flag beach represents the best of both worlds, boasting plenty of parking space in easy reach of Oban while maintaining a rural feel with superb options for walks.

High cliffs form a natural shelter, giving you a peaceful time relaxing on the soft sands while gazing out towards Mull and Lismore. Equally, they offer a challenge to the more adventurous who might like to embark on a hike to the 13th-century Dunstaffnage Castle beneath the looming shadow of Morven, before rewarding themselves with the sublime seafood at the nearby restaurants.

Distance from Glenloy: 1 hour 30 mins

Luss Beach, Loch Lomond

luss beach 2

One to look out for if you’re heading up from Glasgow, Luss makes for a quaint picnic stop en route to the Highlands.

The rolling curves of the Luss Hills and the calmer waters of the loch certainly create a less dramatic environment than that of the coast, but there’s no harm in treating this as a gentle warm-up for the onward journey, is there? But if it is a wee on the sedate side, you’ll be pleased to know that water skiing is among the adrenaline-pumping activities available here.

Distance from Glenloy: 2 hours

Loch Morlich, near Aviemore

Loch Morlich 1

Since we’ve already strayed a touch from the coast, this might be the time to mention Scotland’s only freshwater beach. At 300m above sea level, it’s definitely something different to your standard coastal resort, but there are plenty of reasons why this was the first loch beach to win Keep Scotland Beautiful’s Seaside Award.

Surrounded by the forests of the Cairngorms, Loch Morlich is one of the most scenic in the country and the kilometre-long stretch of sand has a designated bathing area set out for safe swimming. This is just one example of the superb facilities here, which include options to try windsurfing, stand-up paddleboarding, and much more.

Distance from Glenloy: 1 hour 40 mins

Culbin Sands Beach, Nairn

Culbin Sands

If you’re passing through the Cairngorms from Glenloy chances are you’re heading towards the beautiful Moray region. The attractive town of Nairn is probably the only east coast resort within a couple of hours of us, but you have multiple choices when you get there.

As its name suggests, Nairn Central Beach is within easy walking distance of the town, though it doesn’t feel too close to the urban world while you’re sat on the white sands trying to spot the school of dolphins. Only a few miles away, the wilder Culbin Sands really is remote – protected as an RSPB reserve, easy walking trails offer nature lovers the chance to witness oystercatchers and sea ducks in their undisturbed habitat.

Distance from Glenloy: 2 hours

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