Last updated: August 19, 2022 at 8:38 am
Scotland is full of beautiful beaches, some with dramatic cliffscapes, others with beautiful grassland and rolling dunes. But many of the beaches are tourist hotspots, which sometimes just isn’t what you want.
If you’re after a relaxing day on a Scottish beach, you’ll want to visit one of the quietest beaches in Scotland. All the typical Scottish beauty, but without the screaming children and beach BBQs.
IN THIS ARTICLE
1. Sandwood Bay
This beach faces onto the North Atlantic and is one of Scotland’s wildest and quietest beaches. You cannot reach the beach by car alone, as the nearest road stops 4 miles away from the coast itself. Once you reach the end of the road, you will need to walk the rest of the way to the bay.
Once there, you can enjoy the fierceness of the North Atlantic and the beautiful sunrises and sunsets across it. The bay is also home to Am Buachaille, a beautiful and dramatic sea stack, as well as the bay’s characteristic pink sand.
2. Seacliff Beach
For those staying or living near Edinburgh, this is the perfect quiet and remote beach for you. It is a 50-minute drive from the city and is a privately owned beach. The owners allow visitors entry for £3, which is a price worth paying!
The beach offers fantastic views across the Forth, and visitors can even spot Bass Rock from the shore. It is a very well-kept beach and has plenty of rock pools, soft sand, and glorious sunsets, and sunrises. For those interested in history, the beach also offers a unique view of Tantallon Castle.
3. Farr Bay Beach
Farr Bay Beach is one of the stunning beaches that feature on the famous North Coast 500 walk, and for good reason. It is incredibly pretty and has grassy dunes and dramatic hills all around it.
As well as being a beauty, the site is also an incredible spot for those looking to watch the great Scottish wildlife and is even a great place for those interested in surfing. Enjoy a dip in the water as you watch golden eagles fly overhead and seals relax on the sand.
4. Balnahard Beach
Located in Colonsay, Balnahard beach is one of many beautiful sandy stretches in the area. The beach is not one of the isle’s most popular, but it is definitely a quiet and scenic place for anyone to visit. With views of Mull, Scarba, and Jura, the beach is a great place to sit and relax on a clear day.
The water is also incredibly clean and the beach itself is well kept, owing to it being such a quiet and unknown destination. You cannot drive to Balnahard and must instead walk for 3.5 miles from the main roads, which often puts people off visiting, making it all the more remote and secret!
5. Luskentyre Sands
Over in the Outer Hebrides, the Western Isles of Scotland, sit the islands Harris and Lewis. Visitors to the Isle of Harris should be sure to take a trip to Luskentyre Sands. By far one of the quietest beaches in Scotland, it has miles of white sand that sinks into crystal blue waters. There are incredible views of Taransay, and beautiful rolling hills and wildflowers around.
The beach is quiet, but it has also gained much more appreciation in recent years, labelling it as one of the top 20 beaches in the world.
Also read: 19 Best Quiet Beaches in the UK
6. Lunan Bay
Anyone searching for a quiet beach with dramatic cliffscapes and dunes should visit Lunan Bay. The beach is overlooked by incredible cliffs and backed by rolling sandy dunes. The beach faces fierce and cool waters as they travel toward the North Sea, challenging any swimmers or surfers to have a dip.
If that wasn’t enough to entice you, there is also a cave on the beach and smashing views of the 12-century Red Castle. Pair that with the incredible wildlife which has been known to include rare birds, and the occasional horseback rider, Lunan Bay is simply something out of a novel.
7. Big Sands Beach
Big Sands, despite its name, is a sand and shingle beach. It is protected and covered from the harsh Scottish winds by Longa Island and the expanse of large dunes that must be navigated in order to access it.
The beach offers some truly impressive views of the island, the cliffs, and brilliant sunsets and sunrises. It also has some basic facilities nearby, including toilets, a shop, and a shower, making it a more accessible and quiet option.
8. Strathy Bay
Strathy Bay is a remote and wide beautiful beach on the northern coast of Scotland. It is home to stunning rolling hills, cliffs, and the River Strathy as well as numerous caves and sea stacks. A popular surfing and watersports destination, the beach is protected from much of the harsh Scottish weather, allowing it to be enjoyed even as winter rolls in.
There is plenty to see at Strathy Bay, but there are also a few things nearby such as a pub and hotel to warm up in after a dip in the cool water.
9. Sinclairs Bay
Just 15 miles south of John O’Groats, this beach is one of the most northerly beaches in Scotland. It is near Wick, where you can enjoy boat trips, museums, and good food, and the beach itself is completely stunning. Quiet and peaceful, the stretches of white sands contrast the dark shades of the North Sea and create a truly Instagram-worthy beach experience.
In the winter, visitors to the beach run the chance of seeing the Northern Lights, and in the summer, the sun does not set on the beach until almost midnight due to its position on the globe.
10. Gruinard Beach
Near Little Gruinard, Gruinard Beach is a relatively small sandy beach that is secluded from the rest of its surroundings. It offers incredible views of the rugged countryside and on a clear day, you can see Gruinard Island across the water and even Coigach Hills.
The beauty doesn’t stop there, though, the beach itself is also home to astonishing clear waters and rock pools, making it popular with local walkers and dog walkers, as well as geologists.
You can access the beach from the parking along the A832 but be aware that there is a steep set of stairs to access the beach and there are no facilities.
11. Seilebost Beach
Seilebost Beach is across the bay from Lyskentyre Beach and has previously been voted one of the best beaches in the world. It is incredibly beautiful, with pure sands and stunning aquamarine waters. There are rocky patches that slope down into the sea, giving the beach a more wild appearance than many popular coastal destinations.
Across the water, you can enjoy the sights of Taransay and Ben Luskentyre, and watch the waves across the bay. Visitors should be aware, however, that quicksand does occasionally form in the wet sand at low tide.
12. Red Point North Beach
Just 10 miles away from Gairloch, this beach is the perfect isolated and secluded quiet beach. It requires a journey down from the car park, through the dunes to the beach, but once there it is entirely worth it. With stretches of red and pink sand, grassy slopes and dunes, and incredible rock pools to explore, the beach has so much to see and enjoy.
Across the water, you can enjoy the sights of the Western Isles and you may even be able to see some sea otters and gannets, as well as potentially some porpoises in the clear sea.