13 Reasons Why Scots Should Staycation in Scotland
Travel

13 Reasons Why Scots Should Staycation in Scotland

13 Reasons Why Scots Should Staycation in Scotland

Everyone knows, holidaying with the family is expensive and if you don’t book at just the right time the prices skyrocket. When you go abroad it can be difficult working out the exchange rate if (you’re like me and) you’re not good with numbers. Not to mention, everyone in your resort might speak your language, but the chance of everyone else being able to…not so high. Well fear not, if you want those white sandy beaches but can’t afford a trip to the Bahamas look no further than Scotland. Let me give you 10 reasons why and see if you’re not converted to a little staycation here yourself.

1. Berneray Bay, North Uist, Outer Hebrides

Berneray West Beach

North Uist is a little island and like many places in Scotland, is very proud of it’s heritage and boasts about it in their Nurses Cottage visitor centre. This is a good base for working out your itinerary if you’re looking for some sightseeing e.g. seal watching, see the famous Cladh Maolrithe (which is a very old and massive stone that stands eight feet tall and goes into the ground roughly eight feet also), it also boasts water sports such as wind and kite surfing. Or you could simply sit on the beach, on a sunny day and it’s not a stretch to imagine you’re far far away.

2. Borve Beach, Isle of Harris

Borve Beach, Isle of Harris

This beach with it’s pristine white sand surrounded by sloping grassy hills and turquoise water looks out onto the Atlantic Ocean. Nearby activities include Kayaking/canoeing, diving, snorkelling, decent fishing spots, sailing and surfing. Visitors are allowed in the water. You’ll be glad to know there are toilet and disabled facilities at this beach and it is dog friendly.

3. Camusdarach Beach, Morar

Camusdarach Beach, Morar

This beach sits between Arisaig and Mallaig with it’s rolling miles of gorgeous sand dunes. There are a few sandy beaches in the Morar vicinity. There is a campsite nearby and the beach looks out onto the unspoiled viewof the Isle of Skye. You can travel to Mallaig for a selection of local shops and the local ferry port where you can get the ferry to Skye.

4. Knockvologan, Isle of Mull

Knockvologan, Isle of Mull

The Isle of Mull has an abundance of stunning white sandy beaches with crystal clear water, but this one is my favourite. While the beach itself is a little remote, the Isle of Mull has an abundance of beaches and attractions e.g. Pony trekking; wildlife including birds, otters, seals, whales, dolphins and deer; places to eat, to name but a few. Ferries can be taken from Fionnphort to neighbouring island of Iona.

5. Mellon Udrigle, Wester Ross

Mellon Udrigle

This beach is quite remote with no facilities in close proximity and visitors really need to bring everything with them. There is a campsite nearby and both are more favoured by those with young children who enjoy exploring the rockpools and shell hunting. Seals and seabirds do frequent this beach, so stay close to your picnic lunch. Dog walkers are welcome just not so much between Easter till the end of summer, but don’t be surprised to see sheep grazing on the grassy areas by the beach.

6. Tolsta Bay, Isle of Lewis

Tolsta Beach

This beach is located at the north end of the Isle of Lewis. It sports a famous walk along the cost over the ‘Bridge of nowhere’ also known as the Garry Bridge on the path to Ness. Following the path is tricky, not just because of the sheer mesmerizing beauty of this island, but because at points it is not always obvious where the path is. Also this route is very wet, and sufficient footwear is advised.

7. Traigh Ban Beach, Isle of Iona

Traigh Ban Beach, Isle of Iona

The full name of the beach is Traigh Ban Nam Monach which is Gaelic for ‘white strand of the monks’. The island itself is very small, measuring only 3 miles long and 1.5 miles in width, yet it still manages to sport a golf course. Most people travel between the island from the Isle of Mull as a ferry operates regularly.

8. Vatersay Bay, Isle of Barra

Vatersay Bay Isle of Barra

The Isle of Barra is home to the largest colonies of seabirds such as guillemots, gannet, razorbill and my personal favourite, puffins. Barra has its own golf course and you can take boat trips to the neighbouring uninhabited islands which can be seen from Vatersay Beach.

9. Luskentyre Sands, Isle of Harris

Luskentyre Isle of Harris

This is one of the largest beaches on the island. The Isle of Harris and the Isle of Lewis are actually the north and south parts of the same island – it sounds weird I know but it’s very true. The island is also famous for its big brand name Luskentyre Harris Tweed Co. The most popular things to do on the island besides hillwalking are cycling and fishing.

10. Ceannabeinne Beach, Highlands

Caennabeinne Beach, Highlands

The beach has unspoiled views of the island of Eilean Hoan. The area also offers cycling and to the East there are zip slides across the beach. Also there is Smoo Cave, well worth a visit but not ideal if you have bad knees as the steps are very steep, for those that do visit you will not be disappointed as it sports a gorgeous waterfall. It’s free to visit and walk around but there are guided tours if you want to find out more information about it. There is also the John Lennon Memorial Garden which is worth a visit. There is a nearby caravan and camping site as well as the village of Durness itself.

11. Sandwood Bay, Kinlockbervie

Sandwood Bay

The beach faces the north of the Atlantic, and that makes it ideal to spot marine life such as dolphins just off the coast. Sandwood Bay is famous for its early 1900’s story of a local crofter who claimed one day spotted a mermaid lounging on the rocks which apparently scared him and his dog. From the south of the beach, you can see just out to sea the large sandstone stack known as Am Buachaille which is Gaelic for The Herdsman. Behind the dunes that surround the beach, there is a body of fresh water called Sandwood Loch which is ideal for trout fishing. This beach is large and so remote there is no road access to it, the nearest car park is 4 miles away. Access to the beach from here is a fairly flat and well used path.

12. Sanna Sands, Lochaber

Sanna Sands Lochaber

Sanna Sands is 30 miles up a single track road and this remoteness which only adds to its sheer unspoiled beauty. Part of this road going through Achnaha, you quite literally drive across an extinct volcano – rarely can anyone say they have done this to get to a gorgeous beach in Scotland. If you take a short climb to the north of the beach, on higher ground is Sanna Point where to the north you can see the islands of Eigg and Rum. Just beyond these on a clear day you may also be able to see Skye. If you look south west you should be able to see Ardnamurchan Point and its lighthouse which was built in 1849.

13. Scarista Bay, Isle of Harris

Scarista Bay Isle of Harris

This beach is popular with surfers and golfers, with a nearby course aptly named Isle of Harris Golf Club. The beach looks out onto the island known as the Sound of Taransay. The village of Scarista is small but sports a hotel with restaurant, Scarista House serving local cuisine and I’ve heard it has a great wine list. There are other things to see on the Isle of Harris such as 16th Century St Clements church or the distillery which does tours and has a large canteen where it sells local produce, and also a café for those looking for a spot of lunch.