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Travel: Best beaches in Scotland to enjoy the summer sunshine

© RODDY SCOTTPortobello Beach, Edinburgh.
Portobello Beach, Edinburgh.

We may not always get the warm sunshine but when it comes to beauty, Scotland’s beaches could give the Caribbean a run for its money.

From the pure white sands of Mull to the bustling seaside resorts a stone’s throw from our biggest cities, Scotland’s coastal haunts make for a great day out or a mini staycation. Here VisitScotland shares some of the best…

Portobello

Edinburgh is often celebrated for its castle, family attractions, summer festivals and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, but it is also a prime location for wild swimming. The slightly chilly waters of Portobello Beach have become a firm favourite.

Waterfront, Dundee

The city is set to celebrate its status as the undisputed home of comics with the Dundee Summer (Bash) Streets Festival, taking place from July 14-24. Dundee will become Beanotown as the much-loved comic characters will take over the streets of the city for an extravaganza of workshops, events, and stories.

© Supplied by V&A Dundee
Dundee waterfront.

Aberdeen

Spend the morning sightseeing in the city before heading to the sandy shores of Aberdeen beach, a short walk away from the city centre.

With a range of cafes and restaurants, a fun fair and cinema, Aberdeen beach makes for an excellent afternoon outing.

Nairn

Nairn’s superb sandy beach is extremely popular with families. Be sure to keep an eye on the horizon as its coastline is home to a resident school of dolphins. There is also a great range of coastal walks with a nature reserve at Kingsteps in the east and a beautiful viewpoint to the west.

© Andrew Cawley
Gourock outdoor swimming pool.

Lunderston Bay, Inverkip

Not too far from Glasgow, Lunderston Bay is the perfect spot for families to kick back and relax.

The vast, grassy area provides plenty of space for playing games and leads to the blend of sandy beach and pebble shores, ideal for building sandcastles and rock pooling, while the nearby garden centre café is another great stop-off on a brilliant day out.

Just a stone’s throw away, visitors can also enjoy an ice-cream in Gourock and take a dip in the town’s heated outdoor pool.

Ganavan Sands, Oban

Be sure to visit Dunollie Museum, Castle and Grounds before arriving at Ganavan Bay, which boasts picturesque sandy beaches, with easy access and great views out to Mull, Lismore and Morven.

Fife Coastal Path

Explore Scotland’s rich history while enjoying spectacular views of the coast and surrounding beaches.

From Kincardine Bridge in the south to the Tay Road Bridge in the north, this 81-mile walk passes through a number of quaint fishing villages perfect for an ice cream pit stop. Discover historic castles and caves and enjoy an abundance of wildlife.

Calgary beach, Mull

Calgary gives its name to the city in the province of Alberta in Canada. The beach in the north of Mull is flanked by cliffs with views overlooking Coll and Tiree, the crystal-clear waters and stretches of silver sands are sure to take the breath away.

This peaceful haven is ideal for families and their four-legged friends.

No matter the time of year; rain, hail, or shine, the beach is the perfect place for a walk, followed by a refreshing coffee or ice cream crafted in the boat-converted hut that looks out over the bay.

© Shutterstock / Dmitry Naumov
Calgary Bay, Isle of Mull.

Balephuil Bay, Tiree

With white-shell beaches and turquoise waters, Balephuil Bay is the perfect place for a swim and a firm favourite with surfers, thanks to the warm waters brought in by the Gulf Stream.

Be sure to take binoculars, as this is a favourite place among nature lovers, with a wealth of wildlife to discover around this part of the island’s northwest coastline.

Although technically not a beach, Loch Morlich near Aviemore feels like one. Surrounded by forest and fringed by sandy shores this tranquil loch water provides the perfect spot for a paddle.


P.S.

Although technically not a beach, Loch Morlich near Aviemore feels like one. Surrounded by forest and fringed by sandy shores this tranquil loch water provides the perfect spot for a paddle.

Factfile:

For more things to see and do around Scotland, go to visitscotland.com