A beach guide has rated Scottish sand spots as among the best in the UK.
Shetland is due for a multi-million pound boost to its tourism this year after five of its beaches were rated best in Britain.
The idyllic spots were listed among a total of 54 beaches in Scotland that were said to have excellent water quality.
The Marine Conservation Society’s annual Good Beach Guide gave top marks to the sands of Breckon, St Ninians Isle, West Voe Sands, Tresta Sands and West Sandwick on Shetland.
The prestigious awards will make Shetland a top choice for holidaymakers heading for Scotland’s beaches in the Easter break.
Almost 20 of the beaches listed in this year’s good beach guide have been awarded top marks every year since 2011.
The high-scoring locations include Seacliff in East Lothian, Strathy Bay in the Highlands, Ganavan in Argyll & Bute, Culzean in South Ayrshire, Elie in Fife and Lunan Bay in Angus.
Shetland’s beach success comes on the back of its recent media exposure through BBC crime drama Shetland.
The islands have also just come second in a new tourism survey that could see it share in a windfall of up to £100 million.
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said Scotland’s beaches are a draw for holidaymakers around the world.
He said: “For more than 50 beaches in Scotland to be rated as ‘excellent’ by the Marine Conservation Society is a real coup for Scottish tourism.
“It’s also incredible news that Shetland is home to five of them. The spotlight is truly on Shetland as the place to visit.
“We hope this current focus will encourage even more people to visit these wonderful islands in 2014, the year Scotland welcomes the world.”
It’s the highest percentage of Scottish bathing waters to be rated as “excellent” in 27 years with none of the 95 monitored stretches of Scottish sands failing.
MCS programme manager Calum Duncan said: “It’s great news that for the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup year we are able to recommend more beaches than ever.”
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