Dunnet Bay

Dunnet Bay - Highland
© David Martin and licensed for reuse under this Licence

Dunnet Bay is located at the northern end of the wide, sandy beach between Castletown and Dunnet, close to the north-eastern tip of Scotland.  The pale expanse of sand stretches for over 2 miles and is backed by dunes and the grassy plains found along the north of Scotland, known locally as “machair”.

The closest facilities to this part of Dunnet Bay can be found in the village of Dunnet, which has a church, a small hotel and the Seadrift-Dunnet Visitor Centre. The beach is a good spot for surfing, walking or paddling in the waves.

Dunnet Head, which features the most northerly point of the United Kingdom mainland, lies just beyond the beach, above the mouth of the Dunnet Burn. This remote headland has a lighthouse, built in 1832, and provides plenty of opportunities for walkers and birdwatchers.  The cliffs here provide nesting for a variety of seabirds. 

On a clear day, there are spectacular views from Dunnet Head along the coastline and out towards the Orkney Islands. Seals and the occasional dolphin may be spotted bobbing up and down in the surf.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

We do not have information on this beach but restrictions may apply (usually from Easter until the end of Summer)

Highland dog friendly beaches »


  • Surfing


  • Picnic area

Nearest town



KW14 8XD

OS grid ref.

ND 2175 6994

Water quality

Water quality star rating


Marine Conservation Society Recommended

Submit a correction