Sandside Bay

Sandside Bay - Highland
© Dorcas Sinclair and licensed for reuse under this Licence

Sandside Bay is a natural bay found on the northern coast of the Scottish mainland about 30 miles west of John O’Groats.  The bay features a harbour, built in 1830. 

The remote, beach here has a decent expanse of pale sand with some rocky patches and is backed by dunes and grasslands.  The Sandside Burn and the Burn of Isauld both enter the sea in the bay. 

The beach is popular with Surfers who come here to surf the powerful left-hand reef break.  However, the break requires particular conditions and surfers should note that the bay is rocky, shallow and quite dangerous because of the irregular form of the reef.

The beach lies in a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Reay golf course lies immediately behind the beach.  There are limited facilities in the small village of Reay, which has been inhabited for millennia and features some interesting archaeological sites, including the remains of a stone circle.  More extensive facilities can be found in the town of Thurso.

Type of beach


Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

No Dog restrictions.

Highland dog friendly beaches »


  • Surfing


  • Toilets

Nearest town



KW14 7RG

OS grid ref.

NC 9656 6535


parking available close to the beach.

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