Sandwood Bay

This wonderful sandy beach is located in the extreme north west of the Scottish mainland. Set at the end of a 4 mile footpath it is something of an adventure to get here, but well worth it.

The mile long stretch of fine golden sand is backed by high dunes beyond which lies the freshwater lake of Sandwood Loch. The bay here is part of the Sandwood Estate which is run by the John Muir Trust.

The name of the beach is thought to date back to Viking times being derived from the word ‘Sandvatn’, meaning ‘sand water’. Legends abound from more recent history too. As well as a mermaid sighting in 1900 the beach is said to be haunted by the ghost of a shipwrecked sailor who comes knocking on the cottage (now a bothy) window at night.

Shipwrecks were not uncommon here in years gone by and it is only since a lighthouse was built at Cape Wrath, just to the north, that this ceased. A more recent wreck was that off a WWII Spitfire which crash landed here in 9141. Although most of the plane has rusted away the remains of the Rolls Royce engine can sometimes be spotted at low tide.

Around a mile south of Sandwood Bay is Am Buachaille, a massive sea stack. This iconic rock is popular with climbers and rises 213ft (65m) above the sea.

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 »

Nearest town


OS grid ref.

NC 2210 6522

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Sandwood Bay Reviews


Nicola Mcmorrow
Sep 06th 2021

My partner wanted to visit for some time… It is beautiful and well worth the trek.

What did we get wrong?