Thurso Bay

Thurso Bay - Highland
© Robin Drayton and licensed for reuse under this Licence

Thurso Bay is a mostly sandy beach, with some rockier sections, stretching for about 500 meters alongside the small Highland town of Thurso. To the east of the beach, the River Thurso flows into the bay.

Thurso is one of the most northerly points in mainland Britain, just a stone’s throw from John o’Groats. As such it is exposed to the big Atlantic swells and with some perfectly formed reefs offshore, the beach, particularly the eastern end, can produce some of the best waves for surfing in the entire United Kingdom.

There is parking for the beach along Pentland Crescent, including disabled parking. The beach is reached down a short flight of steps. There is also some roadside parking along Marine Terrace.
Further parking is available in the centre of Thurso. Here there are also shops, toilets, pubs, restaurants and a railway station in the town, as well as a museum which depicts the history of the town and has a collection of taxidermy birds found in the area.

Scrabster Harbour is about a mile to the north west of the beach. From here, visitors can travel by ferry to the Orkney Islands.

Type of beach

Sand & rock

Lifeguard service


Dogs friendly beach?

Dogs allowed

No dog restrictions.

Highland dog friendly beaches »


  • Rock pooling
  • Surfing


  • Cafe/restaurant
  • Toilets
  • Town centre nearby
  • Shop
  • Pub nearby

Nearest town



KW14 8BB

OS grid ref.

ND 1189 6875


parking available close to the beach.

Water quality

Water quality star rating

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Thurso Bay Reviews

Aug 22nd 2019

heavenly little Beach, sound of the surf is mesmerising. my favourite place.