Beaches in Kirkwall, Orkney Islands

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The beach guide has 9 beaches listed in and around the town of Kirkwall. We have arranged these beaches in order of closest to the town first (distance in brackets).

  • Inganess Bay (1.6 miles)

    Inganess Bay © Oliver Dixon | BY-SA

    Located just a few minutes walk from Kirkwall airport on Orkney is Inganess Bay. Tucked away in the southwest corner of the bay is a small sandy beach which is sometimes referred to as the Sand of Wideford.

    The beach here is pleasant enough, but on the whole not that remarkable by Orkney standards. However it does have…

  • Mill Sands Beach (3.9 miles)

    Mill Sands © Adam Ward | BY-SA

    This sheltered, shallow bay is a haven for wildlife and is particularly good for spotting waders. Turnstone, Redshank, Curlews and the occasional Bar-tailed Godwit can all be seen here.

  • Waulkmill Bay (5.4 miles)

    Waulkmill Bay © Derek Mayes | BY-SA

    Situated on the south coast of Mainland Orkney, Waulkmill Bay is one of the biggest beaches on the island. That isn't to say the widest - but definitely the deepest.

    At high tide there isn't anything spectacular about Waulkmill Bay, but as the tide drains away, into Scapa Flow, a vast expanse of sand is revealed. With calm,…

  • Long Ayre Beach (11.6 miles)

    Long Ayre © Rob Burke | BY-SA

    The Oyce of Quindry is a flat sandy inlet on the Orkney island of South Ronaldsay. Set within a convoluted bay this is an extremely sheltered spot and has been used to land boats since Viking times. At low tide there is a wide area of sand here, whilst towards the mouth of the inlet…

  • Newark Bay (12.8 miles)

    Newark Bay © Peter Church | BY-SA

    Newark Bay forms a lovely crescent of near white sand on the more sheltered south east coast of the main island. This is one of the more popular beaches on Orkney drawing people with varied interests. These include walkers and birdwatchers as well as small boat owners who use the slipway.

    Old stories tell of a…

  • Eastside Beach (12.3 miles)

    Eastside © Gordon Hatton | BY-SA

    As the name suggests this lovely stretch of sand is situated on the east coast of South Ronaldsay, the most southerly of the Orkney Islands.

    Eastside beach is made up of a crescent of golden sand backed by low dunes and fields beyond. On the northern headland overlooking the beach is the chapel and graveyard of…

  • Sands of Wright Beach (10.8 miles)

    Sands of Wright © Callum Black | BY-SA

    Sheltered golden sand beach with car park. 

    The Sands of Wright are home to the annual Festival of the Horse and Boys' Ploughing Match. A bizarre event in which island boys dress up as horses and create furrows in the sand using miniature ploughs!

  • Dingieshowe beach (7.3 miles)

    Dingieshowe beach © Bob Jones | BY-SA

    The sandy stretch of Dingieshowe beach forms the narrow istmus connecting Deerness to the Mainland of Orkney. With easy access from the main road and toilets it is a popular choice but there is always plenty of room. Just behind the beach is an ancient \"broch mound\" which would have been some sort of defensive…

  • Sands of Evie Beach (11 miles)

    Sands of Evie © Graeme Smith | BY-SA

    This sandy beach forms the southern boundary of Aikerness Bay and sites in the lee of the Point of Hellia. Just to the east is the Broch of Gurness, an Iron Age fort. The beach looks out over Eynhallow Sound to the island of Rousay beyond

Kirkwall beaches map

Map featuring Kirkwall beaches. Click on pins to view beach details