Scotland secret beaches

Last updated:

You may have thought that secluded beaches with fine sand, crystal clear water and just the cry of the gulls for company were long gone, but they're not. Tucked away in the nooks and crannies of the Scotland coast are any number of unspoilt hidden gems where you can enjoy a little peace and quiet.

Here at the Beach Guide we have compiled a list of your favourite hidden beaches in Scotland that are just far enough off the beaten track to never get too busy.

Of course escaping the crowds may not be your only reason for visiting these little known spots. Not only are they a little tricky to find and get to, they are also some of the loveliest beaches in Scotland.

  • Coral Beach © John Allan | BY-SA

    1. Coral Beach

    Dunvegan, Hebrides

    Coral Beach (or Coral Beaches) is situated in the north of the Isle of Skye by the small crofting community of Claigan, which is a few miles along a single track lanefrom the village of Dunvegan. The…

  • Hackley Bay © Oliver Dixon | BY-SA

    2. Hackley Bay


    This wide sandy crescent of golden sand, flanked by high cliffs, could well be the prettiest bay on the Aberdeenshire coast. To the rear of the beach are sand dunes and more gently sloping cliffs.Set…

  • Sunnyside Beach © Alan O'dowd | BY-SA

    3. Sunnyside Beach


    Located between Cullen and Findlater Castle, Sunnyside beach is very much the definition of a hidden gem. A beautiful stretch of fine, pristine sand dotted with rocks and flanked by grassy cliffs.Sunnyside…

  • Mellon Udrigle Beach © Tom Richardson | BY-SA

    4. Mellon Udrigle Beach

    Laide, Highland

    The stunning beach at Mellon Udrigle offers one of the finest views of this part of the coast. It is a little off the beaten track, but well worth the detour. Just off the A832, a single track road leading…

  • Big Sand Beach © Alan Reid | BY-SA

    5. Big Sand Beach

    Gairloch, Highland

    This sheltered sand and shingle beach is protected from the prevailing winds by Longa Island. Beyond this are the mountains of Skye and Torridon to which there are spectacular views.The beach is accessed…

  • Lunan Bay © Ellen Munro | BY-SA

    6. Lunan Bay

    Montrose, Tayside

    Lunan Bay is a mile-long sandy beach, with a reputation as one of the best in Angus. It is set in a secluded, pretty, rural location, with a cave and arch at the northern end, and is divided in two by…

  • Strathy Bay © Richard Webb | BY-SA

    7. Strathy Bay

    Melvich, Highland

    This remote, wide, sandy beach sits on the very northern Scottish coast. The River Strathy runs into the bay to the west of the beach and it is enclosed by cliffs to the east. Strathy Bay is surrounded…

  • Sandwood Bay © Dieter_weinelt | BY-SA

    8. Sandwood Bay

    Kinlochberbvie, Highland

    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…

  • Sinclairs Bay - Reiss Beach © Sylvia Duckworth | BY-SA

    9. Sinclairs Bay - Reiss Beach

    Wick, Highland

    On a sunny day, the beach at the southern end of Sinclairs Bay, known locally as Reiss Beach, is spectacularly beautiful. The long stretch of pure, white sands alongside the azure waters of the North…

  • Brora Beach © Mary And Angus Hogg | BY-SA

    10. Brora Beach

    Brora, Highland

    This wild, unspoiled beach, running alongside the local golf course is a hidden gem.  It offers spectacular views over the North Sea and the Moray Firth.  Beautiful sunsets over the hills can…

  • Gruinard Beach © Gordon Hatton | BY-SA

    11. Gruinard Beach

    Gairloch, Highland

    Gruinard is a stunning, secluded beach with delightful views of the surrounding rugged countryside and across Gruinard Bay to the Coigach Hills and to Gruinard Island. Apart from the magnificent scenery,…

  • Achmelvich Bay © Paul Burnett | BY-SA

    12. Achmelvich Bay

    Lochinver, Highland

    Beautiful Achmelvich Beach looks across the bay to the coastal village of Lochinver with the islands of Lewis and Harris just offshore. This is a beautiful sheltered beach on the rural west coast.…

  • Seacliff Beach © Walter Baxter | BY-SA

    13. Seacliff Beach

    North Berwick, Lothian

    This beautiful beach is a genuine hidden gem.  It lies in a remote part of East Lothian at the mouth of the Firth of Forth. The beach is in private ownership and there is a small charge to access…

  • Dornoch (Caravan Park) Beach © Sylvia Duckworth | BY-SA

    14. Dornoch (Caravan Park) Beach

    Dornoch, Highland

    Dornoch Caravan Park lies on the north side of the Dornoch Firth just under an hour's drive from Inverness. The vast stretch of safe, sandy beach here, known as Dornoch Sands, runs down from the caravan…

  • Red Point Beach (Gairloch) © Stuart Wilding | BY-SA

    15. Red Point Beach (Gairloch)

    Gairloch, Highland

    This beautiful, secluded beach of Red Point lies about 10 miles south-west from Gairloch and is the perfect destination for those seeking to get away from it all.To find the beach, drive to the beach…

  • Seilebost Beach © Chris Combe | BY-SA

    16. Seilebost Beach

    Isle of Harris, Hebrides

    The stretch of sand at Seilebost beach on the south side of Luskentyre Bay was once voted one of the top 10 best beaches in the world. Come here on a fine, sunny day and it won't be difficult to see why.…

  • Machrihanish Beach © Stephen Sweeney | BY-SA

    17. Machrihanish Beach

    Campbeltown, Strathclyde

    This long, rural beach lies on the Mull of Kintyre Peninsula, between the small village of Machrihanaish to the south and Westport to the north. The beach offers a terrific 3-mile stretch of soft, clean…

  • Singing Sands Beach © Becky Williamson | BY-SA

    18. Singing Sands Beach

    Port Ellen, Strathclyde

    This quiet, sandy beach is a haven for beachgoers looking for rugged landscape and seclusion. Singing Sands, also known as Camas an Lighe, gets its name from the sound the sand makes when visitors shuffle…

  • Tentsmuir Sands Beach © Lis Burke | BY-SA

    19. Tentsmuir Sands Beach

    Tayport, Fife

    Close to the mouth of the Tay Estuary, Tentsmuir Sands is a wide expanse of clean sands backed by grassy dunes, and Tentsmuir Forest.  The remains of various wartime defences can be found both on…

  • Port Alltan Na Bradhan Beach © Chris Eilbeck | BY-SA

    20. Port Alltan Na Bradhan Beach

    Lochinver, Highland

    A small, very sheltered sandy cove with clear blue water backed by cliffs down which a waterfall tumbles. It's a bit of a hike to get here and the best route is walking from Achmelvich cove. Alternatively…

Please note: we would have preferred it if these beaches could have remained secret forever and would like to make it clear that the Beach Guide would never be the first to publish the details of any hidden beach.