Top 6 Beaches in the Highlands of Scotland

The list of Great Beaches in the Highlands of Scotland is a long one. Read more for our Top 6!

Summer has well and truly arrived and you’re planning your Scottish staycation because restrictions on air travel are as changeable as good Highland weather. There’s nothing better than lazing around on a beach on holiday. The water lapping at your toes and the sun adding some colour to that peely wally transparent skin you’ve been cultivating during lockdowns. Well, just because Marbella is looking ropey this year, doesn’t mean that a trip to the beach is off!

The best beaches in the Highlands can beat out any of these fancy-pants foreign beaches on a good day! Take a look at Inverness Taxis Top 6 beaches in the Highlands and get packing for a beach holiday in Scotland that’ll rival any holiday abroad!

Loch Morlich

Loch Morlich is the only award-winning freshwater beach in Scotland. Sitting at the foot of the snow-capped Cairngorms. This scenic sandy bay is a popular spot for stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing.

The beach has great amenities like toilets, a Boathouse Café, and disabled facilities.

Where is Loch Morlich?

Nairn Beach

On a sunny day, one phrase will creep across every Invernessian’s lips. And that phrase is “do you fancy a trip to Nairn beach?”. Nairn beach is one of the go-to beaches in the Highlands for many right across the region. Just a few miles from Inverness, the seaside resort town has a beach and amenities that are the envy of many a coastal town.  There’s a playpark, putting green, tea rooms, ice cream stalls, fish and chip vans, and not one, but two Championship golf courses.

Nairn’s Central Beach has beautiful pristine white sands, backed by low dunes, and the climate is remarkably temperate for the Highlands. The harbour is filled with pleasure boats and the water is filled with sea life (even dolphins!) The beach’s abundance of facilities and amenities makes it a beauty of a beach to visit with the family in the summer.

Nairn’s central beach is an extremely popular place in the summer months. But, its eastern beach tends to attract less attention and is a popular spot for surfers and other water sport enthusiasts.

Where is Nairn Beach?

Family Beach Days

Durness Beach

Durness is a village located close to the most northwesterly point of mainland Britain. The scenery offers some stunning views of the pristine beach and often turquoise waters. A great beach to have a picnic and admire the view and you may even spot a surfer or two. Nearby is Smoo Cave, a gaping hole in a sheer limestone cliff – great for exploring on your Scottish beaches in the Highlands day out.

Where is Durness Beach?

Balnakeil Beach

Situated near the northwestern point of mainland Scotland, near Durness, Balnakeil beach is a spectacular, unspoiled, large beach that offers plenty of opportunities to explore its sandy and is well known for its spectacular Scottish sunset. Overlooking the beach is the imposing 18th Century once laird’s residence Balnakeil House. Now a mere holiday let, but with great views across the bay.

 You can also explore the ruins of the nearby 17th century Balnakeil church and graveyard. It’s not one of the most well-known beaches in the Highlands, so expect some quiet bathing and a catch to get away from it all.

Where is Balnakeil Beach?

Dornoch Beach

Dornoch’s safe, Blue Flag beach, is a beautiful long sandy beach backed by dunes and is but a mile from the centre of Dornoch. This beach is ideal for families and perfect for paddling and swimming on those warm summer days at one of Scotland’s best beaches.

Close to the very popular holiday destination- Embo (which itself has a lovely beach), it is a favourite with dog walkers, ramblers and those who love to collect a shell or two. Keep an eye out and you may even spot the occasional dolphin too!

Where is Dornoch Beach?

Rosemarkie Beach

What more could you want in a beach than long stretches of sandy beach stretching out into the Moray Firth? Rosemarkie is a lovely spot for walkers and bathers, but its real draw is at its southern end – Chanonry Point. It is reportedly the best location on the mainland to spot those elusive dolphins. Many come from all of over the country to spy those aquatic acrobats, frolicking in the firth.

The beach itself is backed by woodland and has great access to the ever-popular Rosemarkie Beach Café, who will fuel your day with coffee, cake, ice cream and all sorts of wonderful local food. A great highland beach and a must-do activity with the kids in Scotland on a sunny day.

Where is Rosemarkie Beach?

Cycling at the beach

Explore Beaches in The Highlands with an E-bike or Paddleboard

Why not explore these highland beaches and the surrounding area on a Tartan Adventure E-bike? You can rent e-bikes in Inverness at Tartan Adventure.

Tartan Adventure also hire paddleboards and related equipment. A great way to enjoy the beach!

Check out their range of outdoor equipment and great Adventure deals that’ll make your staycation in the HIghlands all the more special!

To hire an ebike in Inverness or rent a paddleboard in Inverness, just drop into their Inverness city centre Tartan Adventure office or visit the Tartan Adventure website for more details.  

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