Mellon Udrigle Bay

Beach in Wester Ross

Mellon Udrigle Bay
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Roger McLachlan

With its white sands, shallow turquoise sea and natural shelter from westerly winds this beautiful beach is an ideal place for all the family. But what makes it really special are the views across the sea to Assynt, Coigach and the Summer Isles. The sheltered bay attracts foraging waders, gulls, grey heron and red throated diver. There’s a lovely way-marked coastal walk to the top of the peninsula, Rubha Beag and the estuary at Opinan (Na h-Òbaidhnean meaning ‘the place of little bays’) which is alongside the route is a great place to find wading birds in winter. The 2.5 mile / 4 km route is circular, starting and finishing from the beach car park.

Visiting Mellon Udrigle Bay

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Wester Ross

Achnahaird Bay

Beach in Sutherland

View Towards Achnahaird Bay
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Gordon Hatton

This narrow inlet is a wonderful place to spend a day at the beach and a great place for birdwatching, with seabirds and waders regularly seen. At low tide an extensive tidal estuary of sand flats and salt marsh is exposed, fringed by dunes, and past that, machair. These habitats support a diversity of liverworts, mosses and the rare petalwort. Lapwings nest in the wetter sections of dune grasslands, while the lime-rich machair provides excellent grazing for sheep. Ringed plover and common sandpiper also nest around the bay. Two coastal walks, one to the north of the car park and one to the east offer good views, interesting geology and wildlife spotting opportunities. The bay is one of the locations on the North West Highlands Snorkel Trail, which includes a rich and diverse array of marine habitats and species and has been put together by the Scottish Wildlife Trust

Visiting Achnahaird Bay

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Sutherland

Achmelvich Beach

Beach in Sutherland

North Side Of Achmelvich Beach
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Paul Burnett

The fine white sandy beach and turquoise water of the bay are a stark contract to the rugged beauty of the surrounding Assynt area. Sand castle builders, swimmers, kayakers, fishing enthusiasts and snorkelers alike are a common sight in and around this beautiful bay. Achmelvich is a good place to see black-throated and red-throated divers throughout the year and sometimes great northern divers in winter. Minke whales and porpoises can sometimes be seen from the shore. From the camp site, there is a beautiful coastal walk – rich with orchids in summer – to the ruined meal mill at Altanabradhan.

Visiting Achmelvich Beach

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Sutherland

Balnakeil Beach & Faraid Head

Beach and Monastery in Sutherland

Balnakeil Beach From Faraid Head
CC BY-SA 2.0 / Heather Holdridge

Balnakeil, a little over a mile north west of the village of Durness, is a magical place. The beach is wide and white and is backed to the east by a huge expanse of tall dunes covered in marram grass. Overlooking the bay are Balnakeil House, at one time seat of the Clan MacKay, and Balnakeil Church, which is thought to be built on the site of an 8th century monastery founded by the Irish monk, Mael Rubha. A magnificent walk takes you north to Faraid Head. Seals and even minke whales can be seen all round the headland and in summer the cliffs are thronged with seabirds. Look out for rare and beautiful flowers such as the Scottish primrose and Grass of Parnassus. The headland is also home to military installations connected with the naval gunnery ranges towards Cape Wrath. As you return to Durness from Balnakeil Bay, keep a look out on your right for the collection of old military buildings that have for many years housed the Balnakeil Craft Village.

Visiting Balnakeil Beach & Faraid Head

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Sutherland

Torrisdale Bay and Broch, Invernaver

Beach in Sutherland

Torrisdale Bay, Bettyhill
CC BY-SA 2.0 / djmacpherson

An outstanding beach with superb dunes, Torrisdale Bay is reached by a rewarding walk from Invernaver. This beautiful beach, just to the west of the historic village of Bettyhill, is situated on a headland between the mouths of two well-known salmon rivers – the Naver and the Borgie. It’s a popular place with surfers who enjoy the challenging conditions. The headland is an important area for wildlife and, due to the exposure of the site, rare plants that would normally be found on mountain sides can be found here at sea level. The raised beach above the River Naver contains a number of archaeological sites including the remains of ancient hut circles, enclosures and cists. There is a superb 5 mile / 8km walk which takes in this spectacular beach, dunes, riverside and moorland, as well as an iron-age broch with stunning views. Fishing permits can be obtained for salmon fishing on the lower association beat of the river

Visiting Torrisdale Bay and Broch, Invernaver

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Sutherland

Embo beach

Beach in Easter Ross & Black Isle

This broad beach of golden sand stretches from the attractive former fishing village of Embo to the mouth of the River Fleet, and its whole length is flanked by high sand dunes.
Fine yellow sand and crystal clear water make this an ideal beach for a visit with the family or a long romantic stroll. Behind the beach there is a network of paths through the high
sand dunes, which are a great place to find rare plants including the spectacular burnet rose and frog orchids. The links are home to more than 30% of the world population of the
rare Fonseca’s seed fly and in summer you’ll find birds such as skylark, swallows, swifts and willow warblers in the dunes. The car park, overlooking the beach, is at the north
east corner of the village which has a range of facilities for visitors, including a communityrun shop and café in the former school.

Visiting Embo beach

Address: Embo Beach(Embo Sands/Coul Links) Dornoch United Kingdom
Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Easter Ross & Black Isle

Calgary Beach

Beach in Isle of Mull

Calgary Bay Mull
CC BY-SA 2.5 / Traveler100
Calgary beach is located about 5 miles to the west of Dervaig. Today, it is a haven of white shell sand and blue sea, a picture perfect impression of what a beach in the Hebrides should look like. It is a safe environment where adults and children can relax and enjoy themselves in stunning surroundings.
It is backed by machair, found only on the west coasts of Scotland and Ireland, where calcium rich sandy soils create a unique habitat rich in flower species and grasses.

Robin’s Boat, distinctive by its roof, made out of an upturned boat hull, sells local Mull ice creams at the beach from a quirky shop built in part from the proprietor’s grandfather’s upturned boat.

Calgary Castle nestling in mature woodlands above the bay was built in the 1820s by Captain Alan MacAskill, the landowner of the time.

Up the hill from the beach lie the ruins of a small village left during the 19th Century Highland clearances. This is a very atmospheric site and a reminder of an important if sombre chapter in Mull’s history. And yes, the city of Calgary in Canada (province of Alberta) is named after Calgary on Mull, as a summer guest of the Calgary House Estate (an officer in the Mounties), took the idea back home with him.

On the south side of Calgary Bay the coast loop road continues on its precipitous meandering way round towards Treshnish and then on to Torloisk and Ulva Ferry. There is a footpath on the north side of the Bay to the old pier and also to the ruined township of Inevie on the hillside above. Further exploration beyond the point will bring an inquisitive wanderer to the various ruined houses of Arin and views across the Tiree Passage.


Visiting Calgary Beach

Duration: 20 minutes

Tours and Activities from Isle of Mull

Claigan Coral Beach

Beach in Isle of Skye

Claigan (Isle Of Skye, Inner Hebrides, UK)
CC BY-SA 4.0 / PaulT (Gunther Tschuch)

Claigan Coral Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches on the Isle of Skye, with stunning views over Camas Ban. Known locally as a ‘wee gem’, Claigan Coral is a fantastic place to spend a day. Despite its name, the beach is not actually made of coral but of fossilised and sun-bleached algae. At low tide, explore the tidal island of Lampay, which is just a short walk across the bay. It is 4 miles of single track road from Dunvegan Castle to the small carpark. From the carpark, it is a short 1 mile walk to the beach. A truly magical place, perfect for a family picnic and maybe a swim.

The beach is a 10 minute drive from Dunvegan Castle, combining the walk to Coral Beach and a visit to the castle could make a great day out. The walk down to the beach is easy going along a farm track and takes about 25 mins to get to the beach. The return is that same route back to the carpark giving a walk total of 3.6km and 45 minutes (with no stops).


Visiting Claigan Coral Beach

Duration: 2 hours

Tours and Activities from Isle of Skye