Where are the Best Beaches in Scotland?

The best beaches in Scotland have been revealed as Scotland’s cleanest beach awards are handed out. The awards were handed out on Friday 31st May 2019 and there is one area in particular that have been big winners!

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Achemelvich Beach, Achmelvich

What are Scotland’s Cleanest Beach Awards?

Scotland’s cleanest beach awards are annual awards given to the cleanest beaches in Scotland. They are marked on a number of criteria including water cleanliness and sand quality. It is safe to say these awards are only handed out to the best beaches in Scotland.

Some beaches feature every year whilst there are some debutants that are only appearing for the first time this year. In total 61 beaches were given the accolade this year which is about average for the awards.

Where are the Best Beaches in Scotland?

As mentioned there were a total of 61 winners of Scotland’s cleanest beach awards this year. Here are some of the biggest winning areas:

  • 14 Fife
  • 13 Highlands
  • 9 Aberdeenshire
  • 6 Angus

An impressive amount for these regions. Most noticeably, the vast majority of winners in Highlands are situated on the North C0ast 500 route. This will only solidify the NC500 route’s status as one of the best driving routes in the world. Some of the best driving in the world, coupled with some of the best beaches in Scotland (and the world) make the perfect combination for a road trip!

We will take a closer look at some of the winners in this post, to list out the MUST VISIT beaches in Scotland.

Dornoch Beaches

There are two beaches from Dornoch featured in this years winners. Both Dornoch Beach and Embo Beach make the list. Two of the closest beaches on the list, only 4 miles apart by road, these are must see beaches in Scotland.

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Dornoch Beach, Dornoch

The two beaches are remarkably different in appearance, especially for being so close together. Embo beach tends to have very interesting patterns in its sand whilst Doroch beach has a much flatter terrain. Both have similar colours of sand and water, however and both are very exposed to the expanse of sea in front of them. If you are travelling the North Coast 500 route these should definitely be on the itinerary.

Sango Sands Beach, Durness

The most Northerly winner is also located on the North Coast 500 route. Sango Sands beach is another wide expansive beach exposed directly to the sea. This beach is on the North coast of Scotland and is only a few minutes along the road from the Smoo Caves (click here to read more about the Smoo Caves).

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Sango Sands, Durness

You’d be forgiven for mistaking this beach for somewhere foreign thanks to the tropical coloured sea. In close adjacency to the Durness Zipline (click here to read more about the Durness Zipline) you can couple up the visit with a zip over Durness Beach.

This is one of the best beaches in Scotland and the rise of the North Coast 500 means that even more people get to see the beauty of it first hand than ever before!

Saving the best till last – Achmelvich Beach

Last on our featured beaches but certainly not least is Achmelvich Beach. This beach has won Scotland’s cleanest beach award for years and years consecutively. In our opinion it is the nicest beach on the North Coast 500 and in Scotland. In fact it is one of the nicest beaches in the UK.

This relatively small beach is a little different to the rest of the beaches featured in that it is more sheltered from the sea, with headlands to either side of the bay. Incredibly tropical water meets shockingly white sand at this North Coast 500 MUST SEE.

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Achmelvich Beach, Achmelvich

Achmelvich beach has 2 hidden beaches, one to either side of it. One of them can be accessed via Achmelvich beach during low tide but at all other times you need to climb over rocks to get to it. The other can only be accessed by climbing all the time. Both are well secluded and great places to visit!

Click here to find out more about Achmelvich’s hidden beaches!

Achmelvich beach has a chip shop right next to it, bonus!

Achmelvich beach accommodation can be hard to come by, in fact there are only a few caravans and a campsite… until recently. Now North Coast 500 Pods offers luxury glamping accommodation with all mod cons so you can visit Achmelvich Beach in style.

Find out about luxury Achmelvich accommodation here!

Where is the best beach in Scotland?

So we have discussed a few of the best beaches in Scotland, with 61 in total receiving the award for Scotland’s cleanest beaches.

Achmelvich beach is, for us, the best beach in Scotland and always will be!

Click here to find out more about Achmelvich Beach

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