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Best Beaches and Coastline on the North Coast 500

Mainland Scotland has 6000 miles of coastline, and with a further 900 islands, we have some of the most epic beaches, sea cliffs and coastlines in the world. Many of the best spots are along the North Coast 500 and with all that coastline you can spot wildlife, surf on some of Britain’s best waves, see stunning sunsets and if you’re feeling brave, take a dip in some crystal blue waters.  

Best Beach for Surfing 

Brims Ness - Thurso 

Surfer at Brims Ness Beach

No trip along the North Coast 500 would be complete without a stop at Thurso, the most northerly town on mainland Scotland.  Brims Ness, 5 miles from Thurso is well known for its surf breaks, hosting the Scottish National Surfing Championships every year.   

Best Beach for Drama 

Sandwood Bay 

Sandwood Beach at North Coast 500

Often said to be one of Scotland’s best beaches, Sandwood Bay is looked after by the John Muir Trust, who maintain the 4-mile footpath to the beach. As it is only accessible by foot you can expect one of Britain’s most unspoiled beaches, with beautiful white sand and stunning sea stack, Am Buachaille, keeping an eye on visitors. 


Best Coastline for Sunset  


Ullapool Beach at North Coast 500

Sitting on the banks of (sea) Loch Broom, Ullapool is another must-visit stop on the North Coast 500. Much like the rest of the west coast of Scotland, you’ll find epic sunsets over the loch. So why not find a bench, settle down with fish and chips from the local chippy (and maybe a dram) and watch the sun set at one of Scotland’s most picturesque towns.   

Ullapool is also one of our best-loved stops on our 6 Day Isle of Skye & Hebridean Hopper tour

Best Coastline for Spotting Wildlife  

Chanonry Point 

Chanonry Beach at North Coast 500

On the east of the Black Isle peninsula, Chanonry Point is a hot spot for bottlenose dolphins and grey seals, and if you’re lucky enough you might see some whales.  

Best Beach for Visiting a Famous Stone Age Village  

Bay of Skaill 

Bay of Skaill and Skara Brae at North Coast 500

Take a step back in time at Skara Brae, an amazingly well-persevered 5000-year-old village which sits on the Bay of Skaill. With stunning views out to the Atlantic Ocean, a cliff with a sea-worn hole (Hole o’Rowe) and breaks that attract surfers, it’s a must-see spot on any trip to Orkney. 

Best Beach for Swimming with a Jaw-dropping Backdrop 

Luskentyre Sands 

Luskentyre Beach at North Coast 500

Luskentyre Sands is one of Scotland’s most famous beaches, and for good reason. It could be mistaken for the Caribbean, if it wasn’t so cold! With white sands, crystal-clear blue water and views to die for, Luskentyre Sands is a must-visit beach on any trip to Scotland, especially if you enjoy open water swimming.