A journey through the Atlantic islands will take you to some of the most stunning beaches in the British Isles. From hauntingly beautiful hidden coves to stretches of strand that go on for miles, the white-sand and clear turquoise waters are truly a feast for the eyes.

Stroll along a deserted beach with the only noise being that of nature itself. Feel the bracing sea breeze on your face as you spot the abundant wildlife. Inhale the invigorating sea air for a sense of pure relaxation as the waves roll in.    

Many of our beaches are fringed by machair - a fertile coastal grassland, which in the summer becomes a multi-coloured carpet of wildflowers including harebells, clover and often rare and delicate orchids.  Just strolling to the beach through the machair, becomes a treat in itself, with glimpses of rare bumblebees and butterflies.  Your paces slow as you enjoy the scent of the wild flowers and tune into a different frequency.  

Our beaches can have a tropical vibe (apart from the wind chill) so much so, the Thai Tourist Board mistakenly used an image of one of our beaches (West Beach, Berneray) to promote a beach in Thailand! 

Luskentyre and Uig Sands may grab the headlines but in 2021, West Beach, Berneray which is off the beaten track, was ranked as No. 3 in Lonely Planet's Top 20 Best Beaches in Europe. Seek out some of equally absorbing hidden beaches throughout the Outer Hebrides:

1. Vatersay Bay

Vatersay, linked by causeway to Barra, has a beautiful half mile long sandy bay and a wide expanse of dunes

2. Coilleag a’Phrionnsa – Eriskay

Bonnie Prince Charlie, on his way to battle for control of the British crown in 1745, landed on this stunning beach

3. West Coast Beach - South Uist

Breath-taking 20 mile long white beach along the Atlantic coast. Fringed with machair

4 West Beach - Berneray

A truly stunning beach and was voted in 2021 as no. 3 in Lonely Planet's Top 20 Best beaches in Europe! It is so stunning that back in 2009, the Thai Tourist Board mistakenly used the image to promote Kai Bae Beach  - an easy mistake to make given the turquoise sea and white sandy beach!

5. Crabhadail – Harris

Crabhadail in North Harris, is off the beaten track, at the end of a 10 mile single-track road but oh, is it worth the journey!

6. Traigh Mhor, Tolsta – Lewis

This magnificent long stretch of beach looks out to the Minch and on a clear day, you can see the hills of Sutherland on the mainland

7. Bosta, Great Bernera – Lewis

At the far end of Great Bernera not only is there the scenic beach, but also a reconstructed Iron Age House

Related

Vatersay Bay
Scenic Locations
Vatersay Bay

Vatersay is the southernmost inhabited island in the Outer Hebrides. It is now linked to Barra by a causeway which was completed in 1991

Traigh Bhostadh (Bosta Beach)
Scenic Locations
Traigh Bhostadh (Bosta Beach)

Traigh Bhostadh is a sheltered shell sand beach at the north end of Great Bernera. The Iron Age House and Time and Tide Bell are both sited here, along with ample parking and toilets.

Coileag a' Prionnnsa
Scenic Locations
Coileag a' Prionnnsa

Bonnie Prince Charlie first stepped foot on Scottish soil on this beach on 23rd July 1745, from the french ship "Du Teillay"

Daliburgh Machair & Beach
Beach
Daliburgh Machair & Beach

Along the west coast of South Uist is an approx. 20 mile strip of stunning white beaches and machair.

Berneray West Beach and Machair
Beach
Berneray West Beach - Esther Sinmiraranadie

A truly stunning beach and was voted in 2021 as no. 3 in Lonely Planet's Top 20 Best beaches in Europe! It is easily accessible through the village of Borve.

Crabhadail Walk
Walks
Crabhadail Walk

A short, but strenuous, walk of 8km (5 miles) up and over 'The Stiamar', - an old path that connects the once isolated villages of Cravadale and Hushinish on the west side of North Harris - allow 3-4 hours.

Traigh Mhor
Scenic Locations
Traigh Mhor

The Traigh Mhor is a mile long sandy beach at North Tolsta in the unspoilt north east part of the Isle of Lewis