Scotland’s coast and islands

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TripAdvisor 2014 Travellers' Choice Awards  ››

Discover the Scottish islands ranked top in the UK, Europe and the world by the TripAdvisor 2014 Travellers' Choice Awards

Scotland’s coastline stretches for thousands of miles and includes everything from rocky shorelines to secluded island beaches, all of which are home to many different species of flora and fauna.

From white, sandy beaches to bustling harbour ports and small island communities, the thousands of miles of Scottish coastline offer the perfect chance to see the country at its finest.

A great way to explore the coast is on foot, and there is an unrivalled range of clearly marked walks and coastal trails throughout the country. From Fife to Arran and Moray to Shetland, the gentle, even paths and rocky shorelines offer something for walkers of all abilities.

Scotland’s coast is home to a fantastic variety of marine wildlife and seabird colonies and is a haven for nature lovers and birdwatchers alike. Why not enjoy the magical experience of a wildlife cruise such as the Sula Beag around the Inner Hebrides for regular sightings of seals, whales and even dolphins?

Scotland boasts hundreds of islands each with their own unique character, diverse landscape and rich wildlife. There is everything from the rugged mountainous geography of the Orkney and Shetland Isles, to the bird sanctuary on the Isle of May and the long stretch of beach on the Isle of Barra which doubles as a landing strip.

  • Kisimul Castle, Castlebay, Isle of Barra, Outer Hebrides
    Kisimul Castle, Isle of Barra
  • An aerial view of the coastline of Orkney, taken from an aeroplane
    Looking down at Orkney's coastline from an aeroplane
  • The Fife Coastal Path at St Monans in the East Neuk of Fife
    The Fife Coastal Path at St Monans in the East Neuk of Fife
  • A couple walking along the sandy beach at Brodick towards Goatfell on Arran
    The sandy beach at Brodick and Goatfell, Isle of Arran
A rocky outcrop by Uig Sands, Isle of Lewis

The Outer Hebrides

Explore stunning landscapes, three National Nature Reserves and 55 sites of special scientific interest.

A rock stack formation known as the Old Man of Hoy on the island of Hoy, Orkney

Orkney

Uncover the spectacular coastal scenery and unique flora and fauna of the Orkney islands.

Looking across the Sound of Iona to the Isle of Iona from Fionnphort on the Isle of Mull

Inner Hebrides

Explore a rich cultural heritage, stunning seascapes and beautiful castles around these unique, unspoilt islands.

Looking across a sandy beach at Killantringan Bay

Dumfries & Galloway

Uncover the natural beauty of the coastline of Dumfries & Galloway.

St Ninian's Isle and the tombolo of sand joining it to the Mainland at Bigton

Shetland

The remote islands of Shetland offer a wealth of stunning scenery, abundant wildlife and rare flora.

A girl sits on a rock and admires the view over Loch Coruisk to the Black Cuillin, Skye

Skye

Explore Skye's mountain scenery, geology, lochs, moors and wildlife.

The Fife Coastal Path at St Monans in the East Neuk of Fife

Fife Coastal Path

Enjoy the natural beauty of the Fife Coastal Path, which offers stunning views and walks for all abilities.

Achamore Gardens on the Isle of Gigha

Argyll's Atlantic Islands

Island hopping around Argyll’s Atlantic Islands is the perfect way to explore the west coast and see the rich history, wildlife and archaeological remains of this fascinating and ancient region.

A cyclist stops to look out over Lamlash Bay and the village of Lamlash with Goatfell behind, Isle of Arran

Arran and Cumbrae

Affectionately known as ‘Scotland in Miniature’, the Isle of Arran is the perfect place to relax, unwind and experience stunning island landscapes and nature at its very best.

The De'ils Head on the path between Arbroath and Auchmithie

Dundee & Angus

Explore the coast of Dundee & Angus from Montrose through to Dundee, and you’ll discover award-winning beaches, coastal paths, children’s parks and more.

Explore Scotland's nature and geography

Mountains and hills

Scotland is known for her majestic mountains and rolling hills - why not take on one of Scotland’s iconic Munros?

National Parks

Uncover Scotland’s two beautiful National Parks in the Cairngorms and in Loch Lomond and The Trossachs.

Road to the Isles

Journey through The Road to the Isles, one of the country's most beautiful stretches of land.

Forests and woodlands

Scotland is home to a variety of stunning woodlands and dense forests that are teeming with wildlife and flora.

Coasts and islands

Explore thousands of miles of stunning coastline, taking in rich wildlife, geological treasures and pristine white beaches.

Gardens and parks

Scotland boasts a wide range of stunning parks and gardens in the cities, countryside and castle grounds.