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To the beach! Scottish summers by the coast

Foot prints in the sand at Big Sands Beach, Gairloch

Let’s face it, we do all like to be beside the seaside and with summer just around the corner, for me, the prospect of fresh sea air, salty hair and sand in between my toes is very exciting indeed.

Scotland is blessed with stunning, dramatic coastlines, and it is important to protect our waters as much as we can. Keep Scotland Beautiful is an environmentally-friendly charity which co-ordinates activities in local areas in Scotland, with particular focus on inland and coastal waters and the land around them.

Meanwhile, why not start making summer holiday plans? Here are some ideas to inspire you to enjoy a few days by the coast. Don’t forget to think green on your adventures and keep Scotland’s seaside as beautiful as can be.

Sandy beaches, Dumfries & Galloway

Sandyhills Bay, near Colvend, Dumfries and Galloway

Sandyhills Bay, near Colvend, Dumfries and Galloway

I have a few favourite beaches in Dumfries & Galloway, having spent many a childhood camping trip causing mischief and hunting for shells with my friends on the shores of Sandyhills, Sandgreen and Mossyard. The region has been praised for the tidiness of its beaches and the Solway Coast boasts many energising walks. There’s plenty to do for all of the family and in case you were wondering, amazing ice-cream can also be found nearby.

The Coastal Trail, Aberdeenshire

The Bullers of Buchan

The Bullers of Buchan, a collapsed sea cave in Aberdeenshire

Follow the Coastal Trail and discover the tranquility of the north east coast. With 165 miles of cliff-tops, coves, beaches and roaming wildlife, along the way you might discover hidden sea caves, crumbling castles and distant lighthouses. Use our itinerary to plan your escapades and don’t forget to try the region’s signature seafood.

Cycling in Orkney  

The Sands of Wright, South Ronaldsay.

The Sands of Wright, South Ronaldsay

The enchanting Orkney archipelago is a playground for those who prefer to travel on two wheels, with a mixture of flat terrain, occasional bumpy hills and many ancient sites to stop and look at. You’ll be rewarded with amazing views out to the neighbouring islands (there are around 70!), friendly banter from islanders, and the sounds of turquoise blue waves crashing along the shoreline as you cycle past.

Dolphin spotting, Moray Firth

Moray Firth dolphin

Moray Firth dolphin, leaping out of the water at Cromarty

Did you know that 130 resident bottlenose dolphins are estimated to live in the Moray Firth? See if you can spot them at Chanonry Point, one of the best coastal vantage points in Europe or get even closer to them on a wildlife cruise. EcoVentures offer thrilling trips from Cromarty and the local skipper will take you on an epic adventure through the waters, sharing all there is to know about the scenery and the area’s wildlife.

Sleep under the stars

Wild camping on Horgabost Beach on the Isle of Harris

Wild camping on Horgabost Beach on the Isle of Harris

Wherever you choose to visit by the seaside, your beach pad is a key element of your trip. Find the perfect pitch and fall asleep listening to the sounds of the ocean. As you become at one with nature, always be aware of the Outdoor Code.You could also stay in one of the 10 wigwams at the Sands Caravan and Camping, which is only a hop, skip and a jump away from sands of Gairloch in Wester Ross – one of our very best beaches!

Are you packing your flip-flops and heading to the coast this summer? Make us jealous and send in your pictures on Facebook, Twitter or any other social media platform of your choice.