10 Scenic Coastal Breaks & Getaways in Scotland
With fresh sea air and enchanting coastal landscapes in abundance, there plenty of places that are perfect for a relaxing coastal break in Scotland. From stunning seaside spots that are ideal for coastal walks to magical islands that offer amazing coastal getaways, have a look at these scenic places along Scotland's coast and start planning your seaside adventure.
Wherever you decide to visit in Scotland, you're never far away from a beach or seaside spot, meaning you can plan coastal day trips until your heart's content. On top of hidden locations and wildlife spots, our coasts boast some of the best scenic views in Scotland. Where better to watch the sun set, or rise, than at a magical seaside spot?
Located at Portknockie, Bow Fiddle Rock perches impressively on the Moray Firth coastline. Follow the Moray Coastal Path to see this unique rock formation, which is named after its resemblance to the tip of a bow. Follow the Buckie to Cullen section of the Moray Coast Trail to explore the enchanting coastline.
Just a 15 minute walk from the heart of St Andrews, West Sands beach is a vast, 2-mile-long swathe of sand, backed by the high dunes that the Fife coast is famous for. You can try your hand at land yachting on the beach, with Blown Away Experiences, and link up with the Fife Coastal Path for a longer walking route.
Overlooked by towering North Berwick Law, North Berwick is a pretty seaside town with its own beach. Stop off for fresh seafood at the Lobster Shack at the harbour (open seasonally), take a stroll along the beach and admire the views to the Bass Rock, which is all that remains of an extinct volcano. If you want an up-close look book a boat tour from the Scottish Seabird Centre.
This stunning spot on the Scottish Borders coastline is ideal for refreshing coastal walks and seabird spotting. Head to St Abb’s Head National Nature Reserve to see the dramatic cliffs and the colonies of seabirds that nest there during the summer months. In winter you might spot grey seal pups on the reserve’s beaches.Key facilities
- Pets Welcome
- Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
- Cafe or Restaurant
Believed to have been the retreat of St Ninian, Scotland’s first saint, St Ninian’s Cave became a place of pilgrimage from the early middle ages onwards. Enjoy a slice of tranquillity as you follow the walking route to Port Castle Bay and St Ninian’s Cave. At nearby Whithorn you can learn more about the area’s history at the Whithorn Story and explore Whithorn Priory.
Located on Scotland’s west coast, the island of Islay is famous around the world for its peat smoked whiskies. It’s also a stunning island for walking, with plenty of long, sandy beaches that are ideal for coastal strolls in the fresh sea air.
With it’s pretty harbour, tempting seafood and sweeping sea views, Oban is one of Scotland’s greatest coastal towns. Pick up fresh seafood at the Seafood Shack next to the ferry terminal, hop on a ferry to explore the west coast islands or book a coasteering adventure with Vertical Descents. Explore Dunollie Castle for an incred Scotland coastal castle experience, or wander around McCaig's Tower for panoramic views out to the islands and beyond.
Situated on the Isle of Skye’s south side, Elgol sits in a beautiful spot on the coast, looking across sparkling waters to the towering Cuillin Ridge. A number of boat tour operators run trips to beautiful Loch Coruisk and the nearby small isles from Elgol, including AquaXplore and Island Cruiser, Bella Jane Boat Trips and Misty Isle Boat Trips.
Designed by the celebrated lighthouse architect Robert Stevenson (the author Robert Louis Stevenson’s grandfather), Sumburgh Lighthouse is set in a dramatic position, atop the jagged cliffs of Sumburgh Head on Shetland. Visit to soak up the sweeping views of the North Sea, tour the visitor centre and see the colonies of birds on the cliffs.Key facilities
- Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
- Level Access
- Accessible toilets
Located in the Outer Hebrides, a stunning island chain off Scotland’s west coast, the islands of North Uist and Baleshare are teeming with beautiful beaches, nature walks and wildlife to uncover. Hop over to Baleshare (linked to North Uist by a causeway) to visit beautiful Baleshare Beach and immerse yourself in fresh sea air.
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