You can taste the salt in the wind, hear the seabirds call to each other over the crashing sounds of the waves and see the pure sands stretching for miles before your bare feet. When your senses are this alive, there is nowhere quite as wonderful as the beach. And there are few beaches as special as those in Scotland.

Five of Scotland's finest beaches

Loch Morlich

Is this Scotland's least-known beach? Perhaps - it's 40 km from the sea in the heart of the Cairngorms. But Loch Morlich has golden sands, shady pines and toe-cooling wavelets. Join the windsurfers sipping a smoothie in the cafe.

Sango Bay

If your hat blows off at Sango Bay, it could end up on a polar bear. This is Scotland's far north coast and the next stop is the Arctic. Vikings once navigated past Durness's frowning cliffs, and hidden in these crags is the enchanting Smoo Cave. You can explore this colossal grotto by boat. Just watch out for the 20 m high waterfall.

Seacliff

Seacliff beach comes with its own clifftop castle and awe-inspiring views of the famous Bass Rock. Bring your binoculars to see what 150,000 gannets look like close up. (Messy.) Still, it's 'one of the wildlife wonders of the world' according to Sir David Attenborough.

South Harris

The island of Lewis and Harris has been named the number one island in Europe by TripAdvisor. Explore South Harris beach and after you've walked along mile upon mile of pristine white sands and gazed over azure waters, you'll see why.

Big Sands

Come and stroll along the Big Sands where the mountains meet the sea. Out in the bay, lush islands are scattered in the shallows. Inland, the mighty Torridon hills lock shoulders and jostle for the best view. In between them is a shining strip of white gold ready for you to treasure.

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