Here at Ariescape, we know our strengths. Or, rather, we know Scotland’s strengths.
This is a country renowned for its mystical beauty, fascinating history, rolling hills, snowy mountains, steaming haggis, and freezing knees – we’re talking about the kilts! It is not a country renowned for its beaches.
But, like we said, we know Scotland, and for that reason, we believe that this is a crime!
Yes, England has a lot of great beaches, whether that’s the sparkling yellow sands down in Cornwall, or the perfect playground that is Brighton. But Scotland has beaches that go to the next level. Scottish beaches are wild. Almost elemental.
The best are not ones that act as thriving tourist spots or ice-cream hubs, they’re the ones that are stumbled upon naturally, hidden in plain sight, like you’ve stumbled into a fairy-tale.
While you’re renting a motorhome in Scotland, we would highly recommend you try to find a few. If you’re wondering exactly where to start looking, we also know where you should go. Below is our guide to the best beach in the UK, and what makes it such a must-see on your Scottish journey.
The Beauty Of Kearvaig
One of the most underrated places in Scotland is Kearvaig, nestled amid the Scottish Highlands. Not so much a destination, but more of an experience. Because it’s in the Highlands, this place is surrounded by rugged cliffs, vast open scenery, and fascinating wildlife.
One of the more popular spots is the Cape Wrath Lighthouse, which was built in 1828. This is an iconic landmark that still to this day guides ships through dangerous waters, run and maintained by the Northern Lighthouse Board. Near to the lighthouse is a visitor centre, a small, welcoming cafe and even historical military installations. It is also the starting point for your hike to the fabled Kearvaig Bay.
From the Cape Wrath Lighthouse, you can take a trail that will lead you on a 30-minute hike, all the way down to a secluded, gorgeous beach. This place forms the perfect juxtaposition. Complete with white sands and crystal-clear waters, the bay sits in a notch just beside the Highland cliffs, hidden away as if it was only supposed to be found by a privileged few.
On blustery days, the ocean rages onto the shoreline, bursting against jagged rocks and painting a picture of chaos and excitement. When you’re standing there, you can just imagine the shipmen of the nineteenth century, fighting against the elements and peering through squinted eyes to spot the light from Cape Wrath, hoping to catch a glimpse and be guided to safety. If you’re travelling Scotland in the summer, on a warm, peaceful day, the beach feels like something out of a storybook. The waves lap peacefully against the sands, and the entire world goes silent to enjoy the tranquillity.
Stay there for one hour, two hours, three, it doesn’t matter. Just going there and experiencing a place like this will be enough to linger long in the memory.
Memories And Motorhomes
If you are planning to visit this place during your tour of Scotland, it also offers plenty of nearby trails and treks that are easy to reach and can take you past some amazing scenery and stunning coastlines.
There is also plenty of Scottish wildlife to spot, with common sightings of regal red deer, red squirrels, golden eagles, and highland cows, all wandering their way around the rolling plains. If you’re lucky, you might even get a sighting of a pine marten crawling up a tree in the woodlands, or a humpback whale dipping in and out of the waves near the coast.
Kearvaig is also known for having one of the best bothies in Scotland – a small cottage that is used as a mountain or farming refuge. You’ve got our motorhome, so you don’t need anything more luxurious than that, but this bothy is a piece of Highland history, and looks perfectly picturesque alone against the oceanic backdrop.
Getting To Kearvaig
You might also find that you want to stay in that bothy, because getting to Kearvaig involves a trek by ferry. To get there, you need to travel to the northwest coast of Scotland. West of Durness – which is a beautiful spot to visit in itself – is East Keoldale Pier.
You can travel here in our vehicles, but from this point, you will have to get on the Cape Wrath Ferry and cross the water, which takes around 5 minutes. From the drop-off point, you can catch a minibus to Cape Wrath, and then begin your trek to the beach. If this sounds like an effort, it’s not! As we said, this place is an experience. It’s an adventure that is waiting to be had, and if you give yourself at least a day to make that adventure, we promise you won’t be disappointed.