Sandwood Bay has a reputation of being the most unspoiled beach in the whole of the UK. It is truly beautiful and offers nearly a mile and a half of powdery golden sands backed by huge sand dunes and a loch, it is surrounded by cliffs and an impressive sea stack. It's on the very north-west coast of Scotland, met with the North Atlantic ocean, boasting crystal clear waters. For solitude, serenity and allure, there is truly no place else that can beat Sandwood Bay.
The most captivating thing about Sandwood Bay, is that it requires some effort in order to get there, immediately eliminating those that prefer convenience over perseverance. This remote bay can be reached by a 4-mile (6.5km) well-trodden and accessible foot-path, that begins at a gravel car park, in the hamlet of Blairmore. Click here to open on Google maps. The car park has toilets, rubbish bins and ample space for visitors, but if you are visiting during the summer, It's recommended to arrive early. Once you're ready, cross the road to join the path.
The path itself is fairly flat and steady underfoot, taking you through open moorland and alongside lochs. The land here is crofted, so it's important to keep dogs on a lead and kept under control at all times to avoid disturbing the livestock and ground nesting birds. There is a bicycle rack at around the 2.5 mile (4km) point, this is where those that chose to cycle will leave their bikes to walk the final approach. This is due to the path beyond this point not being very cycle-friendly, owing to the stone culverts used to channel flowing water.
You'll know that you are nearly there when you pass through two old wooden stakes in the ground. You are about to reap the rewards of your efforts and by this point, you'll be anticipating what's to come. The path takes you on one final rise before the view of Sandwood Bay exposes itself and the sound of the waves hits you. It's almost within reach and all that's left is for you to take a final descent and navigate the sand dunes to enter the beach itself.
Even on a busy day, Sandwood Bay is large enough to allow everyone the space to revel in it's beauty. Take pleasure in the fact that you, along with the like-minded individuals that surround you, have trekked several miles to find one of Scotland's most-charming hidden gems.
Unfortunately, you will have to leave this superb place at some point and when that inevitable moment comes, you'll just need to follow the same track back to the car park. The walk back does feel longer than the walk there and yes, you will have several urges to turn back and claim the beach as your own! Hopefully you'll have taken plenty of photographs to help keep your memory of this place alive.
Do keep an eye out for the donation box that is placed at the car park, all proceeds go to The John Muir Trust, who own Sandwood Bay and help keep it in the immaculate state in which we love to find it.
Thank you for reading. If you would like to see more of Sandwood Bay, it features in our NC500 video. We would love for you to give it a watch!