Beaches in Scotland
Vast swathes of Scotland’s coastline are untouched, revealing underrated beaches that have retained their charm for centuries. Almost as big as England, but home to less than a tenth of the population, Scotland and its shores are a rural coastal paradise waiting for you to pay a visit.
Rugged rocky stretches and untouched, pristine paradises combine to form this guide of beaches in Scotland. Both the east and west coast are covered, most within close proximity of our stellar Scottish parks at Craig Tara near Ayr, and Seton Sands on the Firth of Forth. We also feature the odd beach that's more than worth the long journey. There’s even a couple of suburban features for you to tie in with a visit to Scotland’s wonderful capital city - Edinburgh.
Looking for the cream of the crop? Check out our list of the best beaches in Scotland.
Beach walks: scenic strolls
Our Scottish parks are in the perfect locations away from the hustle and bustle, but close enough for you to avail of the endless amenities served up on park and by their neighbours. Seton Sands is a great example of this balance. A walk westwards from your accommodation takes along some of the most beautiful beaches in Scotland overlooking the Firth of Forth. Head for Musselburgh five miles along the coast, or park here and head into what is actually the outskirts of Edinburgh. The suburban yet beautiful Portobello Beach serves the residents of one of the city’s most affluent areas.
On the west coast, our Craig Tara park overlooks the magnificent Firth of Clyde with the spectacular Isle of Arran in the distance, and there’s no better way to sample this scenery than on a stroll. Take a three-mile route north, past the enchanting Greenan Castle to reach Ayr Beach, home to everything needed for a great family day out by the sea.
Beach history: incredible architecture dotted around the coastal region
Port Seton’s proximity to the sea and Edinburgh made it an ideal staging post for the fishing industry into Scotland’s capital, and the remnants of the town’s glory days still live onto through its magnificent seafood. A short drive east from Seton Sands past North Berwick’s Yellowcraig Beach gets you to the 14th-century Tantallon Castle, complete with a five-storey central tower and replica cannon that highlights its strategically important location. West from Seton is Edinburgh, a place rich in cosmopolitan culture and history. That’s what we love about Seton Sands so much, you can pretty much do as you fancy with so many options in any direction.
Craig Tara also has its fair share of throwbacks. Greenan Castle stands perilously close to the cliff edge on the way up to Ayr, and further south you’ll find another fortification in the form of Culzean Castle. Dating back to 1777, there are 40 buildings to explore and it’s a great educational trip for the kids. If you’re into your antiques, you might recognise the place from its many appearances on the BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. Some of the most undiscovered beaches in Scotland lie in wait on your way here, so there’s adventure all along the way.
Beach walks: all you need for a great day out
The areas around our Scottish parks aren’t just places of the past. You can find everything you need for a great family day out at the seaside in Ayr when you’re with us at Craig Tara. There’s a pier, amusements, a large beach and a number of pubs and restaurants for you to truly kick back and relax at. Don’t forget to grab some fish and chips whilst you’re there too, with some of the finest seafood in Scotland available here.
Seton Sands may be an escape from busy daily life, but we really couldn’t recommend a trip into Edinburgh a highly enough. There’s a reason the city is the second most visited in the UK after London. Take the kids up to Arthur’s seat or relax Cramond Beach on the city’s northern tip.
For a Scottish trip further afield, why not head up to St. Andrews? The home of golf also possesses two fine beaches of its own, making it a brilliant way to discover another stretch of coastline and beach in Scotland.