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Digital Subscriptions > Argyllshire Advertiser > 27th May 2016 > Life’s a Beach

Life’s a Beach

Your guide to some of the West Coast, Highland’s and Islands’ most beautiful beaches

Beach safety

How to get there

Nearby eateries and attractions

Scotland boasts some of the most spectacular beaches in the world. White sands, turquoise waters, peaceful bays and tumbling waves. Who needs the Caribbean when you have all of this on your doorstep? The West Coast, Highlands and Islands of Scotland, from Skye in the north to Kintyre in the south and all of the beautiful Hebridean islands in between are perfect holiday destinations for families, couples and single explorers alike.

We have put together a collection of 20 of the best beaches for you to discover. Almost all of the images have been taken by the highly acclaimed, late, great Dennis Hardley – a true professional and gentleman. It is an honour to showcase his work with the kind permission of Tony Hardley.

We would like to thank Ron at www.islayinfo.com, Simon at www.simonbutterworthphotography.com and John of Seaview B&B in Fionnphort, Mull, for also allowing us to use some of their fine work.

We hope you enjoy our ‘Life’s a Beach’ feature and that it gives you some great ideas for the best Staycation holiday you can imagine. Why not take inspiration from VisitScotland’s suggestions for some great things to do on Scottish beaches?

1: Arrive in style at Barra…

If there’s one beach where you can really make an entrance, it’s Traigh Mhòr on Barra. This beautiful island in the Outer Hebrides uses the beach as the landing strip for its airport. It is regularly voted one of the world’s top airport approaches.

2: Have a Picnic

Create a basket full of local produce and tuck into locally-caught fish and chips or seafood from nearby takeaways or restaurants.

3: Try a New Sport

If basking in the sun for hours on end sounds more like boredom than bliss, get active instead! The beach is a great place to try a new sport, whether it’s wakeboarding or beach volleyball – it’s the perfect chance to get sporty in the sun!

4: Fish Around The Rock Pools

They might look peaceful from afar, but rock pools are in fact buzzing with life and activity. Keep your eyes peeled and you could spot whelks, limpets, crabs, starfish, jellyfish or even shrimp and lobsters.

5: Look Out For Seabirds

From gannets to guillemots, you’re sure to see some of Scotland’s colourful birdlife on a trip to the beach. Puffins, kittiwakes and sea eagles are just some of the feathered wildlife you can hope to see.

6: Build a Scottish Sandcastle

Give your sand sculpture a Scottish twist by basing it on one of your favourite real-life castles – maybe Eilean Donan on the Kyle of Lochalsh or Castle Stalker in Appin? Turn yourself into a beach architect!

7: From Silver Sands to Silver Screen

Quite a few of Scotland’s beaches have enjoyed a turn on the silver screen. Recreate scenes from Local Hero on Camusdarach Beach in the Highlands or Entrapment, filmed at Duart Castle on Mull.

8: Meet Highland Cows

Believe it or not, it’s not that uncommon to see Highland cows lazing on the beach. They are often seen soaking up the sun at Laggan Bay on Islay.

9: Go Hunting For Fossils

A stroll along the beach can sometimes lead you over millions of years of history. Fossils are found on many beaches around Scotland, so keep your eyes peeled. ukfossils.co.uk has detailed information on which areas offer the best chances offnding trilobites, graptolites and many more.

10: Take a Sunset Walk

Whether you’ve been relaxing with a book, exploring rock pools or windsurfing over the waves, end your day with a sunset walk and soak up the incredible colours.

Have fun, and don’t forget the sun cream!

For more information on Scotland’s best beaches and holiday destinations visit www.visitscotland.com

Beach Safety Tips:

Most of the beaches we feature are great for paddling, swimming, beachcombing and rock pooling. Keep informed of tidal times at www.tidetimes.org.uk and ask locals about the inside track on swimming safety.

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Local news, sport and leisure includes Life's a Beach - 12 page feature on beaches in the west of Scotland

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