Scots may be more than able to withstand Arctic weather, but there’s no denying the pull of fairer climates as the cold winter season rages on.
There’s nothing quite like escaping to Lanzarote or Menorca for a double dose of sunshine and sea air - but if you’re set for a Scottish staycation in 2017, there are plenty of picturesque seaside spots right on our doorstep.
As we pray for the winter months to give way to warmer weather, the experts in all things sun, sand and sea at Optima Villas are giving Scots all the inspiration they’ll need when it comes to hitting the country’s best beaches this year.
While Wester Ross - an area of the North West Highlands which helped to shape the Game of Thrones universe - may not be the first place that springs to mind when you’re browsing beach holidays, the tranquil bay at Achnahaird is one of the most relaxing and picturesque beaches anywhere in Scotland. From its restful atmosphere to its crescent-shaped stretch of white sand, this beach is a wild camper’s paradise.
Big Sand Beach
Where the mountains meet the sea, you’ll find Big Sands - a beach located on the shores of Gairloch, which offers breathtaking, panoramic views over the Hebrides. Dogs are welcome on this sheltered sand and shingle beach, which is home to sand dunes galore - providing welcome shelter from the Hebrides winds. Visit Big Sand Beach this year to catch a glimpse of the mountains of Skye and Torridon in all their glory.
Considered by many to be the best beach anywhere in Britain, the much-loved Sandwood Bay is one of Scotland’s worst-kept secrets - although the journey to this remote bay is not for the faint of heart. Take a four-mile hike from Blairmore to reach this magnificent mile of golden, glittering sands, situated at Scotland’s northerly tip and surrounded by towering dunes. The moment you arrive at this impossibly remote beach, you’ll feel like the only person on Earth.
On the Isle of Lewis’ rugged coast, you’ll find Uig Sands. This is the ultimate Scottish beach if you’re looking to be transported to the Caribbean - with warm, white sand and vibrant turquoise waters as far as the eye can see. Vast, pristine and secluded, Uig Sands is the perfect destination for a holiday full of rest and relaxation, or a romantic escape for two - with some sheltered spots available to visitors looking for relief from the formidable Atlantic breeze.
Emerald green waters, expansive white sands and jaw-dropping views of the mountains of North Harris are just a few of Luskentyre’s many aesthetic assets. An undeniable highlight of the Outer Hebrides, there are few better beaches for spotting starfish, blowing away the cobwebs and seeing unspoilt coastal Scotland at its absolute best. Rain or shine, you’ll struggle to find a Scottish beach more beautiful than Luskentyre Sands.
With spring on the way, it won’t be long until Scots are trading winter coats for coastal walks - and from the rugged Highlands to the vibrant Hebrides, Scotland is home to some world-class beaches ideal for a seaside timeout in 2017.