Sandwood Bay Beach

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Sandwood Bay Beach is situated on the northwest coast of Scotland, 98 miles northwest of Inverness, 21 miles southwest of Durness.

This is often claimed to be the top Beach on the Scottish mainland. There is a 4 mile / 6 km walk from the car park to the beach, taking about 1 hour. Postcode: IV27 4RT.

Sandwood Bay Map Large Images

See also a large Click On Map for Top Attractions in the area.



The image top is of the Car Park at Blairmore, an area with only a few houses. Blairmore is so small it is not on any of the sign posts. Follow signs for Kinlochbervie, then drive past that village for another 3 miles.

The Path out to the Beach is across the road from the Car Park. You pass a few Lochans on the Path out and probably a few Highland Cattle.

About half way, you see the path leading way into the distance between hills. The Beach is just past those hills.

After about an hour walking, you get a great view down to Sandwood Bay Beach. It was about 27 / 80 degrees when I visited in May with a surfer on the north side of the Beach, and 3 people swimming on the south side, probably the perfect day to visit.

The larger waves were around 6 feet high, so on a windy day they will no doubt be a fair bit higher for surfing.

Large Image of the south side with a Swimmer and the Sea Stack.

The walk back starts off with a bit of a climb back up out of the beach.

Sandwood Bay History

800s - Sandwood Bay is said to have been used by Vikings as they populated the Northern and Western Isles of Scotland, and began raiding the Mainland.

Before lighthouses, Sandwood Bay Beach was littered with wreckage form ships, with the treasure from some ships said to be lost in the sand dunes.

1828 - Cape Wrath Lighthouse was built on the most northwest point in Scotland, 6 miles north of Sandwood Bay. Cape Wrath is best visited by appointment, as it is often used by Naval Ships for target practice.

The remains of Sandwood Cottage are situated by the Beach. The Cottage is said to have the Ghost of a Mariner from an Armada Galleon that was washed up here with its Treasure.

1847 - Crofters were cleared from this area to make way for large scale sheep farming, known as the Highland Clearances.

1940 - the last of the Shepherd Huts in the area were abandoned.

1941 - Sergeant Michael Kilburn crash landed his Spitfire on the Beach, surviving without injury. The engine of the plane can be seen during certain tides.

1962 - James MacRory-Smith, a hermit known as Sandy, originally from Dumbarton, set up home in a cottage 1 mile northeast of Sandwood Bay.

1979 - Sandy's Cottage was damaged during a storm, leading to the Mountain Bothies Association repairing the cottage to serve as a Bothy, with Sandy allowed to continue living there.

Over the following years, a number of Walkers claimed Sandy chased them off with a Hatchet in his hand.

1996 - ill health led to Sandy leaving the Cottage, he died a few years later at Kinlochbervie.

Sandy's Bothy is now claimed to be one of the scariest places to stay in Scotland.

2009 - Keith Brown crash landed his microlight plane on the Beach. He then had to carry it in pieces 4 miles to the road.

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Sandwood Bay Beach Photos