15 of the best beaches in Scotland

Have you ever wondered where to find some of Scotland's best-kept secrets? Well, get ready to pack your sunscreen, flip-flops (and perhaps a raincoat) because we've compiled a list of 15 of the best beaches in Scotland – come rain or shine!


From the sandy stretches of Broughty Ferry to the wild waves of St Andrews West Sands, Scotland's coastline is dotted with treasures just waiting for you to explore. Plus, each beach is within an hour's drive or under from our three fantastic holiday parks in Scotland! What more could you want? Look no further for the ultimate beach destinations for families looking to add excitement to their Scottish holiday!

Broughty Ferry Beach image

Broughty Ferry Beach

Renowned for its pristine sands, this award-winning beach in Scotland is located just east of Broughty Ferry Castle, at the mouth of the Tay Estuary. Boasting dunes and breathtaking views to the north coast of Fife, this Scottish beach is home to a nature conservation site where a range of wildlife can be spotted – from birds and seals to the occasional porpoise.

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Monifieth Beach image

Monifieth Beach

With views towards the southern side of the Firth of Tay, Monifieth Beach is no doubt one of the best sandy beaches in Scotland. Explore wooden groynes and rock pools exposed at low tide, which offer the perfect opportunity to spot unique wildlife. Parking is available just a short walk away, and there are visitor toilets, a child's play area, and even a skate park.

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St Andrews West Sands image

St Andrews West Sands

If you're a fan of exploring famous movie spots, St Andrews West Sands might be exactly what you're looking for! Famous for the opening scenes of the film Chariots of Fire, this is definitely one of the best family beaches in Scotland. Take in two miles of uninterrupted sand and sweeping dunes, part of the Firth of Tay and Eden Estuary Special Area for Conservation.

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Carnoustie Beach image

Carnoustie Beach

Another of the best beaches in Scotland is Caisnoustie Beach. Nestled along the picturesque coastline of Angus, Scotland, this beach offers the chance to explore this gently sloping haven of sand and rock. With a choice of car parks close by, you could choose to wander 300 metres down to the shore at low tide or visit the children's play area and paddling pool.

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Loch Leven image

Loch Leven

Loch Leven, nestled amidst the picturesque landscapes of Scotland's Perth and Kinross region, is the largest natural shallow water body in lowland Britain. It is renowned for its rich biodiversity and its importance as a habitat for migratory birds. Lochleven Castle stand proudly on a small island. This historic fortress, once the prison of Mary, Queen of Scots, cannot be missed.

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Southerness Beach image

Southerness Beach

Another one of the best beaches in Scotland is Southerness Beach, situated along the stunning coastline of Dumfries and Galloway Stretching for miles, this sandy beach offers visitors the chance to explore either side of the Southerness Point. The main attraction here, though, is the Southerness Lighthouse. Completed in 1749, it's the second-oldest lighthouse in Scotland.

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Kingsbarns Beach image

Kingsbarns Beach

A popular place for rockpooling, Kingsbarns Beach is a two-mile stretch of golden sands featuring rocky outcrops and stunning scenery. As well as being popular amongst walkers seeking solitude, the dunes framing the shoreline are home to various insects and birds. You could also explore the Fife Coastal Path, which passes alongside the beach.

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Lundin Links Beach image

Lundin Links Beach

Lundin Links Beach is known for its peace and tranquillity. A quiet, sandy beach looking out towards the Firth of Forth, it boasts roadside parking and a nearby golf club. As you approach the nearby Lower Largo village centre, the beach becomes rockier – perfect for exploring!

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Leven Beach image

Leven Beach

Leven Beach, situated in the bustling town of Leven on the east coast of Fife, Scotland, is a popular seaside destination beloved for its expansive sands and lively atmosphere. Stretching for miles along the shores of the Firth of Forth, this vibrant beach offers recreational opportunities for visitors of all ages. With an outdoor fitness area, play area, arcades, and even a summer fair.

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Montrose Beach image

Montrose Beach

Montrose Beach, nestled along the Angus coastline in eastern Scotland, is a picturesque stretch of shoreline renowned for its natural beauty and rich biodiversity. Backed by dunes and expansive greenery, this sandy beach offers an excellent opportunity for all ages to go birdwatching in the nearby nature reserve, enjoy the Seafront Splash play area, explore the Trail Pavilion, and more!

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Lunan Bay image

Lunan Bay

Lunan Bay is known for its history—from 10th-century Viking armies to the crumbling ruin of Red Castle, this beach is popular with history buffs, surfers, horse riders, and fishers alike! One of the best times to visit this beach is after a storm, when you'll see the sands, sometimes yielding agates and gemstones that glimmer in the sunlight.

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Burntisland Beach image

Burntisland Beach

Burntisland Beach, in Fife is a delightful seaside retreat perfect for paddling, swimming, and building sandcastles with the kids. Beacon Leisure Centre is nearby – with a 25-metre swimming pool and a wave machine. You'll also find a nearby seaside park, a crazy golf course, bouncy castles, and picnic tables. Why not check out the annual summer fairground?

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Dundee Urban Beach image

Dundee Urban Beach

Dundee Urban Beach, located in the heart of Dundee along the banks of the River Tay in Scotland, is a vibrant waterfront destination offering a unique blend of city amenities and coastal charm. This urban beach is man-made, and its soft sands, shallow waters, and stunning views of the Tay Rail Bridge and city skyline are a sight to behold.

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West Links Beach image

West Links Beach

West Links Beach, is known for its sandy walks and panoramic views of the Firth of Forth. Backed by grassy dunes framed by rocky outcrops, this scenic beach offers plenty of rockpooling, swimming, and boating opportunities. Parking is available at the Aroboath end of the beach, including disabled spaces. Toilets, a café, a miniature railway, and indoor rides.

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Aberdour Silver Sands image

Aberdour Silver Sands

Tucked away along the shores of the Firth of Forth, Aberdour Silver Sands is an idyllic beach offering a picturesque setting for sunbathing, swimming, and beachside picnics. Visitors to Aberdour Silver Sands can also explore the nearby coastal paths and nature trails or take panoramic views of the surrounding coastline from the vantage point of the historic Aberdour Castle.

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Explore the most beautiful beaches in Scotland

Plenty of beaches in Scotland are perfect for all ages, no matter the weather. Whether you want to bask in Scottish history or take a sandy walk along a shoreline framed by dunes, some of the best beaches in Scotland are ready and waiting for you to explore.

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