Scotland's 'best beaches' according to VisitScotland as temperatures to hit 20C

Sandbar, known as a tombolo, connecting St Ninian's Isle with the mainland of the Shetland Islands off the north of Scotland.
St Ninian's Isle has been named as one of the top beaches in the country by VisitScotland -Credit:lucentius / Getty Images

The "best beaches in Scotland" have been named by VisitScotland, just in time for May.

As reported by the Daily Record, temperatures across the country are forecast to reach the low 20s this weekend. That means now is the ideal time for a day out.

There is nothing Scots love more than flocking to the beach when the sun is shining for a bit of sunbathing and a refreshing dip in the sea. For those stuck for ideas on where to head, VisitScotland has provided plenty of inspiration with its list of the top 11 across the country.

Coming in at number one is St Ninian's Isle on Shetland. Consisting of a circular six-kilometre walk, the tourist board praised the beach for its unique shape with sea on either side, calling it "one of the finest sand tombolos in Europe".

Located in a rural farming region, the beach is perfect for those after true peace and quiet. With crystal-clear blue water, white sand, and plenty of lush greenery, it is easy to see why St Ninian's Isle is often used in promotional material for Shetland.

Following behind in second place on VisitScotland's list is Ayr Beach along the Ayrshire coast, which it described as "sandy, blissful and picturesque". Highlights of the beach include its promenade and breathtaking views out across to Ailsa Craig and the Isle of Arran, while there is also a play area and crazy golf to keep young ones entertained.

United Kingdom, Great Britain, Scotland, South West, South Ayrshire, Ayr Town, March 26, 2023, the sunset on Ayr beach is one of the classic moments of any Scottish holiday
Ayr Beach is the perfect spot for a scenic walk with your four-legged friend -Credit:Andrea Pistolesi / Getty Images

Meanwhile, at third place on VisitScotland's list is Tolsta Beach on the Isle of Lewis. Perfect for both picnics and peaceful walks, it is the biggest beach on the island and offers plenty of room to run around in.

Rounding out the top five are Sanna Bay in the Scottish Highlands and West Sands Beach in St Andrews, placing fourth and fifth respectively. The former is known for its wildlife-spotting opportunities, while the latter is most famous for appearing in the iconic opening scenes of Chariots of Fire.

Elsewhere, other beaches to be singled out by VisitScotland include Nairn Beach in Moray Speyside, Calgary Bay on the Isle of Mull, and Coldingham Bay in the Scottish Borders. For those keen for a city break, it also praised Aberdeen Beach as having "a bucket and spade-load of charm".

More information about the full list of Scotland's best beaches can be found on the VisitScotland website.

Aberdeen beach, promenade,  Aberdeenshire, Highland Region, Scotland UK
In terms of Scotland's city beaches, Aberdeen Beach received particular praise from VisitScotland -Credit:Dennis Barnes / Getty Images

11 of the best beaches in Scotland

  1. St Ninian's Isle, Shetland

  2. Ayr Beach, Ayr

  3. Tolsta Beach, Isle of Lewis

  4. Sanna Bay, The Highlands

  5. West Sands Beach, St Andrews

  6. Lossiemouth Beach, Moray Firth

  7. Aberdeen Beach, Aberdeen

  8. Calgary Bay, Isle of Mull

  9. Nairn Beach, Moray Speyside

  10. Rockcliffe Beach, Dumfries & Galloway

  11. Coldingham Bay, Scottish Borders

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