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Blue Scotland's Guide: Top Destinations for Surfing and Swimming


Blue Scotland is a guidebook to Scotland's wild Blue Spaces for wild swimming, paddle boarding, surfing, and kayaking. The islands off the west coast of Scotland are a mecca for water sport enthusiasts from across the globe and are all easily accessed by CalMac links: Here are Blue Scotland's top surfing and swimming destinations:

Blue Scotland's Guide: Top Destinations for Surfing and Swimming

The Isle of Vatersay - surfing and swimming

Lying directly below the Isle of Barra is the most southerly inhabited island of the Outer Hebrides archipelago, Vatersay. This island is a literal paradise on a calm, warm day and a wild, raging land when the weather rolls in. 

After you cross the causeway from Barra, on the westerly side of the road, you have the beach of Traigh Shar. This beach is exposed to the full force of the Atlantic Ocean, with no land to break its path until you reach the Americas. This is a great surfing and windsurfing destination. Here you will find crystal clear water, empty waves, glorious white sand and often the local herd of cows casually grazing on seaweed and checking the surf conditions.

The beach to the east, Traigh a Bhaigh, is often as flat as a millpond facing towards the mainland of Scotland and much less effected by the Atlantic swell and a great place for a dip into the crystal-clear waters.



Luskentyre, Isle of Harris - swimming

Luskentyre is believed by many to be the jewel in the crown of Scottish beaches, and as soon as you arrive there, it is easy to see why. Taking a dip at this beach is a must for any journey on the Isle of Harris.

A vast expanse of golden sand leads down to crystal clear water that glitters in invitation, but rather than the ocean stretching into a distant flat horizon, as we're used to, towering mountains rise above the sea from North Harris on the right, whilst the island of Taransay lies in front of you, sheltering the beach from much of the Atlantic swell.

Luskentyre Beach by Rachel Keenan


Sollas, North Uist - surfing

The beach at Sollas is one of the finest on the island of North Uist. Remote, quiet, and raw. Sollas is a superb surfing destination for beginners and advanced surfers alike and a fun place to have a swim amongst the crashing Atlantic waves. 

Sollas beach is not the easiest to access, it lies about a mile from the nearest road. However, I can promise you that the trek down to the sand is worth it to experience this epic beach. The safest way to reach the beach is to park near the Coop shop in Sollas village and hike down, this way the machair and local wildlife is protected.



Scolpaig, North Uist - swimming

Scolpaig is known for its stunning tidal pool. Accessed at low tide, this is a natural swimming pool with a gentle rock slope leading down to the water is perfect for a splash about amongst beautiful surroundings.

This isn't the easiest beach to access and involved a half mile walk down a track, but it is well worth persevering for a chance to swim in this sheltered spot.

Scolpaig by Rachel Keenan


Tiree - surfing

The Isle of Tiree is the most westerly isle of the Inner Hebrides and Scotland's mecca for watersports. Often referred to as 'The Hawaii of Scotland', the Isle of Tiree attracts people from across the globe for kitesurfing, windsurfing, surfing and paddle boarding.

In terms of surfing, it's west and south coast are perfectly positioned to attract some pretty big North Atlantic swells. However, Tiree is also renowned for being incredibly windy, the prevailing wind blows onshore from the South-West, so for perfect surf conditions with an offshore wind and large Atlantic swell a few stars do have to align. But when they do, Tiree can be a world class surfing destination.

A great starting point on any surf trip to Tiree is Balevullin Beach where you will find family run surf company Blackhouse Watersports who are a great source of local knowledge on the conditions. 



Huisinis, Isle of Harris - Swimming

A small, secluded, sandy paradise found at the end of a 12-mile-long single-track road. As you crest the final hill, the golden sands of Husinis appear in the distance.

At first glance, Huisinis beach might seem rather diminutive in comparison to the vast spaces of some of the Isle of Harris' more famous counterparts, however there is something for everyone here. It is an incredible spot for wildlife spotting, rock pooling wild swimming, snorkelling and paddle boarding.

Huisnish Beach by Rachel Keenan

Blue Scotland  is a guidebook to exploring Scotland's wild waters written by Guinness world record breaking adventurer Mollie Hughes, with mesmerising photography from Rachel Keenan  get your copy now.

Every journey starts a story, so what are you waiting for? Book online today and #StartYourStory. 

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