Idyllic South Hebridean beaches

Some of the best beaches in Britain can be found in the Hebrides. This is a selection of the beaches we explored on our recent visit.

kite flying on deserted beach

The Outer Hebrides consists of a chain of islands connected by causeways and short ferry crossings, our trip started on Barra after a ferry journey from Oban.

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Just south of Barra is the small island of Vatersay with its two golden beaches facing East and West. The East beach is sheltered so is a great spot for sandcastles and picnics. 

Vatersay east beach

Vatersay east beach

The west beach is exposed to the atlantic swell so it’s a great surfing spot, there is no rip tide so it’s also safe to swim in the surf.

Vatersay West Beach

Vatersay West Beach

Another great surfing beach is Traigh Eais a short walk from Barra airport across a grassy plane (machair). There was a wild feel about the beach as I viewed it from the sand dunes.

surfing beach Traigh Eais

Traigh Eais

We drove through South Uist and following local advice found our way to the flat island of Baleshare and it’s 4 mile long beach – superb! The tide was coming in so after an hour body boarding we had a barbecue as the waves crashed on the pebbles.

surfing beach Baleshare

Baleshare

We camped at the immaculate Moorcroft campsite with its stunning views.

idyllic campsite

View from Moorcroft campsite, Carinish

We continued north to Hosta – one of the Hebridean surfing hotspots, swimmers beware as there is a strong rip tide.

Hosta beach hot surfing spot

Hosta beach

My favorite beach of the entire trip was Berneray, it was completely deserted and has fantastic views to Harris.

deserted berneray beach

Berneray beach

There was a light breeze, perfect for kite flying !

kite flying Berneray beach

Berneray beach

We parked the campervan at the Scottish youth hostel and were treated to fantastic views to Skye and the mainland.

Berneray looking towards Skye

Berneray, looking towards Skye

The next day we took the dawn ferry to Leverburgh on Harris, and watched the sun rise at the ferry weaved its way through the narrow channel.

Sound of Harris

The Sound of Harris

The first beach we came to on Harris was Bariscale which is 3 miles long and exposed to the Atlantic swell so another popular surfing spot. There is not a bad view from the golf course either !

Bariscale bay

Bariscale bay

Our final stop was Luskentyre, a beach with soft white sand and voted Britain’s best beach. On a sunny day the views are like the caribbean.

Luskentyre beach

Luskentyre

As we headed for the ferry at Tarbert we passed  Fadhail Losgaintir, the sea was a beautiful shade of blue green as the tide was on its way out.

Fadhail Losgaintir beach

Fadhail Losgaintir

All the beaches we visited can be found in the map below.

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