About Sandwood Bay beaches
Many of the deserted beaches of the Scottish coast resemble peerless Hawaiian stretches. It’s just a bit colder here. So much colder, in fact, that jumping into the sea is usually a sense-imploding wake-up call. This is the UK coast at its most adventurous and deserted. The east coast might be beautiful, but it pales in comparison to the jaw-dropping spectacular northwest.
Sandwood Bay is said to be the most remote beach in mainland Britain. It’s a 7km (4.5 mile) trek across the moors to get here, but when you arrive, the peachy sand, ice-silver Atlantic, wild rocks and achingly blue loch make it all worthwhile. A sea stack (a ghostly turret of rock) stands like a sentinel off the coast. The beach is even said to have a resident ghost of a sailor from a shipwrecked Armada ship.
Beyond the beach:
North of here is Cape Wrath, the most northwesterly point of the mainland. It’s topped by a lighthouse, built by Robert Stevenson in 1828, and is accessible via a 15-minute ferry ride across the Kyle of Durness. A minibus connects with the ferry and takes passengers the 17km (11 miles) to the Cape, with its wild scenery and epic cliffs.
This beach is all about the wild outdoors. The hike there might be long, but it’s easy enough, with stunning views of the northwest Highlands on the way. It’s a great surfing beach, though only for experienced surfers, and you should beware of currents. This is also the ultimate wilderness camping spot, but bear in mind you’ll have to carry all your provisions.
Visitors can make the most of Sandwood Bay’s northerly location for exploring the remote Outer Hebrides. Head to Ullapool just down the coast and hop in a ferry across to Stornoway.
With very little around the Sandwood Bay area other than beautiful beach and coastline, visitors will have to travel further afield for any kind of luxury. Just down the coast in Poolewe is the plush Pool House Hotel (www.luxury-hotels-sctoland.co.uk). The seven luxury suites all offer views over the surrounding countryside and the hotel has a whisky room, snooker roomo and stylish furnishings. Head chef, Will Hay, has trained under some of Britain’s leading names such as Gary Rhodes and is committed to using the finest Scottish produce. Culinary delights include tortellini of squat lobster, croquette of pigs trotter and red wine poached turbot.