Top 5 Scottish Beach walks

Top five: Scottish beach walks

 

We’ve all been merry in the season to be jolly, embraced the sentiments of the season of goodwill to all. That leaves the New Year, the season for …fresh air.
As the dust settles on the hubbub of Christmas and New Year, where better to blow the festive cobwebs away than the bright and breezy Scottish seaside?
As winter turns to spring, we’ll be pulling on our wellies and revisiting some of our favourite beach walks.

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1: Elie
Every now and again a place reaches out, grabs you and won’t let go. Elie, tucked neatly on the craggy coastline of the East Neuk of Fife, is one of those for us. We first visited almost a decade ago and return every year without fail, whether for a day trip or longer break. One of the most memorable was spent in the Elie Granary Loft – one of the most stunning holiday lets around, and well worth a peek. Wherever you stay, the charm of this coastal village is all around. From sandy walks along the beach, time spent watching the boats bobbing on the quayside, the beauty of neighbouring Ruby Bay or time to relax at the renowned Ship Inn (host of the very un-Scottish summer pursuit of beach cricket) it is difficult to imagine Elie being nudged from the top of our list.


2: Stonehaven
For us, the Aberdeenshire coastal trail at Stonehaven is our local. Yes, there are beaches closer to home but the half-hour drive is worth it for the wonderful contrast of town and country. In the town itself there’s a leisurely walk from one end of the bay to the other, starting at the unique art deco outdoor swimming baths and winding its way to the quaint harbour with its pubs and obligatory ice cream stops. Speaking of which, if you time it right you’ll beat the queues and be able to join the Stonehaven ritual of fish and chips at The Bay or ice cream at Aunt Betty’s. Just a hop and a skip around the headland, either on foot, by car or by the increasingly popular land train, is the simply stunning Dunnottar Castle. Clinging to north-east coast, not surprisingly it has provided the inspiration for a million photographs – not to mention the Pixar hit Brave. It isn’t just the walk to the castle that will take your breath away!

 


3: Loch Lomond
The first of two cheats in the list, for two reasons. Firstly clearly Loch Lomond isn’t the seaside, but we’ll forgive ourselves that. Cameron House is our favourite base on the bonny, bonny banks but we’ve also enjoyed the Lodges at Loch Lochmond and stayed in the town of Balloch itself. Wherever you pitch up there are walks aplenty, all with stunning views and within easy reach. The second reason Loch Lomond is a cheat on our New Year list is it isn’t really the walking or the outdoor pursuits that tempt us to look again for 2017 – more the good, no fuss food and laid-back vibe of the Boathouse Restaurant in the grounds of Cameron House. As a National Park, there’s no shortage of places to walk off any culinary excesses and walkhighlands is a good source of ideas – with everything from family strolls to more challenging treks featured.
4: Findhorn
It’s often said Findhorn is blessed with its own microclimate and who are we to argue? Mind you, whether you visit when the warm winds are blowing in or on a fresh and blustery winter’s morning it doesn’t really matter – it’s the beauty of Moray’s coastal jewel in the crown that draws visitors in. Once a fishing village, today Findhorn’s something of an artist’s paradise and well and truly on the international map. Dolphin spotting is another big draw, with the Scottish Dolphin Centre at nearby Spey Bay well worth taking the time to visit. Not surprisingly the centre brings tourists by the carload, but Findhorn retains its quiet and unassuming feel – perfect for peaceful strolls and whiling away the hours in one of Scotland’s most naturally beautiful coastal spots. If you have a spare £25,000 burning a hole in your pocket, you could look to join the new beach hut community at Findhorn. On the other hand, the walks are free!

 


5: Dores
Last but not least is the second of the cheats – Dores, at the head of Loch Ness. Again, not the seaside but given the vast expanses of Loch Ness it may as well be. Like Loch Lomond there are plenty of trails and tracks around Loch Ness, but proudly at the top is Dores – ideal for skimming stones and a bit of monster spotting. Of course there’s also the Dores Inn, with its log fire and cosy feel, to provide some respite and shelter – but it’s the stunning scenery that provides the real drama. If the loch side walks aren’t for you, the Caledonian Canal, leading into Inverness, is a lovely alternative, leading on to the River Ness … particularly pretty at night-time with the bridges lit up and the city lights reflecting on the water. Again, the  Walk Highlands website is a good place to turn for route ideas.

Happy Walking!

 

Travel Loving Family
The Places We Will Go

 

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25 Comments Add yours

  1. Tanja says:

    very nice! I heard of Stonehaven:) #mondayescapes

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    1. WTMluggage says:

      We love it there, great walks and ice cream too! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. As I’m originally from Scotland I loved this article. It brought back so many great memories. Loch Lomond is a place we want to visit in 2017 and I have heard great things about Cameron House. Thanks for sharing.

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  3. Whenever I make it to Scotland again one day, I will definitely be hitting up some of the beautiful beaches! #MondayEscapes

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  4. MrsS says:

    What lovely pictures. We visited lochness and Loch Lomond last year- beautiful xxx

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  5. Notmyyearoff says:

    They all sound so good. We’ve been to Balloch and Loch Lomond but never stayed in a lodge there and my friend has told me to go to Fife so definitely need to do that one day. I really want to do Glen Coe this year so I might tag something onto that!

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    1. WTMluggage says:

      So many great places to explore -I do love a good beach or loch side walk. We haven’t done Glen Coe yet either.

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  6. What a wonderful collection of places and memories. I love it that each of these beautiful beaches has a special place in your heart! Thanks for joining in with #MondayEscapes

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    1. WTMluggage says:

      It is lovely looking back on old photo’s and seeing the children grow with each visit. So many more great beaches to explore in Scotland too 🙂

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  7. I love Scotland! I was lucky enough to have lived in Edinburgh for more than a year as well as work on the West Coast near the Isle of Skye and its such an amazing place to walk and explore. Loved reading this post

    Laura x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTMluggage says:

      Thanks Laura, I think we sometimes take for granted our surroundings. It is easy to moan about the cold and rain sometimes, but we really are so lucky to have such wonderful scenery around us. 🙂

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  8. jphowze says:

    I’ve become obsessed with good walks lately and they’re so great to do with kids. These are going on the list! #MondayEscapes

    Liked by 1 person

  9. WTMluggage says:

    Yes, we definitely want to make sure we get out and about more for good old family walks this year. We are spoilt for choice up here so no excuse really ! 🙂

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  10. Oh blimey! Like I need any MORE reason to come to Scotland. I love it there so much. We have a friend who owns a house on Loch Ness and the local beach is Dores with the fab Dores Inn for a spectacular meal. If I could pick the rest of my family up, I would love there in a minute. Can’t say I always feel welcome by the locals tho sadly. I.e. Supermarket trips I have been pushed and shoved for no reason I can assume other that my English accent. Very strange the relationship between the Scots and the English but we visited one of the castles which shows a fab docu on what the English did to the Scots and I will be the first to admit they HAD reason to hate us.

    Anyways, I digress. Wonderful post and shall save it for future reference. Still love Scotland nonetheless 😍

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    1. WTMluggage says:

      Dores is lovely and The Dores Inn is a favourite too. Such a great spot! Sorry to hear about your experiences -we Scots are normally a friendly bunch, promise!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh totally. I see everyone as an individual. Would never judge people based on the category they fall into 🙂

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  11. Scotland is in my bucket list. We bought a campervan last summer and I am really enjoying exploring the uk in it.
    I’ve saved this post and will be following your beautiful blog for future reference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTMluggage says:

      Thank you. Oh I would love to explore in a campervan, sounds great fun. Think we would need a pretty big one now! There are so many great places to explore up here.

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  12. Scotland is definitely at the top of our travel bucket list!!!
    Thank you for all the great spots for us to travels and see when we come.
    I’m sure they wont disappoint!

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  13. I’ve seen so many wonderful posts about Scotland this month, I really must plan a visit up there very soon. Loch Lomond would be first on my list I think 🙂 Thanks for linking up to #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTMluggage says:

      Loch Lomond really is lovely -definitely worth a visit.

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  14. These walks sound great, thanks for sharing #ThePlacesWeWillGoLinky

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Helen says:

    We’re heading up to Inverness soon, so this is a really useful post – Dores sounds lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Kel says:

    These all sound like wonderful places! I’m heading to Scotland for our summer holiday this year and I can’t wait to explore! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WTMluggage says:

      So many great places -do you have plans for where you are going to visit?

      Like

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