Sandwood Bay Beach, Kinlochbervie

4.8
#5 of 14 in Beaches in Caithness and Sutherland
Sandwood Bay is a natural bay in Sutherland, on the far north-west coast of mainland Scotland. It is best known for its remote 1mi long beach and Am Buachaille, a sea stack, and lies about 5mi south of Cape Wrath. Behind the bay's large dunes, stretches the freshwater Sandwood Loch.Though remote, and with no road access, the bay can be reached by a 4mi path leading from the gravel car park at the hamlet of Blairmore. Sandwood Bay is part of the Sandwood Estate which is run by the John Muir Trust. The beach is considered to be one of the cleanest and most unspoilt beaches in the whole of mainland Britain.HistoryThe name Sandwood Bay probably derives from the Viking name 'Sandvatn' ("sand water") and it is believed longboats were dragged across the sands into Sandwood Loch. There are also remains of Pictish settlement in the area. The area has been largely uninhabited since 1847 when the land was cleared for sheep farming as part of the Highland Clearances. A number of shepherds huts remained and were occasionally occupied until around 1940. On 30 September 1941, Sergeant Michael Kilburn from 124 Squadron at RAF Castletown was flying a Spitfire south west of Cape Wrath when the engine failed. He crash-landed the plane on the beach at Sandwood, and managed to escape uninjured. The wreck remained on the beach and over time the entire bodywork was eroded away by the sea but its engine, a Rolls Royce Merlin, remains largely intact and occasionally emerges into full view whenever tidal and weather conditions permit.
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Sandwood Bay Beach Reviews
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129 reviews
Google
4.8
TripAdvisor
  • Remote - though well-known and popular so you are unlikely to be quite alone. Accessible from 3.5 mile walk along good path from the car park. White sand, peaceful. Very pleasant visit.  more »
  • Duration of the hike (one-way): 45 min - 6km (from parking lot Blairmore - brisk pace) way is well accessible, however, substantial footwear is recommended. Smaller streams via stepping stones are partial to cross. Weather can change quickly, good rain gear and wind protection recommended. The beach itself is beautiful and every meter value hike! Visit when you're in the vicinity!
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  • I've always wanted to visit Sandwood and have put it off in previous years, but the more I heard and saw of the beach, I was determined to make the trip. And, I'm so glad I did! It's mythological - me...  more »
Google
  • The most beautiful & secluded beach I have ever saw, was most definitely worth the 4.5 mile walk. There was 3 people & a dog there when myself & 3 friends got there, however, we camped there overnight. Early the next morning it was completely secluded, I managed to take the most stunning photographs, shall upload a few soon.
  • A beautiful, secluded beach only accessible via a fairly flat 4 mile walk. The small car park has a public toilet.
  • With sunset closing in, and only accessible by foot, we took an energetic, fast-paced 4.5 mile walk - followed the trail through barren moorland, surrounding lakes and small pebble beaches to reach this remote beach. It took an hour and 15 minutes to reach the spectacular Sandwood Bay..... with its breathtaking views.
  • The most stunning beach, we are young and it took us an hour and a half each way at a good pace to get there. Spent an hour there with a picnic lunch. Absolutely beautiful, scenery is a great reward for the walk.
  • Probably the most atmospheric beach in Britain.

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