Visit some of the best beaches on The West Coast of Scotland. This trip introduces you to three stunning beaches on the north east coast of Ardnamurchan peninsula; one accessible by car; the other two more remote and accessible only on foot. The three beaches are the lovely beach at Ardtoe, the stunning beach at Gortenfern Singing Sands, and the beatiful beach and dunes at Cul na Croise. Take a picnic or stop for lunch at the nearby village of Acharacle where you can take a short walk to the jetty on Loch Shiel for fine views of Ben Resipole.

The lovely beach at Ardtoe is best visited at low tide and is a popular spot with locals taking a wee paddle. There is parking at the end of road by the beach (for a small charge), as well as a small caravan site if you wish to extend your stay.

Alternatively, take the road across Kentra Moss towards Arivegaig and opt for an easy walk to The Singing Sands (Camas an Lighe), a stunning sandy bay near Gortenfern which is renowned for the sonorous nature of its sand, a property afforded by the shape, size and silica content of the sand grains. This stunning and remote beach is accessed via a 5km walk along a gravelled track/forest track and provides some great wildlife spotting opportunities. At first, the walk skirts along the edge of Kentra Bay before entering forest plantation; look out for the small sign on your right which marks the small sandy track to this lovely beach.

For the more adventurous, you can head off from the path to The Singing Sands through the forest plantation on rough boggy ground to reach the remote beach and dunes at Cul na Croise. The beach was used as a training site during World War II and you need to be aware that some old ordnance and shells may remain. More recently, Cul na Croise was the base of the Eden TV reality show broadcast on Channel 4 during 2017 where more fireworks were let off. Peace has now returned and the beach is well worth the effort required to visit if you have the time and inclination.

Time for lunch? The local village of Acharacle offers several lunch time options including Cafe Tioram, David's Bakery and The Loch Shiel Hotel. Acharacle is the hub of the local community and you are assured of a friendly welcome.

 

1

 ( Ardnamurchan Peninsula )

Reasons To Visit: Beach, Walk

The Singing Sands, or Camas an Lighe is a lovely sandy bay near Gortenfern in the north east of the Ardnamurchan peninsula. The beach is renowned for its singing sand, a predisposition caused by the shape and size of the sand grains and the silica content. To 'sing' the sand also needs to be of the right humidity. The sound is caused by wind blowing over the surface or by the shuffle of feet or boots through the sand.

At low tide, you can head north east along the coast line to explore the other bays, including Cul na Criose. However, you will need to be mindful of the tide times to ensure they you can retrace your steps before the tide changes.

Please note that the beach and surrounding area was used for commando training during the Second World War and may contain unexploded munitions.

The Singing sands can accessed by walking along a 4km track from the village of Arivegaig where car parking is available at the end of the public road.


2

 ( Ardnamurchan Peninsula )

Reasons To Visit: Beach

Cul na Croise is a beach noted for its wilderness quality and remoteness. It lies to the north east of Camas an Lighe and forms part of the Singing Sand coastline. This stunning beach with accompanying dune system, abuts coastal heath and semi natural birch and oak woodland. The dune ecosystem is also of high conservation importance and is a great place for botanising and wildlife watching (on both the sea and shore).

Please note that the beach and surrounding area was used for commando training during the Second World War and may contain unexploded munitions.

The remote location of Cul na Croise makes it quite a challenge to access on foot but is a very popular beach with kayakers. Cul na Croise can be accessed from the popular walk to The Singing Sands at Gortenfern and is best accessed at low tide.


3

 ( Ardnamurchan Peninsula )

Reasons To Visit: Beach

Ardtoe Beach is a lovely sandy beach on the north-east edge of the Ardnamurchan peninsula on the northern side of Kentra Bay. There are four bays in the area, two which are readily accessible from the road. The best area is adjacent to the Marine Research Station which is particularly lovely at low tide. This golden sandy beach also affords some fine views of The Small Isles.

You can also walk along the peninsula towards Farquhar's Point looking out for divers, otters and white-tailed eagles along the rocky coastline. However please note that the ground can be uneven and boggy underfoot and should only be undertaken with appropriate footwear.

The single track road to Ardtoe, from the A861 near Acharacle, passes over Kentra Moss and skirts around Kentra Bay providing a scenic drive to these lovely beaches. There is a small car park at the end of the road with a small parking charge.


4

 ( Ardnamurchan Peninsula )

Reasons To Visit: Village, Public Toilet facilities

The crofting village of Acharacle is located on the south western shore of Loch Shiel.  The village name is derived from the Gaelic Àth Tharracail (Torquil's Ford) and commemorates a battle in 1120 in which the Norse invader Torqulli was defeated by Somerled, King of the Isles, by a ford near the River Shiel.  The village is served by a grocery shop, bakery, take-away, cafe, service garage, public convenience and a medical centre.  The Loch Shiel Hotel is also a great place for a drink, lunch or evening meal.  Shielbridge Hall in Acharacle hosts regular Produce Markets during the summer months, and also serves as a venue for classical musical events during the annual Loch Shiel Festival.  From the jetty, you can take a cruise down Loch Shiel aboard The M.V. Silas to Glenfinnan (selected days only).  The shores of Loch Shiel are also a great place to look for wildlife.

There are several great walks, some stunning beaches and the romantic Castle Tioram nearby.