Updated: May 20, 2021
In this blog post, we showcase some of our stunning local beaches. Whether you like beaches to be pebbled and rough or sandy and smooth - here, we are blessed to have both!
The furthest north beach on the estate is also one of our favourite hidden gems! A wee slice of paradise that could be mistaken for a beach in the Maldives, Port Stoth has beautiful white sands, turquoise waters and is nestled amongst stunning cliffs. This makes it a sheltered sun trap, just out of the wind. Port Stoth is within walking distance from a small car park, but the ground is uneven. Space for only two or three cars to park - not advisable for any bigger vehicles or campers.
Port of Ness Beach
Port of Ness beach is one of the most well-known and frequented beaches in the north of the island. The original harbour here was built in the early 19th century and an enlargement was built in 1893, with a breakwater added the following year.
Each year, men from the Ness district sail from the port to Sulasgeir, an uninhabited island in the Atlantic Ocean. There, they collect the Guga (young gannets) for food. The event, which was first recorded in the 16th century, is now licensed by the Scottish Government. The landmarks at Port of Ness harbour have even made it into modern day literature -
OK, so this one's not a beach - but you do walk over the beautiful machair to get to Eoropie Beach! The machair itself is a site to behold when it's in full bloom. The modern theory of machair formation was first set out by William MacGillivray in 1830. He worked out that "shell fragments are rolled by waves towards the shore, where they are broken up further. The small shell fragments are blown up the beach to form hillocks, which are then blown inland".
The machair is home to some of our most beautiful flora and colourful bird-life. See our Bird Watching Spots post for more info.
Eoropie Beach - Tràigh Shanndaigh
This is one of the biggest and most beautiful beaches on the Estate, with the long stretch of white sand making it a popular site for both local and visiting surfers! There is a car park with picnic tables, and refreshments are available nearby at the Eoropie Dunes play park, adjacent to the parking area. The sand dunes and the waves here make it a brilliant photographic subject all year round!
All along our coastline, from the sandy beaches to pebbled shores, you can see evidence of our cultural heritage. Sometimes, it's what you can see from the beaches that make them special, like these lazy beds seen at South Dell! When you continue along our coastline, you can also see Melbost broch and Clach an Truiseal. See our post about heritage sites for more info.
The shore between Melbost and Balantrushal is a rough, pebbled, rocky stretch, perfect for rock-pooling in the spring! There is a brilliant circular walking loop that you can take to explore this area too - click here to see it.