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Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]


Postby HighlandSC » Wed Jun 09, 2010 10:18 pm

Route description: Sandwood Bay

Date walked: 25/05/2010

Time taken: 5 hours

Distance: 16 km

Ascent: 385m

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Date - Tue 25/05/2010
Title - Sandwood Bay
Route - Standard route from Blairmore car park. Retrace steps to return. Good track most of the way.
Weather - Good, and improving through day. Northern breeze added a chill at times.
People - Me / Michelle
Time - 5.5 Hours (inc at least 1.5 hours breaks)
Distance - 16.2 km
Ascent - 385 m
Max Altitude - 153 m



20100525 1243-1815 sandwood bay track.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


20100525 1243-1815 sandwood bay track profile.jpg


Our last day of a few spent up in Sutherland, the far NW corner of Scotland. It’s an area I’d never managed to get to before – I’ve been far NE, and quite far up the West coast, but never all the way to this stunning NW corner.

It’s a great area and we managed a few different walks on short trails and taking in some of the stunning coastal walks. The best was saved for last and on our final day we headed off to Sandwood Bay.

Michelle had been here before (she’s spent a lot of time in the NW over the years) so was well aware of the stunning beach that awaited you after the 6km walk in. The approach is all on a good track, a little rough in a few small areas, but otherwise well maintained and easy going. It’s not until you’re close to the bay that it comes into view and it was definitely worth the wait….I have to agree with popular opinion in that this is the most spectacular beach in the UK, and it's remoteness means that you’ll never find many people there, and it's so full of dunes, cliffs and rock that you’re never far from complete seclusion.

We arrived quite late and by the time we’d wandered around and stopped for lunch we were the last ones around. We’d been eyeing up the cliffs and hill at the South end of the bay and on our return made our way up the face from the beach, and up to the top via a wide gulley before the final short walk to the summit of Druim na Buainn (153m). From here we descended to regain the track. During the descent we spotted a couple heading toward the bay with large packs on – it’d be a great place to spend the night.

The walk in. Several Lochs are passed en route to the bay
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Arrival
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Sandwood Loch
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Sandwood Bay
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Am Balg
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Sandwood Bay
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Rocky section in middle of bay
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Am Buachaille (sea stack) & Am Balg (island)
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We went to the southern end of the bay for lunch
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Then made our walk back to the north end
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Instead of going back all the way on the track we decided to ascend the slope and up through a wide gulley before walking on to the summit of Druim na Buainn (153m). Line shown on pic below. If you didn't fancy the gulley there's a much easier route up further to the right.
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Summit of Druim na Buainn (153m)
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Descending back to track
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It nearly got squashed under my boot! - luckily I missed it and it was given some help to move off the middle of the path
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Spotted a puddle full of tadpoles on the way back
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Approaching the end of the track - back to the excellent car park - Michelle put a donation in the John Muir Trust box there.
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A must visit place if your in the area 8)


After spending the night back at home in Inverness, the next day we decided to go to Skye for a couple of nights.
Last edited by HighlandSC on Sun May 29, 2011 11:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby malky_c » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:49 am

Lovely photos... I do love Sandwood Bay. Spent a midsummer's weekend camping there a few years back - quite an experience!
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby Alastair S » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:04 am

Fabulous - another to add to my ever expanding list of places to visit.
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby Paul Webster » Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:59 am

With you having been to North Uist and Sandwood Bay in quick succession- which has the best beaches? :D
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby HighlandSC » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:28 pm

Hmm...that's a tough one! As well as Sandwood we also did the Talmine/Achininver circuit in Sutherland which was fantastic.

North Uist beaches looked great from up high but we didn’t get close up to them. We had a flying visit to one in Benbecula which was nice, but nothing on Sandwood.

I’d have to go with Sandwood…for it’s remoteness, size, overall beauty, and fine surroundings. Looking at the map of the Uists there seems to be lots of small beaches dotted around, but I’m sure they’d be hard pressed to beat the NW corner of the mainland.
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby kevsbald » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:23 pm

Beautiful - reminds me of Scarista beach on the W coast of Harris. Stunning.
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby Jock McJock » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:32 pm

Wow, what a place. Def have to get up there sometime. That's what I'm really liking about this site, people like yourself posting these brilliant places that you might not otherwise know about. Thanks. Great pics by the way. :D
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby mountain coward » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:37 pm

Paul Webster wrote:With you having been to North Uist and Sandwood Bay in quick succession- which has the best beaches? :D


SOUTH Uist! :D or Harris
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby maddjock » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:38 pm

fantastic... Im sure long time members of this site know of my love affair with Sandwood... Im off back up there this weekend actually... beautiful, even in the worst weather... 8)
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby FloozySuzie » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:05 pm

I prefer stoney beaches, i find them a little more interesting.

No denying that beach isn't stunning though.
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby HighlandSC » Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:13 pm

maddjock wrote:fantastic... Im sure long time members of this site know of my love affair with Sandwood... Im off back up there this weekend actually... beautiful, even in the worst weather... 8)

Excellent, hope you manage some of your quality pics...do come back and share 8)
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby kinley » Fri Jun 11, 2010 12:14 pm

Might head back this way soon.

Good time for it - in July the midge and clegs were voracious.

And we were attacked by some kind of sea-borne bloodsuckers in the surf.....I kid you not :shock:

Great beach though 8)
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby FloozySuzie » Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:54 pm

Randomly while putting mousse in my hair this morning, i realised i said my last comment wrong.

I think i should have said 'no denying that beach is stunning though', in stead of 'not stunning'?
I'm confusing myself.
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby HighlandSC » Sat Jun 12, 2010 7:36 am

I'm sure we get you Suzie :)

If stony beaches are more your thing keep your eyes peeled for my next report....
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Re: Sandwood Bay....most beautiful beach in Britain [Sutherland]

Postby maddjock » Mon Jun 14, 2010 9:39 am

just back from a couple of days here... not much in the way of good pics until I broke camp at 10pm last night...
as is usual with this place, the sun had dropped below a large cloud bank out at sea. I packed up, gained the cliff overlooking the bay, and got the following light for about 5 minutes...
Sandwood-Bay-WR.jpg
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