Sandwood Bay Photo Essay
I feel like I cannot stop talking about Sandwood Bay, first it appeared in my 15 Panoramics of Scotland then it was listed as my highlight of the roadtrip and now I’m dedicating a whole post to the beauty of this place. There is part of me that doesn’t want to tell anyone about this beach because I’m scared in years to come it will become a big tourist attraction with a car park and buildings surrounding it. Instead of being the beach which involves a four mile hike to get there! Sandwood Bay is located on the West Coast of Scotland and if you google it, you’ll easily find walking instructions for how to get there. The walk is easy, mostly flat unless like us you decide to try and take the almost invisible cliff path on the way back and get totally lost… but that’s another story.
The path heading out towards the beach looks like this, even before you hit the beach you can see beautiful lochs and plenty of hills in the distance. We were lucky to have a gorgeous sunny morning and at the early hour of 8 there was no one else around.
Our first glimpse of the beach looked like this. A loch and old ruins to one side and then this huge, glistening beach to our left. I knew this was going to be a special view, but I hadn’t quite prepared myself for what I was about to find.
As eager as I was to get down to the beach, I spent five or so minutes checking out the ruins and photographing that iconic dry stone wall. You see wall like this all over Scotland from the years of the Jacobites which lead to many people fleeing their homes and thus it ending up abandoned. I was disappointed to see litter and lots of empty beer cans littered around this area.
The beach is surrounded by lots of sand dunes of all shapes and sizes. There were so few footprints and paths it really felt like you were one of only a few that knew about this secret place. As the sun shone down it gave the sand an almost pink glimmer to it.
I was so impatient to get down to the beach that it seemed to take forever scrambling over the dunes before we actually reached the sea. I kept having to remind myself I was on a beach in Scotland, it certainly felt like a beach you would find in Asia or the Mediterranean – that was until the bitter north wind blew and you instantly knew this wasn’t one of those places.
Fish eye view of the bay, beautiful pink-white sand and just clear and blue sea – the picture can speak more than I could ever put in to words. We didn’t stay terribly long on the beach as the wind was bitterly cold, and we still had five hours worth of driving to do that day.
As I mentioned earlier on the way back we decided to take the cliff path as the girls at the hostel the night before really recommended it. They also mentioned it was a tricky path to pick out… We didn’t pick the path out very well but the views were incredible and looking back at these photos I’m glad we took the risk of getting completely lost to be able to capture the beauty of the sea and loch in the same image.
More of the view from our dodgy cliff path, after this we took a huge wrong turn and ended up in the middle of a bog scrambling up the side of the hill not really sure where we were suppose to be heading at all! It did feel like a disaster at the time, slightly convinced we would need rescuing but also no mobile signal to call for help was a little bit of a worry!
Eventually we found the path, basically a few inches away from the cliffs edge, no wonder we went wrong. Still the colour of the sea instantly cleared my worries and as we battered the wind to walk along this gorgeous stretch of coast I battled with deciding if we had done the right thing coming this way.
This picture of the Scottish coast line makes it look like we should be in Australia along the Great Ocean Road or similar. We were incredibly lucky with the sunny weather shinning down on us and making everything seem even more wonderful that it was. An absolutely beautiful setting tucked away on the west coast of Scotland.
And lastly one of my favourite shots of the sheep on the cliffs edge. This is how I will always remember the west coast of Scotland and Sandwood Bay. I just hope that it stays this way forever; free from buildings, car parks and anything touristy.
Sandwood Bay was my favourite place we visited on our Scottish Roadtrip. Have you explored Scotland? Where was your favourite place?