Lairg IV27 4RU, UK
Photo by Kevin Lelland, courtesy of johnmuirtrust.org
Sandwood Bay Conserved by the John Muir Trust (a U.K. charity dedicated to the experience, protection, and repair of wild places), Sandwood Bay is arguably the most pristine stretch of sand and dunes in all of the Scottish Highlands. Guarded by the Am Buachaille (the Shepherd) sea stack, the beach is absolutely breathtaking, with wildlife like fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, puffins, and shags. Some of the surrounding rocks are among the oldest in the world, dating back to when the Highlands connected to North America. To get here, you need to walk about 4.5 miles on a level path across the 11,000-acre Sandwood Estate. It’s well worth it, however, as you’ll often have the entire beach to yourself.