Walking

7 Places You’d Never Believe Were in the Hebrides

Made up of countless islands, both inhabited and uninhabited, the Inner and Outer Hebrides on Scotland’s west coast are full of wild beauty. In fact, so awe-inspiring are many of its landscapes that you’d never believe they were actually in Scotland. 

 

Challenge your preconceptions and prepare to be amazed with our list of places you’d never expect to be in the Hebrides, from Norwegian-esque valleys to Caribbean beaches. 

Barra Beach, Isle of Barra

Start your holiday in Australia – sorry, Scotland – by heading over to Barra Beach on the Isle of Barra. Looking remarkably like a Gold Coast gem, this dazzling white-sand beach is lapped by crystal-clear water and sheltered by undulating dunes. As well as being impossibly picturesque, it also happens to be the only place in the world where scheduled flights take off from and land on the beach. 

Calgary Beach, Isle of Mull

A large bay on the Isle of Mull, Calgary Beach is definitely one of those places you can’t quite believe is in the UK. Looking more like a scene from New Zealand, you could be easily convinced that you’d been transported abroad whilst treading footsteps into the powdery, white-shell sand here. In fact, this beach creates such an impression that a visiting Canadian actually named the city of Calgary in Alberta, Canada after it. 

Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye

Admittedly, the Isle of Skye’s Fairy Glen looks more like something from a fairy tale than a travel magazine. A magical place that immediately piques the imagination, it’s characterised by a wide valley basin, basalt towers and hummocky outcrops, behind which these fairies supposedly hide. Formed by a landslip and shaped by glacial activity, it’s a real Hebridean highlight. 

Fingal’s Cave, Isle of Staffa

 

Looking like the setting of some brooding Norse tale, Fingal’s Cave on the Isle of Staffa is truly unique. Made up of thousands of basalt columns that tower vertically out of the water, it was created as a result of volcanic eruptions 60 million years ago. Or, Norse Gods, if you let your mind wander. The only island of its kind in the world, it’s hard to believe this legendary island is in Scotland. 

Kilt Rock Waterfall, Isle of Skye

Kilt Rock Waterfall is something you’d expect to see tumbling off a cliff in Norway, rather than in the Hebrides. That said, it can be seen in all its glory on the Isle of Skye, powering over the edge of a sea cliff on the Trotternish Peninsula. Also called Mealt Falls, it’s fed from nearby Loch Mealt, a freshwater lake, and falls for 55 meters before continuing its journey in the sea. Head over to enjoy this spectacular natural wonder in Scotland. 

Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Lewis and Harris

Luskentyre Beach is another place that you’d never believe was in the Hebrides. Immediately fooling you into thinking you’d wandered through a trapdoor to the Med, this miles-long, sandy beach is great for walks and picnics in a world-class setting. Affording gorgeous views, soft sands to cushion bare soles and the bluest seas imaginable, it’s the perfect place to soothe busy minds and restless souls. 

White Strand Beach, Isle of Iona

White Strand of the Monks, or Traigh Ban nam Manach, is like a gateway to the Caribbean. Without the jetlag. In summer, this incredible beach is painted with brilliant sunshine that brings the white sand of the beach and the turquoise water of the sea alive. Backed by marram-tufted dunes and overlooking the silhouettes of Hebridean islands, it’s a real paradise. You’ll only realise how far north you are once you dip your toes in the sea!

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