Camusdarach beach with Isle of Eigg in background

The beaches of Morar and Arisaig, Lochaber

What better way to cheer up January than with some pictures of the fantastic Scottish beaches we visited on our summer holiday last year. I’ve already written posts covering the days we spent on the Isle of Eigg and in Fort William. Now it’s time to reminisce over the beaches we visited near Morar and Arisaig, two small villages on the west coast of Scotland.

 

The Silver Sands of Morar

After travelling to Fort William on the overnight Caledonian Sleeper we hired a car to drive to Mallaig. We broke our journey near here, staying for a couple of nights in a B&B overlooking the Silver Sands of Morar.

Silver Sands of Morar
Silver Sands of Morar

The Silver Sands are aptly named. Even in heavy rain (as we can testify) the beach looks more akin to a Caribbean island. Although, as you’ll notice from our jumpers and jackets in the photographs below, the temperature is certainly not Caribbean. I’m pretty sure there are no midges in Barbados either!

Silver Sands of Morar beach - and dark clouds!
Silver Sands of Morar beach – and dark clouds!

White sand beaches stretch from Morar to Arisaig and are easily accessible from the road that winds alongside them for most of the way. Although beware of the golf course near Arisaig; a low flying golf ball almost hit us whilst we were parking in a layby.

A tree swing with a view!
A tree swing with a view!

It was only a short walk from our accommodation to the beach. Whilst I checked out the views the kids were happy to find the tree swing in the photo above. Possibly the most scenic tree swing in Scotland?

Port na Murrach beach, near Arisaig

This beach takes a little getting to but you can near enough guarantee you’ll be the only visitors. At least that was our experience on a sunny August day.

From Arisaig we took the single track road around to Rhu and parked in the layby near the old pier. From there it was a straightforward out and back route, following the instructions on the excellent Walk Highlands website. It’s only a mile or so to the beach, along farm tracks and through a boggy field.

Rhu beach
Rhu beach

The beach offers plenty of shells to sort through, rocks to clamber over and scenery to admire. The kids found a dead jellyfish which kept them captivated for ages. The water was freezing though, or maybe we’re just soft southerners?

Port nam Murrach beach, near Rhu
Port nam Murrach beach, near Rhu

Our walk back was made more exciting by the presence of a huge black bull, standing next to the gate, in a field that we had to cross. Fortunately he turned out to be a docile beast but my heart was in my mouth for a few moments. I’m not sure where he was on our walk down but if he’d been in the same place I don’t think we’d have made it to the beach!

Walk back to Rhu
Walk back to Rhu

Camusdarach Beach, near Arisaig

Camusdarach regularly appears in lists of the world’s most beautiful beaches. It’s a few miles south of Morar and forms part of the string of Silver Sands beaches. We parked in the public car park just north of Camusdarach campsite and then wound our way down to the beach through the dunes.

Camusdarach beach, near Arisaig
Camusdarach beach, near Arisaig

This beach was a little busier than the others we visited. It may look empty in the photos but when you’re used to seeing no-one it’s a shock to see other people. It’s popularity (ooh, there were at least 5 other people) is probably down to the nearby campsite.

Camusdarach Beach
Camusdarach Beach

We wandered along the beach from one cove to the next for a good hour, enjoying the views out to the Small Isles and exploring the rock pools. I definitely recommend a visit at low tide so that you get the full beach experience. There are also supposed to be otters but sadly we didn’t see any sign of them.

Camusdarach beach, near Arisaig
Camusdarach beach, near Arisaig

I hope these beach photos have cheered you up; it will be summer again before we know it so time to start planning holidays. Do you have a favourite UK beach that you’d recommend?

More info:

  • As you would expect these beaches have little in the way of facilities. They are best reached by car; Mallaig is about 10 minutes drive from Morar. Fort William is around an hour away. Alternatively you could walk from Morar railway station (infrequent trains) or cycle from Mallaig.
  • Arisaig village has an excellent small information centre and museum and a couple of places to eat. We had drinks at Cafe Rhu; the food looked good but the strong smell of chowder was rather offputting for a vegetarian.
  • In Morar I recommend the Thai Sunset takeaway. You’ll need to order early in the day as they cook to order and then pick up from the house at the pre-arranged time. We had great plans to eat our takeaway on the beach but rain and midges put paid to this idea!
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30 thoughts on “The beaches of Morar and Arisaig, Lochaber”

  1. We have saved visiting many of the lovely Scottish beaches for when we have a family and spent as much of our youthful holidays abroad. Now that we have BookBairn I’m looking forward to starting a new chapter in our holiday adventures around the beauty of Scotland. It helps that we live near my favourite beach in St Andrews and can go on day trips! #sundaystars

    1. Thanks Sara. The west coast of Scotland has fabulous beaches (I’m sure the east coast may have too but I’ve never visited them).

    1. We live right in the centre of the UK so visiting the beach is a treat for us. However, I used to live near the beach in Devon so am rather envious of you!

  2. Yes it was Camusdarach Beach that did it for me, beautiful. There is something about being on a beach this time of year that is so peaceful. Of course having the weather is preferred, but it can’t always be done! #mondayescapes

  3. These beaches look absolutely stunning. I adore Scotland but I have only ever really been to the big cities. I would absolutely love to go on holiday to the more remote areas and especially if there are beautiful seaside vistas like this to see. I may have a few ideas for our next holiday location now. Thanks so much for linking up to #SundayStars. Hugs Lucy xxxx

    1. I’ve enjoyed visiting the Scottish cities but much prefer the coast and countryside. I can highly recommend as a holiday destination as long as you’re prepared for all weathers.

  4. Hi Christine, really lovely photos. I can’t imagine having to look out for low flying golf balls, from the photos it doesn’t look like there is anything nearby for miles.

    It’s nice when one of the simple pleasures in life is having a beach to ourselves. In the winter if I see more than a couple of people on the beach (could be miles away) it feels crowded.

    There is no way you would have got me in a field with a bull close by, maybe if it was on the other side of the field and asleep I’d take my chances.

    xx

    1. The golf ball was rather surprising. Just glad it didn’t hit one of us or the car as it could have caused quite a lot of damage.

  5. Love that – there were at least 5 people 🙂 I’ve always wanted to visit the beaches of the West Coast of Scotland . They’re simply stunning and I will be keeping your list for when I eventually to get to them! Thanks for linking up with #MondayEscapes

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