Scottish Beaches


Figure 1.--Here we see a scene at a Scottish beach resort in 1923. We are not sure about the location, but it may be St. Andrews. Notice that none of the boys wear kilts. For an elargement, click on the image. A British reader tells us, "I have contacted my cousin who has lived in St Andrews for at least 40 years, and he is very definite that this picture is not St Andrews. Unfortunately he has no idea where it actually is."

Scotland is a small country with an extensive coastline. And there are also numerous offshore islands. No place in Scotland is more than an hour or two from the coast. There are beautiful wide beaches in Scotland as well as isolted rocky coves. Much of the coast is unspoiled. The beaches have dunes and golden, sands. While the beaches are beautiful, the water is rather cold, even for hardy beach goers. There are notably beautiful nature sites, untouched pine forests. Tghere are rugged cliffs covered with gannets to delight bird waters. Marshland attract migrating geese. While the beaches if one wants to swim have limited appeal to vacationers, Scotland's wildlife opportunities have considerable appeal. There are numerous beautiful beaches which have a very special charm. These are not the beaches crowded with warm water seeking tourists. Rather than hectic, the Scottish beaches are calming and a wonderful nature experince. Often there is not another beach goer in site, but you might see a seal or on a lucky day an otter. Many of Scotland's best beaches are hidden away in isolated, remote areas and thus require considerable effort if ones wants to see them. And of course there is always the chance of experiencing an Atlantic or North Sea gale. When the sun shines, however, the Scottish beaches are spectacular.

Geography

Scotland is a small country with an extensive coastline. There is an western Atlantic coast that faces the western islands. The northern coast faces the open Atlantic. An eastern coast faces the North Sea. There are also numerous offshore islands, both the western islands (including the Heberdies) and the northern islands (the Orkneys and Shetlands). No place in Scotland is more than an hour or two from the coast.

Characteristics

There are beautiful wide beaches in Scotland as well as isolted rocky coves. Much of the coast is unspoiled. The beaches have dunes and golden, sands. While the beaches are beautiful, the water is rather cold, even for hardy beach goers. There are notably beautiful nature sites, untouched pine forests. Tghere are rugged cliffs covered with gannets to delight bird waters. Marshland attract migrating geese. While the beaches if one wants to swim have limited appeal to vacationers, Scotland's wildlife opportunities have considerable appeal. There are numerous beautiful beaches which have a very special charm. These are not the beaches crowded with warm water seeking tourists. Rather than hectic, the Scottish beaches are calming and a wonderful nature experince. Often there is not another beach goer in site, but you might see a seal or on a lucky day an otter.

Individual Beaches

Many of Scotland's best beaches are hidden away in isolated, remote areas and thus require considerable effort if ones wants to see them. And of course there is always the chance of experiencing an Atlantic or North Sea gale. When the sun shines, however, the Scottish beaches are spectacular. Balmedie Beach near Aberdeen has a huge expanse of wonderful golden sands and dunes beyond the beaches. The breach extends more than 23 kilometers. Gairloch in Wester Ross is beautiful, but remote. Kiloran Bay on Colonsay requires a long hike from the road. Once tere, however, there is spectacular crescent-shape beach. The Queen enjoys picnicing here. She didn't hike in, but came ashore from Royal Yacht Britannia. Luskentryre beach is on South Harris. Here the intrepid beach goer will find a wide expanse of flat sand with blue waters beyond are an astoundingly beautifukl scene. Lunan Bay at Montrose faces east and extends about 10 kilometers. The beautiful sand beach has extensive dunes behind it and impressive cliffs to the North and South. Sanna Bay is located on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. This is the most westerly point of Britain. They are extremely isolated beaches with beautiful white sands. The dunes and rocks are a natural showcase. The turquoise waters tempt many beach goers to swim despite the chilly water. Sandwood Bay is located at Blairmore in Sutherland on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. Some believe that this is one of Scotlandís best beaches. It is also one of the least accessable. Beach goers have to hike more than an hour to reach it. The beach itself stretches about 1.6 kilometers. It is a golden sand bech with impressive dunes. One noticeable feature is a dominting sea stack that the locals call Am Buchaille. Scarista Beach is located on Harris in the Western Isles. The golden sand beach stretches about t 10 kilometers. Even more tht most Scottish beaches, tourists often have virtually the entire beach to themselves. West Sands is located at St Andrews. St. Andrews is probably Scotland's best known beach resort, but it is moreknown for golf than the beach itself. The noted run along the beach in "Chariots of Fire" was filmed at West Sands. The area near St. Andrews is a popular tourist site, but furter away the beach rarely has tourists. Yellowcraigs in East Lothian is one of Scotlands most popular beaches, in part because it is accessable abd children love to play in the beach sand and dunes.

Beachwear

We do not have much information on Scottish beachwear. Here a factor to considr is that the children probably spent more tome playing in the sand and perhaps wading in the water than actually swimming. Thus swimsuits may have not been all that necessary for children. Notice that none of the children in the imsge here during 1923 are wearing swim suits (figure 1).







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Created: 9:41 PM 1/2/2009
Last updated: 5:54 AM 1/7/2009