Aird Cottage, Badachro
Gairloch IV21 2AB



There are four truly magnificent beaches within a 15 minute drive of the cottage, a fifth within 25 minutes, and even more on Loch Ewe and Gruinard Bay to the north. Whether you are seeking great places to picnic, spot wildlife, walk, stroll or play, there is no better place to be.


Opinan is the closest beach to the Cottage (three miles) – a lovely beach backed by dunes and with amazing views over the sea to Skye. You can walk left along the beach and then over rough ground past a cottage and on to a river. A good spot to see a range of birds and, if you are very lucky, an otter. Alternatively, you can walk right over rough heather moor above sea cliffs. Look out for basking sharks from mid-summer – you might be lucky.
People playing and walking on Red Point Beach in Gairloch

Red Point

However, Red Point, with its two fantastic beaches, both featuring in the Billy Connolly film ‘What We Did on Our Holiday‘, lies a few miles further on and is our favourite. 

The beach visible from the road involves a short walk across sheep and cattle-grazed grass and then down a hill on a soft, sandy path through sand dunes to the beach. The beach is backed by large dunes and includes a burn that often forms a lagoon. It faces west, over the Minch to Skye. 

The other beach is found at the end of the farm track that leaves the car park and passes the farmhouse and numerous grazing animals to the left. It includes a tidal island and a couple more offshore, and there are spectacular views left down Loch Torridon to Beinn Alligin and Diabaig, and south across the loch and on down the Minch to the Coullin on Skye.  There’s a rough, sometimes wet but wonderful walk around the headland that separates the two – more on that here..

Gairloch Beach

Gairloch Beach lies at the head of the loch, five miles from the Cottage. It is backed by Gairloch Golf Course and looks west to the mouth of Gairloch and on to Skye and the Outer Hebrides. It has the remains of a vitrified dun (small fort – possibly Pictish) at its southern end. This end of the beach is also featured on the North West Highland Snorkel Trail On leaving the beach you can visit the excellent Links Café in the golf course’s clubhouse for lunch or tea.

People walking on the Big Sand Beach in Gairloch

Big Sand

Big Sand stands sentinel at the mouth on the north side. Backed by the campsite of the same name, which has a useful shop and restaurant, it looks across a sound to the island of Longa.


North of Gairloch are some lovely beaches on Loch Ewe and Gruinard Bay, Mellon Udrigle on the latter being well worth visiting.

People walking on the Big Sand Beach in Gairloch


Sheep and sometimes cattle can be found on or near most beaches, and dogs MUST be kept under control at all times.