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  • Rackwick, Orkney - image by Colin Keldie

Beaches

With hundreds of miles of coastline and countless islands to explore, you won’t be short of a stretch of sand to spend some time on here in Orkney.

Our beaches are plentiful, with pristine white sands the signature look. Whether you want to awaken your inner beachcomber, splash in the sea, or just sit back and relax in the dunes, there will be a perfect beach for you in Orkney. The beauty of having such a varied coastline means you’ll always find one sheltered from the Orcadian breeze, too.

Orkney’s mainland has several fantastic beaches, so no matter where you’re staying, you’re not far from the shore. In the East Mainland, Burray & South Ronaldsay, places like Dingieshowe, Glimps Holm and the Sands o’Wright are popular spots to visit – though rest assured, our sandy bays never get crowded.

Just a short walk from Kirkwall you’ll find the beach at Scapa, or head further west and explore the shallow bay at Waulkmill. The Bay of Skaill on Orkney’s wild Atlantic coast is well worth a visit after a trip to neighbouring Skara Brae, and the Sands of Evie offers spectacular views across to Rousay and beyond.

Or you could get off the beaten track and find your own slice of paradise in our smaller islands, home to some of the most stunning beaches you’ll encounter anywhere. The islands of Sanday and Stronsay have numerous beautiful beaches to explore, and there’s a good chance you’ll have them all to yourself. Rackwick in Hoy, with its huge sandstone cliffs, and Westray’s Grobust are other highlights.

Use our map below to find the perfect beach for you.

Explore Orkney's Beaches

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