A Moray beach has been named Scotland’s best beach in The Times and Sunday Times best UK beaches awards this year.
Findhorn beach in Moray came first in the country in the yearly guide to the top UK beaches from The Times and Sunday Times.
The beauty spot was praised for its seven miles of white sand which in the sunshine, was compared to the likes of the Alentejo coast in Portugal.
The stunning views as well as the wide variety of wildlife helped the beach secure top place in Scotland while a few Highland beaches also made this year’s list.
‘Sun-kissed southern European vibe’
Findhorn’s long expanse of white sand along the north-east coastline is a perfect location for many activities.
It is popular for walks which also offer up the chance to spot dolphins, porpoises, seals and even sea eagles.
A line of large concrete tank traps from World War II and a modern collection of colourful beach huts also offer some memorable features for visitors to enjoy.
However, many also use it for picnics, swimming and variety of water sports.
Chief travel writer at The Times, Chris Haslam, who awarded the title to the Moray beach, said its appearance under a blue sky was “uncannily similar” to the seaside resort of Vila Nova de Milfontes in Portugal.
In the listing of the award, he said: “This sun-kissed southern European vibe vanishes the moment that you cross the dunes, where the fetch comes straight from the Arctic and the green, glassy waves explode along the shore.
“There are dragon’s teeth along the beach, implanted during the Second World War to keep out Panzer tanks, and you can walk as far as Burghead…or stop along the way for a picnic where the pinewoods of Roseisle meet the sands.”
The nearby toilets, cafe and accessibility to the beach also helped with the location’s ranking while the water quality was noted as “excellent”.
Highland beaches also named must-visits
Also featured in the list were three Highland beaches.
Red Point in Wester Ross gained attention for its beautiful views, “deep terracotta red” sand and “emptiness and tranquillity”.
The “secret beach” Rhu Point near Arisaig – which is only accessible on foot or by boat – was hailed as a “beach-lover’s paradise of blue water and white sands”.
While further south, Sanna Bay Beach, was listed for its light-blue “Caribbean” waters and some resident otters.
The see the full list, click here.