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Best Beaches on the NC500: Ceannabeinne Beach

Best Beaches on the NC500: Ceannabeinne Beach

I’ve been to a fair few beaches in Scotland now and am getting rather spoilt..but I can safely say it just keeps giving and each year we find new favourites.

In the Far North-West, near Durness, following the North Coast 500 trail we found Ceannabeinne Beach.

Driving round the headland, we gazed over the edge of the road and what a dreamy view awaited us. The thing that struck me about this particular beach were the bands of colour. In the stormy but bright, overcast light, creamy-coloured sand seemed to merge with ribbons of gold at the tide line and the sea blended seamlessly from translucent shallows to deep blue. I can only say that it didn’t seem real, and I spent a long while sat up on the bank just taking it all in before I eventually felt the need to actually get down on the beach.

Strolling across the sand, I felt like I’d stepped back into a prehistoric time. This beach had a real sense of history.

The gneiss rocks were coloured a rich flaming orange and scarred with black stripes. This ‘banding’ occurred billions of years ago when the rocks buckled under pressure and intrusions of pegmatite mixed in -the rocks crystals were formed at extremely high temperatures over 25km deep underground.

Ceannabeinne beach felt so calm and serene, yet the rocks here tell a different story of its formation..one of extreme heat and geological upheaval.. a landscape thrust up from deep within the earth.

Taking it all in…

bands of green, gold and blue

the striking gneiss rock cliffs

the bands of rock pushed together

storms brewing

the beautiful black and orange banding

sand dunes and funny rocks

a little trickle of water reaches the sea

a panoramic view across Ceannabeinne Beach

Hiking to Sandwood Bay

Hiking to Sandwood Bay

Climbing Stac Pollaidh on the hottest day of the year

Climbing Stac Pollaidh on the hottest day of the year