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When it comes to Aberdeenshire, there’s one thing that there’s really no shortage of and that’s beautiful beaches.
With 165 miles of coastline in Aberdeenshire, you have plenty of choices of sandy shores to head to on a sunny day or even on a dull day if that’s your thing.
We’ve put together the list covering all the best beaches in Aberdeenshire for you to visit as well as included plenty of handy tips and information that you might not know if you’re not local to the area.
We’ve kept this list to mostly Sand beaches rather than including any that are predominantly rocks, because let’s be honest, who wants to lie on rocks on a sunny day?
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Sunnyside Beach, Cullen
The furthest north on our list, this one is a true hidden gem that’s slightly harder to access than most. Set between Cullen and Findlater Castle, you’ll find yourself having to do a bit of a walk to reach the beach. Expect to walk around 1.5miles or so before you reach the beach.
When you do arrive, you’ll notice that the beach is set between beautiful cliffs.
A great day out and somewhere you may be lucky enough to spot some Dolphins and Seals not too far off the coast.
How to get there:
Park at Findlater Castle and walk the path taking you West for around 10 minutes. Alternatively you can visit from the other direction and park in the Farmers Yard nearer to Cullen before walking East.
Sandend Beach, Banff
Just a little further round the coast and a lot easier to access is Sandend Beach.
Another beautifully sandy beach, this one is a mix of sand and a little pebbled area. Often used as a surfers beach you can also organise surfing or paddleboarding lessons here with one of the local companies, Suds Surf.
You’ll also be close to toilets and a small shop in the caravan park selling ice creams and a limited range of snacks as well as beach accessories like buckets/spades, etc.
Boyndie Bay, Banff
One of the top rated surfing beaches in Aberdeenshire, Boyndie Bay or Inverboyndie Beach is easily accessible along a costal path and is popular with local swimmers and walkers alike.
Set slightly back from the beach is the local Caravan Park which also features plenty of picnic areas and a small playpark for younger children.
A great day out can be had here on a sunny day.
Another local favourite, Cullykhan beach is a secluded gem set within a small bay surrounded by high cliffs.
This one is accessed from the car park via a steep path, so not the best for disabled access. There are bins in the car park, but no toilet facilities so bear this in mind when visiting.
Once on the beach, there are caves and rocks to explore. It’s also one of the quieter beaches in the area.
Fancy Glamping in Aberdeenshire?
Check the best glamping options in the Aberdeenshire area.
This one is a bit of a mix of both shingle and sand, but it’s the sandstone caves that mean this one makes it on to our list more than anything.
An adventure to get to, you follow the winding roads from New Aberdour until you arrive at this coastal neuk that has toilets and picnic benches too.
One of the more remote beaches to have facilities for visitors. A great place for exploring.
Just west of Fraserburgh you’ll find Rosehearty and Rosehearty Beach which offers beautiful white sands and clear waters.
Popular with locals, this one has an almost tropical feel on sunnier days.
The beach is a sweeping bay in a somewhat crescent shape that stretches from the harbour at one end to rocks at the other.
Head here if you want some sea swimming or paddleboarding. There are also plenty of facilities in the village such as toilets and places to eat in the nearby area.
A beach that stretches for two miles and is backed by sandy dunes.
Extremely popular with surfers, wind surfers and divers, this is a beautiful beach in the north east that offers a great day out. It’s set just on the edge of the town and has playparks, shops and the caravan park right next to it. So if you fancied making a little holiday out of your visit you could quite easily book in to Fraserburgh Caravan Park and have the beach on your doorstep.
There’s plenty of parking as well as toilet facilities for those visiting. At the car park you’ll also find the Beach Cafe, serving up a selection of sandwiches, hot drinks and cakes for visitors.
Inverallochy/St Combs Beach
Running along the edge of Inverallochy golf course, right round the coast to St Combs is this fantastic stretch of sandy beach.
In effect this beach actually stretches right round to Peterhead, but it’s good to separate it all into their closest towns/villages to make each part easier to visit.
Considered some of the best sand dune beaches in Scotland. It’s a beautiful place to visit and is very popular for those looking to just walk along the shore and take in the scenery.
Be sure to hunt down Buchan’s ices when in St Comb’s for arguably the best tasting vanilla ice cream in the world.
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Rattray Beach – Lighthouse and Crown Jewel
A truly stunning beach and one that has become a bit of a phenomenon on social media lately due to the unusual Rattray Head Lighthouse that can be found here.
Driving along a very pothole filled road, you’ll eventually find yourself in the car park for the beach and a short walk along the path and around the sand dunes reveals this gem.
Although extremely popular, it’s still a very quiet beach and you’ll be able to find a private spot with ease.
There are no nearby facilities, so be sure to come prepared and it’s probably not the most accessible beach in the area.
Just outside of St Fergus, you’ll find another stretch of the same beach. This time called Scotstown Beach.
Walking along Scotstown beach you’ll perhaps stumble across many remains of old boats that have shipwrecked at these beaches of the years with some of the bits of wood and metal visible at low tide, sticking out the surface of the golden sand.
One of the major benefits of the beaches here are that they are very very quiet. You’ll quite often find that when visiting, you’ll have the whole beach to yourself. Obviously on sunnier days you may encounter a few other people, but there’s so much beach that you’ll be guaranteed to be able to find some private spots for yourself.
Situated on the north side of Peterhead next to the golf course, is the Ugie Beach. Running from the mouth of the river Ugie, this beach is just around the corner from Scotstown beach.
If you head towards the golf course, there’s plenty of parking there as well as a children’s swing park before you cross the bridge to get to the beach.
Popular with people walking their dog, you can effectively walk all the way from Peterhead to St Combs if you wished to.
At the mouth of the river Ugie, Swans can often be spotted on the shores which are always a nice sight to see.
Another popular choice on a sunny day for those local to Peterhead is the beach down at the Lido.
With plenty of things to do including both the enclosed beach at the Marina where you can see many small yachts moored, to the children’s playpark, you’ll be able to spend hours here.
Popular with paddleboarders, it’s a great calm beach to spend time at.
Next to the children’s playpark you’ll find the Scottish Maritime academy, which has a publicly accessible Symposium Coffee shop, where you can grab lunch or a cake (funcy piece as the locals call it).
If the weather takes a turn or you’re looking for something else to do nearby, then just a few minutes up the road you’ll find the fantastic Peterhead Prison Museum which is an excellent attraction that we highly recommend visiting.
If you’re thinking of visiting Peterhead, then why not view our guide to the best things to do in Peterhead.
As you begin to make your way south, you’ll find the next beach which is definitely a favourite and that’s Cruden Bay.
Giving you views towards the nearby Slains Castle, this one is a popular one and again features a golf course running along side it, something that’s extremely common in this part of Scotland with the large number of links courses in the area.
Take a little break from the beach and head in to the Kilmarnock Arms (The Killie) for lunch. You’re always guaranteed a good feed here.
Extremely popular with paddleboarders and those who enjoy jumping off walls into the sea is Collieston beach.
Unsurprisingly set in the coastal village of Collieston, this one is a little gem and definitely one worth visiting.
There’s not much in Collieston and the beach itself isn’t too big, so it can get a little busier than others on the list, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
Hackley Bay – Dog walkers favourite
Hackley Bay is one that we’re constantly seeing on Instagram.
A firm favourite of the local dog owners, this sandy stretch of coastline can be found in the Forvie Nature reserve.
Sheltered on three sides by cliffs and backed by sand dunes, this can be a bit of a walk from the car parks on both sides at around 2 miles from both.
Forvie beach have some of the largest sand dunes in the UK and remains one of the least disturbed by human activity.
Forvie is a fantastic beach for those most interested in wildlife and there are many different species of birds that can be spotted here as well as a large colony of seals who are often relaxing on the sand.
It is important not to disturb these seals as they can stampede if startled which leads to injury of younger cubs.
If you wish to view the seals, then please do so by visiting nearby Newburgh beach and viewing them across the water from distance.
On the edge of the Ythan river lies Newburgh beach.
This is accessible from various points in Newburgh and as mentioned before, offers great views towards the Forvie seal colony.
In Newburgh itself, you’ve got access to multiple shops/cafes and a few restaurants should you need any facilities whilst visiting.
A beach that you’re probably familiar with should you have paid any attention to the news over the last few years due to the creation of the nearby Trump International golf links.
A beautiful stretch of coastline that runs for miles and has plenty of sand dunes to explore along the way as well as stunning flat sandy areas that is popular with dog walkers and visitors.
One of the more popular beaches in Aberdeenshire on a sunnier day and the car park can often get quite busy.
Aberdeen Beach – North Donmouth
Reaching Aberdeen, you’ve got two beaches here to visit. One at the north side of the River Don where you’ll find North Donmouth beach.
Accessed via a car park at the end of Donmouth Road, this beach is a lot more natural in comparison to the opposite beach in regards to being able to spot wildlife and feeling like it’s a bit more remote.
At the opposite side of the Don, you’ll find the main Aberdeen beach that runs right along to the village of Footdee which is a fantastic place to explore some of the history of the area.
Aberdeen Beach front is much more of your typical seaside resort with restaurants, ice cream shops, cafes, amusements at Codonas and a cinema.
If you’re looking for somewhere to take the kids then Aberdeen beach is probably your best bet for entertainment.
Stonehaven Beach – Mostly rocky
Just down the coast is another beach at the nearby town of Stonehaven.
Here you’ll also find two beaches, one mostly pebbles that is long and stretches past playparks, Aunty Betty’s Ice cream parlour and the Bay fish and chip shop that are ever popular with tourists and locals.
Just around the bay slightly, you’ll come to the harbour which is a hive of activity and a small sandy beach that is much more family friendly.
There are a few eateries surrounding and the Seafood Shack which is worth a visit if you like seafood.
It’s also a great starting point for a walk out to Dunnottar Castle, which remains one of the most popular castles in the area to visit.
Head down the coast and you’ll come to our final beach in Aberdeenshire and that’s the beach at Inverbervie.
A small village on the coastal route in to Angus, Inverbervie is home to a pebble and shingle beach that is popular with visitors looking to escape the city on a day trip where sunbathing isn’t really on the cards. More of a winter weather beach and is also quite popular with fishing enthusiasts due to the Bervie water flowing in to the harbour.
Inverbervie is home to numerous cafe’s and facilities so you’ll never be caught short and parking is plentiful.
Now hopefully that gives you plenty of choice when it comes to finding the ideal beach to spend a sunny day at when visiting Aberdeenshire.
We’d love to know about your adventures to any of these so feel free to share them with us on social media.