When you think of beaches, your mind may immediately conjure up images of sun-kissed sand, swaying palm trees, and crystal-clear waters. But there is a special kind of magic to be found on Scottish beaches in the winter.
First of all, no crowds. In fact, you might have the whole beach to yourself, save for the occasional dog walker or intrepid swimmer.
But with a little bit of preparation, a trip to the beach in the winter can be a truly memorable experience. Take a bracing walk along the shore, bundled up in your warmest coat and scarf, and feel the wind whip through your hair. There's something exhilarating about being out in the elements, with the wild sea on one side and the rolling landscape on the other.
And then there are the sunsets. In the winter months, the sun sinks lower in the sky, casting a warm golden glow over the beach and the surrounding landscape. There's something magical about watching the light fade, knowing that you're one of the lucky few who get to witness this quiet beauty.
Isle of Canna beaches
Black beach - a short walk from the harbour takes you to this beautiful beach (pictured above) which looks out to the Rum Cuillin.
Sanday Beach | Traigh Bhàn - Follow the road around the harbour to the bridge connecting Canna to the Isle of Sanday. On the far side of the bridge, by the fisherman's shrine – turn right to follow the shoreline (watch your step) to the beautiful white sand beach of Traigh Bhàn.
Isle of Rum beaches
Kilmory Bay - An 11 mile walk from the main village takes you to the beautiful bay of Kilmory on Rum's northern coastline.
Isle of Eigg beaches
Walk along Laig Bay, a large white Atlantic beach, which faces the Cuillins of Rum, one of the most memorable views on the west coast of Scotland.
Make the sand sing at the Singing Sands, a stunning musical quartz beach surrounded by outstanding geological formations.
Isle of Muck beaches
A walk across the island from Port Mor takes you to the beaches of Gallanach (just over 1 mile, 20-30 mins), where you can take in the breath-taking views of Eigg, Rum and Canna, with the Cuillins of Skye and the Outer Isles in the distance.
Head west from Gallanach Bay for another 20-30 minutes and you will come to Shell Bay, a pretty bay of colourful shells.