This time round, five favourite beaches, unsurprisingly these all seem to be in the Hebrides - whoever would have guessed that, eh?! In no particular order...
Luskentyre. This gorgeous and huge beach on Harris is a regular in "Worlds best beach" type features so it seemed only right that it should feature in mine, too! Access to the beach itself is via a long, twisty, turny single track road, not for the faint-hearted, but well worth the drive. A regular stop of ours as we drive from Lewis to get the ferry back across to Berneray. The view above, by the way, is taken from the main road...
Clachan Sands, North Uist. Often a first, or last day beach this one - we do like to start and end our holiday with sandy feet, and this wonderful stretch of beach ticks all the right boxes. Manouevering the car to the parking area can be a little interesting...through the field with the cows, up a badly rutted track...there's always a slight concern than one day, we might get stuck!
Balranald, North Uist. This beach features on our regular walk around the fantastic RSPB reserve. (As an aside, it's always entertaining when in conversation at reserves down here to be asked which is our favourite one to visit....when we reply with "Balranald" jaws frequently drop and phrases like "OOH! I've always wanted to go there!" get uttered!) This fabulous sweep of sand forms part of the waymarked walk round the reserve, but also makes a lovely walk on its own, right round as far as you can see on that photo - wind in your hair and waves crashing!
West Beach, Berneray. Now we're in good company with counting this one as a favourite - apparently HRH Prince Charles feels much the same about it. There is a full three miles of sand to walk along should you so choose - and we have! We've also walked a good stretch of this beach, AND all the way back again, without seeing another soul!
Finally, Hosta, North Uist. I know I said that these were in no order, but this one might actually be our absolute favourite beach of the lot, and I think this panoramic shot (remember you can click on it to see it larger) might show why. Over the the right is an area of lovely flat rocks, just perfect for sitting on to eat lunch. The rocks also form an area of rockpools, cleaned constantly by the stream flowing through them. On a warm day this is a spa-like place to paddle - with the water warmed by the sun and trickling over your toes... when you're bored with paddling, then there is a nice curve of sun-baked sand to wander along - leaving your shoes discarded where you were, they'll be perfectly safe.
There are so many more I could have mentioned - the almost tropical-looking bay on Vatersay, Shawbost on Lewis, Kilpheder on South Uist. Culla Bay on Benbecula is beloved of many keen birdspotters, and Uig sands (Lewis) is great for watching kitesurfers. Maybe I should do another "favourite 5" on the same theme?!