The Stunning Luskentyre Beach in Harris, Scotland
The west coast of Harris is renowned for its amazing beaches and crystal blue seas, with many travel writers and visitors alike exceeding their mobile data limits, uploading stunning images to their social media for the world to see.
One of the most jaw-dropping of these is Luskentyre Beach, which Trip Advisor voted 7th in the top ten Travellers Choice beaches in Europe in 2022. It has over a mile of white sand, with the North Harris hills as its backdrop and is edged with grassy dunes, where you will sometimes find the ‘Luskentyre White Ponies’. For beachcombers, plenty of interesting things are washed up along the strandline, and you’ll see numerous sea birds; if you’re really lucky, you might spot porpoises in the waves as they make their way along the coastline.
Island of Taransay
Looking from the beach, you can see the island of Taransay, which was the location for the BBC Castaway programme in 2000 and is now in the care of the owners of Borve Lodge Estate. You can read about their plans for the island here.
The beach is so vast it is difficult to see the full picture when you are there. The best views can be found from the viewpoint on the A859 passing through Seilebost, where you can look across the estuary to the line of the dunes and the sand bar extending into the bay.
Beach activities: while some may just want to sit and take in the view, it is definitely worth the walk along the full length of the beach and watching how the scenery and view change hour by hour. You can often experience the year’s four seasons from one end to the other and back! The island is a photographer’s dream in any weather, and Luskentyre offers lots of opportunities for great photographs. Swimmers will feel invited into the crystal blue water.
For any budding geologists, read about the landscape on the Scottish Geology Site.
Directions and Tips
Of course, there are many other amazing beaches on the west coast, as can be found on the map below, but Luskentyre is certainly one of the most famous.
Directions: turn to ‘Luskentyre’ (Losgaintir) from the A859 and follow the single-track road to the small car park at the end. This is a narrow road with blind turns, so please drive carefully. There is a small toilet block in the car park, beside which is the gate to access the beach. There is a cemetery at Luskentyre, so please be courteous and respectful if a funeral occurs and when walking in the vicinity. Taking a car or a bike is more flexible as the bus service is quite limited.
When to Visit: of course, the high season months of June-September are the busiest, and it may be best to go for an earlier morning visit or perhaps later in the day when the sun is setting. Winter is just as stunning when it is much quieter, and you can often find you are the only ones there. When driving through Luskentyre, you will want to stop at the ‘Luskentyre Cake Shed‘, which is by the side of the main road, and stock up on some delicious goodies for a beach picnic or afternoon tea.
We have put together a map showing the Beaches of Harris.