You’d be forgiven for thinking that Luskentyre Beach, on the western coast of South Harris in the Outer Hebrides, is the sort of place that exists only in the travel brochures of the South Pacific. With its expansive stretches of white sand and impossibly stunning blue-green water, it’s little surprise that Luskentyre has been rated one of the world’s top beaches, surpassing the Virgin Islands and some of the finest beaches in Italy and Spain.
Luskentyre Beach, which is carved into the island on the edge of a wide bay at the mouth of a three-mile-wide estuary, is bordered on either side by vast sand dunes which can obscure the views from the road. It’s well-worth persisting to find a viewpoint, such as the one just past Seilebost School which offers a fantastic view north along the sand dunes. A coastal path heads north-west to Tràigh Rosamol, another impressive, unspoilt beach with mesmerising views.
Despite its beauty, Luskentyre is rarely busy: you can easily spend an afternoon wandering along the sea line and see hardly another soul.
For photographers, Luskentyre offers unparalleled landscapes, particularly in late spring and summer, when ample evening light lingers, and the retreating tide unveils an expansive area of channels and sandbars. The machair, the fertile grassy plains that fringe the beach, explode in a riot of colour, a carpet of wildflowers that is a feature in many of the impressive shots of the Luskentyre seascapes.
GETTING THERE AND OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION
Arriving by car
Luskentyre Beach is situated close to the A859 on South Harris, and can be accessed via the minor road Losgaintir, which joins the A859 close to Loch Fincastle.
A small, free car park is available at the end of Losgaintir, just yards from the beach.
Arriving by bus
From Stornaway, take the bus to Tarbert (service W10), then change to the Tarbert to Leverburgh service (W10A), disembarking at Luskentyre Turn.
THINGS TO SEE AND DO NEARBY
PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK
There are numerous eateries close to Luskentyre Beach, many of which draw upon the finest local produce to create imaginative and flavoursome dishes that reflect the traditions of the island.
The Waterside Café in Tarbert is the place to go if you’re seeking lovely snacks, refreshing drinks, or light lunches. The Harris Hotel, also in Tarbert, offers bar snacks or formal dining at lunch times and evenings.
DID YOU KNOW…?
Luskentyre Beach is home to two white celebrity ponies who feature on photographs and postcards across the world.