Sandside Bay

Beach facilities

View map of beach Parking available Toilets available SSSI Dog friendly

Season: summer

There are many visual stimuli at Sandside Bay, before you even turn your attention to the beach.  The bay itself is a welcome shelter for passing yachtsmen and there’s a characterful harbour at its entrance, still sheltering commercial fishing boats, one of which was pulling out to sea, as I arrived early in the morning.  Across the water is Dounreay Power Station, now responsible for the upkeep of the beach.  The beach itself arcs pleasingly, backed by low dunes and machair, in common with the wider coastal area hereabouts.  For an illustration of the changing nature of any beach, compare the scene setting films and interviews from these two seasonal visits.

Summer visit photo gallery


What the beach means to Roxanne.


Another day by the beach for Gerry.


Summer at Sandside Bay in Caithness.

Season: winter

Sandside Bay in Caithness is sheltered by prominent headlands, so the beach is popular for surfers.  Access is either via the dunes and Reay golf course or by the path next to the Burn of Isauld on the eastern side of the beach.  To the west an eponymous burn also runs down to the beach.  The characterful Reay harbour dates from 1830 and there are facilities for visitors in the hamlet of Reay.  The pristine nature here is confirmed by its status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

Winter visit photo gallery


What the beach means to Antony.


A wild afternoon at Sandside Bay.

One thought on “Sandside Bay

  1. Ruth

    Sandside Bay is a wonderful location particularly the east section between Isauld Burn and Reay Burn, which is kept clean and clear of litter by daily dog walkers over the past 44 years! Reay Golf course has wonderful views over the bay and the hills to the south and west.
    Regrettably, applications for windfarms at Limekiln and Drum Hollistan with a total of 40 turbines up to 139 metres in height (taller than the London Eye ) are now being considered by the government. If consented, then Sandside Bay and the village of Reay would be surrounded by a “Ring of Steel “….


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *