The Golden Sands of Morar

Hopefully you will have all thought about summer holidays, and maybe even booked something (it is March if you haven’t so hurry up!). A beach holiday is always a favourite in our house, but not the sort where you spend hours queuing at the airport.

The Golden Sands of Morar
Ella playing at Morar Sand

In case you didn’t know we have some of the finest beaches anywhere here in the UK, and yes the sun does shine occasionally. Ella and Joel’s best beaches are all on the west coast, mostly in Wales and Scotland and today it is the turn of those north of Hadrian’s Wall.

May and June are great months to visit the West Coast of Scotland, the daylight hours are long, the weather (usually) warm and the midges haven’t yet started to bite. There are beautiful golden sands dotted all over the west coast but the ones around Mallaig and Morar are pretty hard to beat. One of the best is Morar Sand, otherwise known as the Golden Sands. Beautiful golden sand; rock pools galore; shallow safe seas; and few people all make for a cracking time for the children.

Campfire on the beach

I usually take a bit of old rope with us and set up a swing from a tree which keeps Ella amused for hours, and often build a bonfire on the beach with the plentiful wood supplies that surround us. Nothing like sausages and marsh mellows from the fire; just remember to build the fire below the high water mark so nature can do the clean up job for you when the tide comes in. Joel had spent so much time running around that morning that he was happy to snuggle up next to the fire for a quick relax before beginning the afternoon fun. In the background behind the road bridge is a railway viaduct on the Fort William to Mallaig line. In the summer months at 12pm and 3pm every weekday you can see the Jacobite steam train, otherwise known as the Hogwarts Express chug past the beach. I may have recently been wishing for a bit more snow but we are looking forward to the warmer months and more adventures.

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About the Author

Resident Outdoor Dad

Resident Outdoor Dad

About Me & Mine

My name is Simon and I live in the South Pennines. I have two wonderful kids Ella (9) and Joel (4) and am married to Michaela (she wont reveal her age). I have been a walker and climber for a long time and love to share this passion with the family. My kids love a little adventure and we often have an impromptu geography lesson on our travels.

Favourite place in the world:

I have to admit a life time love affair with the West Coast of Scotland, the combination of mountain, sea, islands, prawns and midges can't be rivalled anywhere in the world. Trying to pin it down to a single location is difficult but the family and I are regularly drawn to the Morar/Mallaig coast and the Inner Hebrides. If I was to choose a favourite place for me it would be the summit of Askival on Rum or the Sgurr of Eigg. If I was choose my favourite family place it would be the beach at Invercaimbe croft near Arisaig, looking out over the Hebridean islands.

Favourite things to do outdoors:

Hills, beaches, cliffs, caves are all fascinating places we love to explore, we all like looking at the views and especially the sunsets. Island trips are a must for the whole family, we have a bit of an addiction to Caledonian MacBrayne ferries, Joel even has one I made from Lego in his bedroom. You might find me wandering around hills after dark with head torches looking at the stars, or bivvying out overnight on a mountain ridge in summer. We all love to enjoy everything that our rural areas give, including local culture, crafts and food. We have done a fair bit of mountain scrambling and rock climbing over the years. When it is too wet there is always an indoor climbing wall somewhere to keep the whole family entertained. I like to combine my music playing interests and my outdoor interests. If you are ever driving or walking across the hilly areas of Northern Britain and pass someone playing the Bongos or an African Djembe drum, don't be alarmed it is only me enjoying the acoustics. I always play better with a view!

Comments (6)

  • Lucy

    Lucy

    02 March 2011 at 09:43 | #

    They are brilliant beaches, you're right. The best bit being that there are so few other people on them that you're often quite happy to bump into the other people you do meet. The train from Glasgow to Mallaig is also one of the most beautiful train rides I know of. Mallaig also home to the boat that can bring you to the most remote (and best!) pub/inn in the British Isles: The Old Forge.

    reply

  • Helen McLean

    Helen McLean

    12 March 2011 at 07:25 | #

    The beach looks fab and our youngest is obsessed with trains so we definitely fancy this trip. I'm now offically on the hunt for a campsite :) Thanks.

    reply

  • simon

    simon

    12 March 2011 at 22:45 | #

    You can camp on the beach here at Morar for free, no problems for a few nights. There are plenty of official campsites on the old coast road from Morar to Arisaig, all with their own beaches.

    reply

  • Helen McLean

    Helen McLean

    13 March 2011 at 23:12 | #

    Would the old coast road from Morar to Arisaig come under the Scottish Highlands? Can you recommend a decent campsite? I've found Camusdarach Campsite, Arisaig. Not sure if I'm looking in the right location? Thanks Simon.

    reply

  • simon

    simon

    14 March 2011 at 14:04 | #

    Hi Helen

    Camusdarach is a great one, also search for Portnadoran, Invercaimbe and Kinloid Farm. Best place for accommodation and other tourist information is found on the "Road To The Isles" website, google this phrase and you will find it easily.

    reply

  • Alex Purbrick

    Alex Purbrick

    07 April 2011 at 14:01 | #

    what beautiful beaches! will have to try and visit them someday!

    reply

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