Today I want to share with you folks a place that I was if I am honest kind of dragged to by my other half. I did not know a great deal about Sandwood Bay, sure I had heard it was one of the most amazing beaches in the UK, but to me it always sounded like it was in the middle of nowhere right on the coast at the North West of the highlands. But let’s just say I was “asked very nicely” to get my rear end in the car and enjoy the day. Now this is about an hour away from our, Windyhill Cottage, but by the end of the day here I was so happy that my other half made me….. sorry I mean asked me to go here! Anyway here are a few of the reasons why spending a day with the family at Sandwood Bay are well worth the drive up here.
The Beach Is Amazing
As I write this I have kind of a happy and mind blown look on my face as I remember just how amazing this beach was. It has some of the nicest, softest, pinkest sand that I have ever seen in this country. Actually I do not think I can off the top of my head think of another beach in the UK that has sand as lovely as this. It makes walking on the beach in your bare feet a pleasure and not something that sees you jump in the air every five minutes as you stand on a hidden jaggy rock. My kids and I spent a ton of time just running around, playing football and having a great time.
One of the things that my other half loved about the beach was just how clean it was. I am not sure to be honest if they have a person who tidy’s up the beach or if people who come here appreciate just how nice it is and actually clean up after themselves, but the day we were here the beach was immaculate and it was rather busy so I guess you could say that it brings the best out in people when it comes to not just throwing their rubbish on the floor. I hate when I get the kids all excited about going to a beach, we arrive and there is just garbage all over the place and you have to constantly watch what they are touching and telling them to step away from the thing that looks like a balloon on the sand! I can assure you that you will not have that trouble here. I mean of course you might get unlucky and the day you go there is someone spoiling it, but I would dare say for the most part this is one of the cleanest beaches in the country.
The Water Is Fine Come On In
Well while we went on a nice day saying the water if fine might be a bit of an exaggeration. I promised my boys that we could go in the water and when we arrived I was well up for it as I was greeted with clear, clean and pretty wild water. So I thought we would have a lot of fun messing around in the water near the beach……. The water was freezing! But we still had a great time my boys said the water was not cold and that I was just a wimp, but I am still standing by it was cold.
If you are made of tougher stuff than I am I would certainly recommend bringing your swim gear and having some fun, especially if it is hot as you will dry off and get warm in no time. One thing I will say is that I would not let the kids go in there on their own. The water did have some pretty wild waves so we made sure to stay close to the beach and no go in too far and I would recommend you do the same.
There Is A Lot To Explore
While my other half and youngest son wanted to build sand castles me and my eldest went and explored the nearby rocks. I did hear that there was a wee cave around, but I could not find it. Anyway climbing up and jumping off the rocks was something we had a good time with and we found all kinds of creepy wee bugs, crabs and other things that if I watched a little bit more David Attenborough then I would actually know what they were.
Some of these rocks are a bit high and slippy so be sure to keep an eye on the kids…… and yourself and try to have fun without getting to carried away. The big mistake I made here was telling my youngest about these little crab looking things we found which then resulted in him dumping the sand out of his bucket and wanting to go and get a collection of them! What is it with young kids and wanting to collect bugs and other creepy looking things?
Enjoy The Walk (And Wear Some Trainers!)
Now there is a place to park your car………. But is roughly a 9 mile round trip to Sandwood Bay! This is a long walk and on the way it is not too bad as you and the kids are all excited, you will have a spring in your step and dare I say you may even run some of the way just to have a little bit more fun. I have heard some people say the walk is boring, but I think that how excited the kids get does make this a fun family walk and a great way to build up the excitement of going to the beach. It is not one of the easiest walks I have been on so be warned that it can take a bit out of you.
Now while the walk there was a lot of fun and we were all having a good time…. After spending many hours at the beach running around, playing football, exploring the rocks and swimming, the kids were well and truly done in. And what was a fun family walk on the way to the beach was a long, tiring and complaining filled trip back to the car. I was even more tired as I had to let the boys take turns getting carried on my shoulders back to the car! So be warned the way back feels twice as long as the way there. But just think about how the kids are probably going to pass out early in the night so at least you will have a bit of peace.
Bring A Picnic
No this is not really a suggestion, but more of a necessity. This is a long day and the walk alone can take a lot of you so you better make sure that you are well stacked with snacks. We made the mistake (well actually my Mrs did) of bringing just a normal big bag filled with food. A backpack would have been so much more practical for the long walk, but at least we know for next time and now so do you. Anyway if you are spending a whole day here then you will want to have a lot of food and drinks with you.
I also found that having some snacks on the walk back to the car was a way to make it a little bit less brutal for the kids and it gives them a wee bit more energy to soldier on to the car. I would say that this is one trop where you cannot have to many snacks!