Wondering what the best Scottish seaside towns to visit are? Then you’ll want to stick around and read on.

Mainland Scotland is surrounded by more than 6000 miles of coastline, so you won’t be surprised to find out there are some incredible little seaside towns dotted all around the coast.

North Berwick 

best scottish seaside towns, north berwick
North Berwick, on Scotland’s east coast, is a personal favourite of mine. I visit a few times each year and stay at nearby Archerfield Estate, so I’m pretty familiar with this seaside stunner.

The best part about North Berwick is the two beaches either side of the town. They are soft sandy beaches that are perfect to walk along (my dog loves a walk on the beach there!), whilst taking in the fresh sea air and gorgeous views out over the water.

Away from the beaches, you’ll find a cute little town with some lovely boutique shops, a couple of good restaurants (I recommend Osteria), a couple of pubs and a stylish bar and eatery (Herringbone – it’s fantastic). A great thing about most of the shops and some of the venues is that they’re dog-friendly. If you’re travelling with your dog (like I do!), it’s great to be able to take them out with you for the day.

It has pretty much everything you could want or need for a day-trip or weekend getaway. When the sun is shining the main streets are packed with people out making the most of the weather and I’d highly recommend making dinner reservations wherever you want to eat – it can get busy in summer!


best seaside towns in scotland, portree
Portree is a colourful, impossibly pretty town on the magical Isle of Skye. It’s the largest town on the island and the colourful houses that line the water make it a photographer’s dream (aka Instagram-perfect!).

It’s a small town that’s surrounded by hills and feels like it’s a million miles away from the stress and rush of everyday life. There are cute cafes, restaurants, a few shops, a cinema and an indoor swimming pool if the weather gives up during your visit!

Away from Portree, Skye is one of the most rugged and beautiful places I’ve visited in Scotland. I couldn’t recommend a visit to this island more. There’s so much natural beauty and so many great walks and amazing views to be discovered.

St. Andrews 

best scottish seaside towns, st andrews
St. Andrews is another of my favourite Scottish towns and almost certainly the most famous town to have made it onto this list. It’s where Prince William met his now wife, Kate and where they both went to university.

The University of St. Andrews was Scotland’s first ever university and dates all the way back to 1413. It lies right at the heart of the town and means there are plenty of students in and around the town, giving it a youthful and vibrant feel. It’s the perfect juxtaposition to all of the historical architecture and old-world feel that St Andrews has.

Visitors will find dozens of independent shops, pretty cafes, some fantastic restaurants (I recommend the Vine Leaf) and plenty of cosy pubs and busy bars. It’s the perfect place for a long weekend or even just for a day if that’s all you can manage.

The highlight of St. Andrews is its gorgeous seaside position, stunning views and pretty beach. Don’t forget to visit the Cathedral and Castle ruins.

John o’Groats 

best scottish seaside towns
best scottish seaside towns
This one might seem like a little bit of a random inclusion on the list as there really isn’t much to John o’Groats. I’m including it firstly because it’s famous as being the most northerly inhabited town in mainland Scotland and secondly because of the multitude of things to do and see nearby. Thirdly, and crucially, the views from here are incredible, especially on a sunny day.

Around John o’Groats you’ll find some of the best coastal views in the country and some of the nicest beaches too. Hire a car, get on the road and explore. You won’t be disappointed!

Do you have any more to add to my list of best Scottish seaside towns?