Berneray makes Lonely Planet’s top 20 beaches

Editors at travel bible Lonely Planet have published their top 20 beaches in Europe with their selection spanning the continent from Iceland to the Mediterranean.

By Eric MacKinnon
Friday, 20th May 2022, 12:58 pm
Isle of Berneray. PICTURE CREDIT : P.TOMKINS / VisitScotland
Isle of Berneray. PICTURE CREDIT : P.TOMKINS / VisitScotland

And one of the top 20 is a Hebridean gem as West Beach on Berneray has made the prestigious shortlist.

In their description of Berneray’s West Beach, Lonely Planet wrote: “West Beach on the wee isle of Berneray is divine. Through dunes and wind-bent machair grasses, you reach this ravishing three-mile expanse of white sand, sliding gently into a turquoise sea.”

Victoria Harvey, VisitScotland Development Manager for the Outer Hebrides, said: “It is brilliant to see West Beach on Berneray place in the top three best beaches in Europe.

Sign up to our daily Stornoway Gazette Today newsletter

“The spectacular scenery surrounding the beach’s pristine white sands make it a very special spot on a stunning island. VisitScotland recently launched the Keep Scotland Unspoiled campaign aimed at encouraging visitors to tread lightly to protect places like Berneray now and in the future.

“The Outer Hebrides is a beautiful part of the world and ranking so highly in the Lonely Planet’s list will encourage visitors to explore Berneray and other landscapes throughout this amazing chain of islands each with their own personality and sensational landscape to explore."

Sarah Maclean, Outer Hebrides Tourism, commented: “We were delighted to see West Beach receive such a high-profile ranking in the Lonely Planet article, it is well deserved recognition of a beautiful stretch of our coastline and will hopefully encourage visitors to seek it out and enjoy it for themselves. At OHT we actively encourage visitors to explore lesser-known beauty spots as this not only helps ease congestion at our main attractions but also spreads the benefits of tourism across the islands.

“We are very aware that some of our better-known island beaches feature heavily on television and social media and as a result are very popular with visitors, but people don’t realise that there are many more hidden coves and awe-inspring white sand expanses all around the Outer Hebrides, including Berneray.”