Ok so you’ve read about how awesome it is to SUP in Scotland and you’ve decided to buy yourself a SUP and travel this beautiful country but you want to know where to start. Read on my friend for here you will find a list of our top picks to whet your appetite.
Best for Beaches
Luskentyre Isle of Harris
If you have spent any time in Scotland you may have heard whisperings about the almost Caribbean like beaches in the Outer Hebrides. Beaches with such white sparking sand and crystal clear azure waters that you could be forgiven for thinking you had unwittingly been transported from these beautiful wild islands off the north western coast of Scotland to somewhere a lot more tropical. Dip your toe in the chilly water though and you’ll realise you’re still in Scotland! There are some really beautiful beaches in the outer Hebrides, the most famous one of which is Luskentyre on the Isle of Harris. Stay tuned for a post on this magnificent location or click here for more information on where to SUP in the Outer Hebrides.
Best for Mountains
Loch Eck has been on my SUP-it list for some time now. I first discovered it on a drive down the Cowall Peninsular. There is a wee pull off from the road where you can park amongst the pine trees in what feels like a magical almost faerie like environment. Surrounded by the highlands, the pines add to the feeling of being a world away up in the mountains. There is a wee pebbly beach for ease of access into the water and for sitting and enjoying an impromptu picnic. Check it out for yourself, you won’t be disappointed. For more information see our post here.
Best for Forest
I love Loch Ard! On the south side of the loch is part of the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park which has many trails for walking, running, cycling etc. The forest is mostly a forestry pine plantation but still manages to feel more forest and less plantation which is why I really like it. The trails are kept really well maintained, so if you have time for adventure on foot or wheel you won’t be disappointed. On the north side of the loch is the community of Kinlochard home of the famous Wee Blether Tearoom serving what must be the most gargantuan slices of cake and scones known to humanity! You have to see it to believe it. There are also a couple of islands on the loch, the largest being Eilean Gorm, and some cute wee Instaworthy boat houses. The loch itself isn’t particularly deep, locals told us that you could pretty much reach the bottom of the loch right the way across (which is reassuring when the water is so black!) For more information see our post here.
Best for Camping
What I love about Loch Drunkie (apart from the name of course!) is that to get to it you get travel on one of the few gravel roads Scotland has to offer. This road is only open during the warmer months and you need a permit to access it which can be gotten at the entry point. The road goes through the Queen Elizabeth Forest and you can also camp there, right on the waters edge. How’s that for the perfect SUP location! There are another couple of lochs along the Queen Elizabeth Forest Drive but Loch Drunkie is the largest and I would say the most picturesque as it is the most forested. Alternatively if you want to go just for the day there are picnic facilities and marked forest walks in addition to SUPing on the tranquil lochs. See more about Loch Drunkie in our post here.
Best for Isolation
Evie Beach Orkney Mainland
Orkney Mainland has it’s own air of mystique and most of the 170,000 people who visit every year are probably not thinking about watersports! This is a huge bonus if you like that sense of isolation when you SUP. Evie Beach is tucked away from most of the popular tourist attractions on the northern shores of the island. It is a beautiful sandy bay with plenty of shallow waters that are crystal clear if somewhat chilly! Out from the bay the water gets deeper where fishing boats pass in between Mainland and the island of Rousay. For extra adventures there is the Broch of Gurness, a Historic Scotland site with a wee visitor centre although at the time of publishing didn’t seem to have bathroom facilities. Luckily Evie Beach has, which is quite a rare thing we’ve found. They are located at the other end of the beach. For more information on Evie Beach see our post here.
Best for Island Hopping
There is a reason Loch Lomond is the inspiration for songs of heartfelt longing, it’s beauty is something that needs to be beheld to fully comprehend. I fell in love with Loch Lomond back in the summer of 2004 while on a trip around Scotland. We were having a couple of freakishly warm days up around 30 degrees Celsius and I found myself, somewhat surprisingly, going for a swim in it’s magical waters. Loch Lomond is beautiful any way you view it, driving along the western shore on the winding A82, or from the more tranquil walking route of the West Highland Way on the eastern shore. Gazing down from above after a climb up Conic Hill, or out the window of the Loch Lomond Seaplane on a scenic flight. My personal favourite is to of course explore it by SUP. It is only when you are out on the water that you can explore some of the thirty plus islands that sprinkle the surface of Loch Lomond like glittering emeralds. The islands vary in size, some disappearing with the changes in water level. Check out this resource for 10 facts about Loch Lomonds Islands and here for our previous posts on some of the many entry points.
Thanks for visiting us here at SUP Chick, we hope you enjoyed the first in our series of “Best of Scotland” While you’re here watch our first SUP Chick video starring SUP Bloke 💜 on our brand new YouTube channel. FIND BEAUTIFUL PLACES TO SUPLEARN MORE ABOUT EQUIPMENTWATCH THE LATEST SUP ADVENTURE VIDEO