The Beaches of Arisaig – Sunset Capital of Britain?

The small village of Arisaig lies on Scotlands West coast to the North West of the town of Fort William. The name ‘Arisaig’ means ‘safe place’. This remote part of Scotland is steeped in history and in particular the history around that most troublesome period known as the Jacobite Rebellions. When ‘Bonny Prince Charlie’ began his disastrous attempt to regain the throne he landed on the small island of Eriskay in the Hebrides. He was then taken to the mainland in a small rowing boat, coming ashore at Loch nan Uamh a sea loch south of the village. A few miles inland he raised the Jacobite Standard at Glenfinnan and this spot is now marked by a magnificent monument (and a equally magnificent railway viaduct that has become famous as it features in the Harry potter films). After the Battle of Culloden, Charlie fled to the hills to escape the government troops attempting to capture him. He once again left Scotland never to return at the very same spot he had arrived on the mainland’ Loch nan Uamh.

The Glenfinnan Monument

The Glenfinnan Monument

This is a sleepy part of Scotland; nothing happens in much of a hurry here and the pace of life is delightful. As you drive up this winding coastline you are taken aback by the breathtaking beaches, some of the best on mainland Britain with pure white sand and a scattering of small rocky islands. This beauty has not gone unnoticed by everyone and every little cove seems to shelter a campsite of caravan park. There are literally dozens along this stretch, so close together they almost join into a single ribbon of white fibreglass and coloured canvas.

Camping on the Beach by Arisaig

Camping on the Beach by Arisaig

You really cannot blame them for coming here though, if only for one reason; the sunsets! Sitting on the beach here the sun drops down behind the little islands of Rum Eigg and Muck. Known as the ‘Small Isles’ each has its own character; Rum with its sharp volcanic peaks and wild landscape. Eigg, the most populated island looks like something from ‘The Land the Time Forgot’ with its huge basalt cliffs. The island was also the site of a horrific massacre in 1577 when a force of Macleods from Skye slaughtered over 390 MacDonalds in one murderous act with only one family from the island escaping. By contrast to the other two the tiny island of Muck is a little arable oasis where cows graze by the beach.

And so as evening begins the campers who flock to this stretch of coast make their way down to the beach, camera in one hand and a drink of choice in the other and get ready for the show and for many night if the year they are not disappointed! The sky becomes awash with fiery reds and deep blues, its a painters dream! You can’t help but feel spiritual in a place like this.

The Sunset Over Rum

The Sunset Over Rum

Whenever the time comes to meet my maker I really must congratulate him on the excellent works he’s done at Arisaig!


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6 thoughts on “The Beaches of Arisaig – Sunset Capital of Britain?

  1. Sandy

    Absolutely breathtaking! I only wish I could be there with you!! Thanks again for sharing the photos! Sandy

  2. Doug McClain

    Thanks so much for this article and the pictures. I’ve not been to Scotland since 2002 for my clan gathering on Mull and I really miss the scenery and people. Feels like I’m home when on Mull. This brought back the same feeling for me.

    Thanks again,

  3. Robert Taylor

    We stayed at Back of Keppoch campsite. I think it’s the most beautiful place we have ever been. We always said we’d go back but never got around to it. After seeing these pictures, I’m determined to do it. Midges were pretty fierce I seem to remember.

  4. rodgermoffet

    Robert, the uncle of an old Workmate of mine used to own that site. We usually stay at Invercaimbe, campsite which only has 12 pitches so its tiny. Normally booked solid through the summer. Hardly any midges! Speaking of which we just spent the night at Sligachan on Skye which is the most notorious midge haven in Scotland, not as much as a nibble. Just too early for them!

  5. Ginger Buchanan-Sotelo

    Thank you so much for sharing your holiday. Now I must take a holiday and see that sunset for myself. Also to try that Ale!

  6. Karen Tookey-Coffey

    Beautiful picture! Lovely article! I’ve been to Scotland, and hope to go visit it again someday. Thank you!


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