The best Argyll beaches for swimming, surfing, windsurfing, surf kayaking and paddleboarding

Golden sands, rugged backdrops and crystal-clear waters - some of Scotland’s most incredible beaches can be found along the coastline of Argyll. They’re brilliant locations for all sorts of watersports, from swimming to surfing. Get active on these Argyll beaches! 

Surfing

Westport Beach stretches for six miles along the west coast of the Kinyre Peninsula. This huge expanse of sand is often pounded by Atlantic breakers, making it one of Argyll’s top surf spots. The beach has its own surfcam so you can check the waves before you arrive! On some days, when they waves are wild, this beach is for experienced surfers only. But beginners can have a go too, thanks to Pete’s Surf School, which operates from the car park at Westport Beach during the summer. Pete provides lessons for all levels as well as surf gear hire. Need to warm up after a surf? Head to Glenbarr Stores & Café, which is a short drive up the road, for locally roasted coffee and delicious cakes.

Pete's Surf School Kintyre

Wind surfing

The Hebridean island of Tiree is also a surfers’ paradise, as well as being a mecca for windsurfers. The island island has some fabulous windsurfing beaches and the finest must be Gott Bay on east coast of the island. With golden sands, a shallow gradient and calm waters, it’s a hot spot for windsurfers and kite surfers. If you’re a beginner, you can learn the ropes at Loch Bhaspol, a large shallow, sandy-bottomed loch.

Windsurfing Tiree


Surf kayaking

Argyll’s coastline is dotted with brilliant surf kayaking beaches. For an exhilarating watersport experience, surf kayaking is pretty unbeatable – especially on Argyll’s wild and beautiful coastline. Try Machir Bay on the isolated north-west coast of the island of Islay. It’s fairly easily accessible with parking close by. You will need to be fairly experienced to surf kayak here though, as the sea has dangerous undercurrents.

Machine Bay Islay

Paddle boarding

Paddle boarding is a wonderful way to explore Argyll’s coastline. With sheltered sea lochs, sandy bays and islands there’s so much to explore on your paddle board. Ganavan Sands near Oban is brilliant for paddle boarding. It’s a lovely, sheltered sandy beach overlooking Kerrera and Mull. There’s a car park next to the beach, so is easy to access. Enjoy a paddle around the bay or head around the coast for views of the magnificent Dunollie Castle and Oban. Then when you’re done, head back in to Oban for a fantastic selection of cafés, seafood restaurants and shops.

Swimming

If you fancy taking the plunge and enjoying a swim in the sea, there are so many great swimming beaches to choose from in Argyll. Ostel Bay on Argyll’s Secret Coast is a wonderful place for an invigorating dip! It’s a twenty-minute walk from the road, but well worth the effort. This lovely crescent of soft sand looks out across to Arran. The water is protected and shallow for a fair distance and can become quite warm on a summer’s day. There are often small pools that form in the beach a low tide, which are perfect lagoons for children to paddle in. Another lovely swimming beach is Calgary Bay on the island of Mull.

Calgary Bay, Mull