Set at the mouth of the river Halladale on the north coast of Scotland, Melvich beach is a secluded, beautiful expanse of golden sands. Here is a complete guide.
How To Get To Melvich Beach
Melvich beach is located approximately 17 miles west of the Scottish town of Thurso in the village of Melvich.
Follow the A836 west from Thurso until you reach the small crofting village of Melvich.
When you reach the village, you will find that there is a sign for the beach. Follow the track and you will come to a parking area just above the dunes in about 2 minutes.
Parking here is free and there is a map of the beach area for you to check out if needed.
Buses stopping at Melvich run between the town of Thurso and the village of Bettyhill.
For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance.
Melvich Beach Entrance Fee
It is free to visit Melvich beach.
Melvich Beach Opening Times
Melvich beach is open every day, all year round.
Best Time To Visit Melvich Beach + Tips
This is a beautiful beach to visit on a warm day to enjoy the golden sands.
Great for dog walking at any time of the year, especially if your dog likes the sea.
Sunsets here are said to be spectacular.
There are no facilities at the beach.
What To Pack
What To Expect At Melvich Beach
In my opinion one of the best beaches on the North Coast 500.
Interestingly, the name Melvich come from the Norse Mel Vik, which means ‘Sand Dune Bay’.
Situated in a secluded bay, this pristine beach doesn’t get too busy, even in the summer months and is well worth a visit.
There are actually two paths from the car park.
One will take you directly to the beach and the other takes you via the river bank of the river Halladale. (Check out the map in the car park to get your bearings.)
If heading straight to the beach, after a short walk through the dunes you will reach the beautiful, crescent shaped expanse of golden sands that is Melvich Beach.
Apparently, if you visit in spring time, these dunes are carpeted with beautiful yellow cowslips which would make for some great photo opportunities.
However, be aware that Arctic Terns breed in and around the sand dunes during the spring and summer months, so you need to take care not to disturb them.
If you follow the other, slightly longer, path from the car park this will take to the bank of the river Halladale which can then be followed downstream and onto the beach.
This beautiful beach is popular with dog walkers, surfers and swimmers.
Also, with its pristine, soft sand, it would be a lovely place for a family picnic and all the normal beach activities that children enjoy.
Due to the size of the beach and the remoteness, it would seem that there is always plenty of room for everyone.
With the Halladale river to the east of the beach and rocky outcrops to the west, there are some far reaching, scenic views.
Furthermore, this is another beautiful Scottish beach that offers up amazing sunsets.
Great for a swim on a summers day, Melvich Beach is well worth a stop off on your NC500 itinerary.
Next up it was time to head to Balnakeil Beach, where the weather wasn’t so nice!
Where To Stay In Scotland
Luxury – exploreNESS Apartment
Offering free WiFi and free private parking, exploreNESS Apartment is located in Inverness, just 0.8 miles from Inverness Castle.
The property is less than 0.6 miles from Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and 1.6 miles from Caledonian Thistle.
The apartment features 1 bedroom, a flat-screen TV with satellite channels, an equipped kitchen with a dishwasher and a microwave, a washing machine, and 1 bathroom with a shower. Towels and bed linen are provided.
A buffet breakfast is available daily at the apartment.
Mid-Budget – Loch Earn
Located 1.7 miles from Inverness Castle, Loch Earn provides accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking.
There is also a kitchen in some of the units with a dishwasher, a fridge, and an oven.
A continental breakfast is available daily at the bed and breakfast.
Guests can relax in the garden at the property.
Budget – Inverness Youth Hostel
Just 10 minutes’ walk from Inverness Rail Station, Inverness Youth Hostel offers free private parking and bicycle storage.
Eastgate shopping centre is a 10-minute walk from this hostel. Hootananny, a popular music venue, is just 15 minutes’ walk away.
Culloden Battlefield and its visitor centre is just a 10-minute drive away. The banks of Loch Ness and the country village of Dores are both a 20-minute drive away.
All rooms have a shared bathroom. Packed lunch and luggage storage is available on request.
For more places to stay in Scotland, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.