The story goes that when you rub the soles of your shoes over the Singing Sands Beach you can hear a singing sound. That’s how this lovely Islay Beach got its name. Of course I’ve tried it several times but have never been successful. However, the beach does make me singing and happy as it’s a real gem. It is small compared to some of the other bigger beaches on Islay, but very very nice, a must to visit.
You can find the Singing Sands beach south from the square lighthouse at Carraig Fhada, opposite Port Ellen. It’s also clearly visible from the ferry when you arrive in Port Ellen. To get to this beach follow “The Oa” when you’re in Port Ellen, it’s the road next to Port Ellen Maltings. Follow it and go left again towards the Oa. Then after 300 yards take another left. As there is no parking nearby, the last bit of the track is a private road leading the lighthouse, it’s best to park here or opposite the Kilnaughton Graveyard and ruined chapel.
Getting to the Singing Sands is easy, just follow the track along the shoreline towards the lighthouse, the views are amazing! When the track goes left towards the houses and lighthouse you’ll see a sign “Singing Sands” on your right. A wee path leads up the hill and from there it’s a short walk to the beach.
Carraig Fhada Lighthouse
Make sure to visit the iconic Lighthouse of Carraig Fhada when you visit the Singing Sands Beach. It’s great in every weather and every season. You can walk towards the lighthouse over the metal bridge but be careful, the rocks can be extremely slippery. And when there’s a swell you’d better wear waterproofs!
Singing Sands Beach
One of the perks when you’re on the beach is that you can see the Calmac ferry from very close by when it enters or leaves the bay at Port Ellen. You only have to time your trip right. And the views towards the island of Texa, Port Ellen and the bay are just amazing. But the most important feature for me is that it’s so perfectly sheltered from the prevailing westerly winds. It’s a rather small beach, 700 feet from one end to the other, but you can walk on further south, although it does get quite rough. On several occasions I’ve seen wild goats either near the lighthouse of south of the beach. And you can find plenty of Sea Pinks on the rocks. Enjoy your time here!