Embo Beach is a beautiful white sandy beach located near the town of Dornoch on the NC500 and is an often-overlooked gem of the east coast of Scotland.

If you’re looking for a beautiful sandy beach with stunning views, Embo Beach is a must-visit, with its wide expanse of sand, stunning coastline, and peaceful atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. 

This is one of our favourite beaches on the North Coast 500 due to how quiet this white sandy beach is.

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A Complete Guide to Visiting Embo Beach – Beautiful White Sand Beach on the NC500

A Complete Guide to Visiting Embo Beach on the NC500

Embo Beach is the perfect place to go on a warm, sunny day either for a walk around the footpaths or for a dip in the sea. In this guide, we will discuss the best time to go to Embo Beach as well as the following

  • Where to Stay near Embo Beach
  • How to get to Embo Beach
  • Things to do at Embo Beach
  • Are there any facilities at Embo Beach
  • Things to do in Dornoch
  • Preparing for your trip to the NC500
A Complete Guide to Visiting Embo Beach – Beautiful White Sand Beach on the NC500- highlands2hammocks

Planning your trip to Embo Beach

How to get to Embo Beach

Embo Beach is located just a short drive from Dornoch. If you’re driving from Inverness, take the A9 north and turn onto the A949 (Dornoch Firth Bridge). Follow this road through Dornoch and take the left turn onto the A949 (Embo Road). Continue along this road until you reach Embo village. The beach is signposted from here.

If you’re taking public transportation, you can take a train from Inverness to Tain and then catch a bus to Embo.

A Complete Guide to Visiting Embo Beach – Beautiful White Sand Beach on the NC500- highlands2hammocks

Things to Do at Embo Beach

Embo Beach is a great place for a day out with the family. The beach is wide and sandy, making it perfect for building sandcastles and playing games. As much as the sea will be cold, it is lovely for a refreshing dip and if you have a stand up paddle board, it is a beautiful spot for a paddle.

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a walk along the beach to nearby Loch Fleet. This beautiful loch is home to a variety of birdlife, including ospreys and herons. You can also see seals and sometimes dolphins in the water. There are many walking trails near the beach, so you can enjoy a peaceful walk while taking in the stunning views.

Embo Beach is popular for those who enjoy wild swimming and in the summer it is busy with locals and tourists enjoying the warmer, brighter weather.

A Complete Guide to Visiting Embo Beach – Beautiful White Sand Beach on the NC500- highlands2hammocks

We would highly recommend getting yourself a Seashell dryrobe for keeping warm when you get out of the icy cold water! They even have pockets to store your keys! 

Check out the Seashell Dryrobes and Toweling Robes here.

girl standing in seashell swimming robe

Are there any facilities at Embo Beach?

There are no facilities at Embo Beach, so be sure to bring everything you need with you. There are no shops or cafes nearby, so it’s a good idea to bring a picnic with you. You can also bring your own beach gear, such as chairs or umbrellas, if you want to spend a long day at the beach.

Embo Beach is a hidden gem on Scotland’s east coast. With its stunning views and peaceful atmosphere, it’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Whether you’re looking for a day out with the family, a quiet spot to relax, or a place to enjoy water sports, Embo Beach is definitely worth a visit. Plan your visit today and experience the beauty of this amazing beach for yourself.

A Complete Guide to Visiting Embo Beach – Beautiful White Sand Beach on the NC500- highlands2hammocks

Things to do in Dornoch

There are many great things to do in Dornoch which is located not far from Embo Beach.

Visit the best chocolate cafe – Cacao Mountain Cafe

There are two of these amazing cafes on the NC500 route, one in Dornoch and one in Durness. They serve delicious hot chocolate, cakes and homemade chocolate bars. It will most likely be on of the more expensive places you will visit at £4.70 for a hot chocolate, but when it is pure melted chocolate it is well worth it!

cocoa mountain

Play Golf at Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Golf is a popular activity in Dornoch and with views over the Dornoch Firth, there is no better place for an 18 hole golf course in the area than Royal Dornoch Golf Club.

There is also a driving range and from here there is a great view of the Dornoch Castle Hotel sitting over the town.

royal dornoch golf club flag

Learn about the History at Dornoch Museum

The Dornoch Historylinks Museum shares the history of the town of Dornoch displaying information about the burning of Scotland’s last condemned witch, the impact of the Picts and the Vikings as well as a golf professionals workshop. As well as reading about the history, there are also quizzes, puzzles and the option to dress up. In addition there are translations in French, German, Spanish, Italian and Swedish.

This is one of Scotland’s few 5* star museums so it is worth a visit when you visit Dornoch.

There is also a driving range and from here there is a great view of the Dornoch Castle Hotel sitting over the town.

dornoch museum

Before You Leave on the North Coast 500

Before you head off on your trip around the NC500, there are certain things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth trip. These include how to get around the route, including being aware of single track roads, etc., what to pack for Scotland, where to stay along the route and what travel insurance to book.

Read more planning tips for the North Coast 500 in our full guide.

How Do I Get Around the NC500?

Given the remote location of the NC500 and the majority of the sights along the route, the best way to get around this road trip is by driving. There are of course other methods that are still popular, such as cycling and hiking, however, if you have a short amount of time on the route, neither of these are very suitable.

As for public transport, the use around the NC500 is understandably difficult due to how remote each location is, however, with the increasing problem of congestion along the route, this is a good option to research if you have time. If it is something that interests you, you can read a public formed itinerary of how to get around the NC500 by public transport over here.

If you are looking to rent a cosy, reliable, and luxurious campervan for your trip along the NC500, we highly recommend hiring through Spaceship Rentals. 

Browse the full range of vehicles on offer at Spaceship Rentals over here.

Passing Place by the Bealach na Ba Pass.

What Should I Pack for the NC500?

When it comes to packing for a trip along the NC500 there is one item of clothing that you are going to need all year round: a waterproof. It rains in Scotland on average 250 days a year, meaning that during your 7-day NC500 road trip you will probably experience at least a drizzle of rain. Due to this, the number one item on any Scotland packing list is a good waterproof jacket.

As for the rest of the year, the temperature in Scotland and the central heartlands is reasonably mild for most of the year. During the winter months, you will most likely experience snow, however, temperatures usually sit around freezing, so it is not too cold. For your reference, the average temperatures in Scotland are listed below during each season.

Spring (March, April, May) – 5-10 degrees C

Summer (June, July, August) – 15 degrees C

Autumn (September, October, November) – 5-10 degrees C

Winter (December, January, February) – 0-5 degrees C

As you can see, the weather never really gets above the teens, with anything over 25 degrees C considered a heatwave. The best way to pack for your trip to the highlands is with layers that can be added and removed as you need them. You will definitely need a hat and gloves during the colder months and will most likely need sunscreen to protect you on the long days in the open.

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see on the NC500, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

Where Should I Stay on the NC500?

The remoteness in the highlands of Scotland will leave you with little choice of accommodation in each location along the NC500, however, there are still enough options to choose from to ensure a comfortable trip. These are mostly in the shape of B&Bs, Airbnbs, converted cottages and other quirky accommodations.

Depending on how adventurous you are, there may be more accommodation choices than just the above, often with an even better view. Caravan and camping sites are abundant along the NC500, drawing camping enthusiasts from all over the world. For some of the most spectacular bedside scenery along the North Coast 500, we recommend packing a tent and getting in touch with nature for the week.

As we travelled along the North Coast 500, camped in our trusty Vango tent on a mixture of campsites and wild sites. Wild camping is a fantastic way to enjoy the beauty of the highlands, however, it must be done respectfully. Read our full guide to Wild Camping if you wish to give it a go so you know everything you need to for a comfortable and sustainable trip.

camping in scotland

What is the Best Travel Insurance for NC500

I know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!

So there you have it, a complete guide to visiting Embo Beach near Dornoch. If you have visited the NC500 recently, let us know what you thought of the sights listed above, or if you have any suggestions let us know in the comments below.

As always, sharing is caring so make sure to share this photo guide with your family and friends and inspire them to head off on their own North Coast 500 adventure. If you are planning the trip for yourself, make sure you have a look at the rest of our Scotland content for more inspiration to our beautiful home country.

When you set off on your own adventure, be sure to tag us in your photos on Instagram and we will share them with the rest of our community. In the meantime, why not follow us over there to see what we are currently up to and keep up with us on our Instagram Stories.

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A Complete Guide to Visiting Embo Beach – Beautiful White Sand Beach on the NC500

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