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18 Jan 2024

Stories from Sandwood

Sandwood Bay is a stunning, secluded paradise of golden sand and crystal waters. Located at the end of a four-mile track, the beach is the perfect setting to escape for a little while.

So far away from civilisation, it comes as no surprise that Sandwood Bay is also home to a story or two!

SandWoodSandwood Bay, photographed by Peter Cairns.


Though beautiful, the ocean is ruthless. Before the lighthouse at Cape Wrath was built in 1828, many ships met their doom on the rocks at Sandwood Bay, earning the beach the nickname 'Ship Graveyard'. The waves whisper tales of Viking longships run aground and the sand tells of treasure dropped by galleons that lies buried and forgotten.

The ships, of course, come with their own ghosts...

The sailor

Visitors to Sandwood Bay have reported a bearded sailor who traipses the beach, identified by his sailor’s cap, tunic, and study boots. The belief is that he is the ghost of an ill-fated sailor, drowned when his ship was wrecked long ago.

Cottage 2

The cottage

Before reaching the soft sands of the beach, visitors to Sandwood Bay will first encounter a cottage that now lies in ruins. Past visitors of the cottage reported ghostly happenings within its walls.

Stories abound of the sailor ghost who would make an appearance on stormy nights, rapping upon the door and staring through the windows. He even spoke once, in the 1940s, when two crofters followed him and he shouted, “All on this beach is mine, begone!” 

Guests sleeping in the cottage have also been awoken in the night to the sound of pounding hooves above them. Could it be the Each Uisge, the water horse of Scottish folklore?

The mermaid

In 1900, a crofter was walking along the shore on the beach. When he reached the rocks, he was taken aback to find a long tail with fins laid out upon the rock. The tail belonged to a mermaid with beautiful golden hair who was basking in the sun.

Have you encountered the illusive mermaid of Sandwood Bay, or walked by the lonely sailor ghost?

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