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Berneray’s West Beach has beaten off stunning competition to grab one of the top three spots among the best beaches in Europe, according to Lonely Planet travel guides.

In a ‘cream of the European coast listing’ published last month (21 April) the popular travel guide ranked the long stretch of shelly sand, backed by dunes, as Europe’s third-best beach, above sandy shores in Spain, Corsica and Zakynthos in Greece.

Only Norway’s Haukland beach on Lofoten island, where you can watch the Northern Lights from the sand, and the ‘sublime’ Cala Goloritzé in Sardinia ranked above Berneray’s best.

Lonely Planet’s writer enthused: “Out on a limb in the wild North Atlantic, the Outer Hebrides stash away some of Europe’s remotest beaches. Singling one out is tough, but West Beach on the wee isle of Berneray is divine.

“Through dunes and wind-bent machair grasses, you reach this ravishing three-mile expanse of white sand, sliding gently into a turquoise sea. It’s often empty but for seabirds trilling overhead and the occasional porpoise or otter.”

Although for some there are still better, if lesser-known spots, even on the island of Berneray itself!

Pictures show West Beach Berneray (Eilidh Carr) and the bay beside Eilean an Dùnain, recently dubbed Queen’s Beach and designated as a tourist photo-stop.

This post was previously published yesterday (Wednesday May 11) with the incorrect beach photograph. We apologise for this error.