Sanna lies some six miles north west of Kilchoan, a little to the north of the tip of the Ardnamurchan Peninsula. It is a small scattered settlement with an oddly transient feel: you almost expect to see tumbleweed blowing by, or Clint Eastwood riding up on his horse.
But it isn't the settlement that you'll have come to Sanna to see. Rather it is the beaches, the rocks and the dunes that lie along the west-facing side of Sanna Bay. Ask any collector of Scottish beaches for their all time top ten, and there's a very good chance that you'll find it includes Sanna, alongside other gems like Sandwood Bay, Balnakeil Bay, Lunan Bay and Achmelvich. One of the things that makes Sanna so entrancing is its sheer remoteness. This also applies to some of the other beaches listed above, but none require you to drive at least 30 miles of single track roads to reach them, and then 30 more on the return trip.
Sanna lies only a mile or so around Sanna Bay from Portuairk, the slightly larger village that occupies the bay's north-facing side. However the roads to the two diverge close to Kilchoan, and a mile across the bay translates into around ten by road. So if you want to get to Sanna, watch out for the right turn not far from Kilchoan. The road to Sanna from Kilchoan goes through some of the oddest scenery in Scotland. The countryside is extremely rough going, but as you approach the tiny hamlet of Achnaha you find yourself on a flat heather-clad circular plain about two miles in diameter surrounded by a striking ring of sharply defined rocky hills. You are driving across the centre of the crater of a very long extinct volcano.
Sanna itself provides a gravelled car park and a phone box, but don't otherwise expect a wide range of tourist facilities. What you have come for can be found through the dunes to the west. Some of these are very large indeed, and very well established. And beyond them are a series of sandy bays in a variety of sizes from intimate all the way up to huge.
The real joy of Sanna lies in its variety of coastal scenery. Its beaches are magnificent. Its dunes are impressive. And the sea is - if you catch it in nice weather - either a deep dark blue or a stunning light turquoise depending on whether the sea bed at that point is sand or rock. And for the more active there are rocky points dividing each beach from its neighbour, providing an excellent selection of rock pools to explore.
If you can tear yourself away from the beach long enough to make the short climb north to the high ground at Sanna Point, you find another reason to visit Sanna: its truly superb views. They extend from the islands of Eigg and Rum to the north, with Skye in the further distance, round to Ardnamurchan Point and its lighthouse to the south west, with the Island of Coll beyond. To the north west you might catch a glimpse of high ground in the Western Isles, but due west there is nothing but sea. The first land in this direction is North America.
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