About Melvich

At the eastern end of the dune-backed bay, the tannin brown river feeds a sandbar that has built up over a stoney patch of reef, producing long, walling rights and shorter lefts. Consistently good waves can be found here, breaking from 2ft through to epic head-high surf. There can also be peaks along the beach. Needs a slightly bigger swell to wrap in. Can be checked from the road, there's parking behind the dunes. Melvich is the first of Sutherland's river-fed sand bays, a clear demarcation from the reef-fringed topography of Caithness. Can be quiet out of peak season.

Source: Melvich Surf Guide

Ability Level


Beg Int Adv

Waves suitable for all when small, but remoteness and rips mean best left to experienced when a surf picks up.

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating


Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Mostly quiet but can be busy during peak season.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect

Some fun, quality waves here with both long rights and short lefts.

Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

Rips by the river and on beach when bigger.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty


Additional Information


Rips and rocks.


Car park just behind the dunes or also by the Bighouse and over the foot bridge.

Bring Your

Shortboard, fish, longboard, bodyboard


Sand and rock patches

Best Season

Best in clean Autumnal swells September – November.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos