Aberdour Black Sands

This is a small and secluded stretch of sand with rocky outcrops nestling on the south side of the village of Aberdour. Its natural features make it popular with the visitor and local alike providing an ideal natural retreat.


The name Aberdour unsurprisingly means ‘at the mouth of the Dour’. The village was once split in two - Easter and Wester Aberdour. It wasn’t until the building of the railway that the merging of the two villages happened. There are many attractions in Aberdour, contributing to its popularity with tourists. These include Aberdour Castle, St Fillan’s Church and Inchmore Abbey. In 1890 the Forth Bridge opened which made Aberdour an easy holiday destination.

Across the water from Black Sands, you can see the Inchcolm Island. Inchcolm has a famous, historical abbey dating back to 1223. After the Reformation the monastic lifestyle on the island stopped. Since then, the island and abbey have been used as a quarantine station for infested ships, a naval hospital during Napoleonic wars, and now is a popular wedding venue. During both World wars the island was fortified and readied to repel the enemy during sea attacks.

Natural space

The coastline and natural space around Black Sands beach is part of a wildlife reserve, and the area is protected for conservation. There are regular sightings of bird species, including redshanks and oystercatchers. Other marine mammals have been occasionally sighted there including whales and seals.

The nearby golf course has boasts a high biodiversity including stoats, deer, foxes, badgers, stoats, squirrels and rabbits.


The beach is relatively short compared to some others, but it is secluded and peaceful making it popular with locals and tourists. It is a darker sandy beach with rocks heading up back to the village of Aberdour. You can see across the Firth of Forth to Edinburgh and The Lothians. Aberdour is only a half hour commute from Edinburgh via the train. It is 18miles (29km) driving distance which adds to its popularity from locals and tourists.

Getting There

The beach is just off the A921 from Inverkeithing to Burntisland. The beach is 10 minutes walk from the train station.

Water quality information

This beach is a designated bathing water site. Further information about water quality at this site can be found on the SEPA website. Please observe local signage and only swim where it is safe to do so.


Toilet opening times can be found on the Fife Coast & Countryside website here.

Contact details

Fife Coast and Countryside Trust

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Family Friendly Recreation Friendly Sandy Toilets Rocky Free parking Sailing Wildlife Reserve Cliffs Shingle Good for Wildlife Disabled Visitor Facilities Public Rescue Equipment

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