Your pictures of Scotland's award-winning beaches

West Sands Image copyright John Pow
Image caption This shot of West Sands at St Andrews - Chariots of Fire style - was taken by John Pow.

The number of beaches meeting the criteria for a Scottish beach award has risen this year.

Prestwick in South Ayrshire and Yellowcraig in East Lothian join a list of 61 beaches from across Scotland.

Troon beach Image copyright Maribel Leiva
Image caption Dougie and Javier made the most of the bank holiday weather at Troon. Pic by Maribel Leiva.

Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful assesses beaches on accessibility, cleanliness and signage, but not water quality.

Fife has 15 award-winning beaches - the most in the county. The Highlands is second with 12.

We've gathered together the pictures you've sent us from some the beaches that made the list.

Keep Scotland Beautiful said the annual Scottish Beach Awards celebrated some of the "best-managed beaches in the country".

Kingsbarns Beach Image copyright Barbara Wilson
Image caption John Wilson sent this of Ozzie, the Scottie, gathering a souvenir on Kingsbarns Beach on a day out.

Yellowcraig returns to the list after not qualifying last year.

Gullane Bents in East Lothian and St Andrews West Sands in Fife have qualified for the award every year for the last 26 years.

And Aberdour Silver Sands, Fife, and Nairn Central in the Highlands have been recognised by the charity for 25 consecutive years.

Yellowcraig Image copyright Fiona McGregor
Image caption Fiona McGregor says Yellowcraig was looking calm but this surfer was heading for some big waves.
Yellowcraig beach Image copyright Claire McVicar
Image caption Labradoodle Betty is also a fan of Yellowcraig beach. Pic sent in by Claire McVicar

Derek Robertson, chief executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful, said: "Now in their 26th year, the Scottish Beach Awards help to set the standard for our stunning coastlines and inland shores - making sure that they provide visitors with litter-free sand, excellent amenities and helpful information about water quality.

"Organisations from all across Scotland have been working hard to ensure that the beach continues to provide a great day out for all the family alongside benefitting people's health, wellbeing and local economies."

Carnoustie beach Image copyright Mary Cairns
Image caption A silhouette at sunset of Beth Cairns, taken at Carnoustie beach by Mary Cairns.

Although beaches are not assessed on their water quality, they must provide information about it as part of the award criteria.

Cruden Bay Image copyright R McLean
Image caption R McLean sent us this shot of a surfer giving the golf a miss at Cruden Bay.
Embo beach Image copyright Michelle Bonthrone
Image caption A snowy scene this time looking over the shore at Embo in Sutherland, taken by Michelle Bonthrone.
Prestwick beach Image copyright Amy Galbraith
Image caption Amy Galbraith sent us this picture of Cooper enjoying the beach at Prestwick.
Maidens beach Image copyright Jim Edgar
Image caption The view over Maidens on the west coast was captured by Jim Edgar.
Lunan Bay beach Image copyright Audrey Doherty
Image caption This "ice ray" in the pebbles was taken by Audrey Doherty on a visit to a chilly Lunan Bay.
Pettycur Bay Image copyright Neill Cooper
Image caption Not all the action takes place on the shore, or indeed the water. Neill Cooper says these kite surfers at Pettycur Bay spent more time in the air.
Chris Spowart Image copyright Chris Spowart
Image caption A high tide and a deserted Coldingham Bay captured from above by Chris Spowart.

You can send us your beach pictures - or any other great shots from around Scotland - for our weekly gallery here.

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