Out for a … Beach Scout – A Trio of Ardmore Beaches

by Sheila Molloy – 

As the number of sunny days increases, preparation for beach chilling and sandy, sun-drenched solitude on the Saanich Peninsula begin.
There are many great locations to enjoy, so it is always with some trepidation that we uncover quieter locations we have scouted. Please always be thoughtful to the neighbouring houses and gently share these beautiful locations.
We visited three beaches on the western shore of the Saanich Peninsula all within proximity of each other. If one is too crowded for your liking, you are just a short distance away from another.
All three beach accesses are on the south end of Ardmore Drive: at Braemar Avenue, at Aboyne Avenue, and one just south of where Ardmore forks towards Yarrow Point. Each beach has spectacular sunset views and great places for your beach chair.

Route Details
From Patricia Bay Highway take Exit 26, and take the third exit onto McTavish Road, then take the second exit to stay on McTavish Road until you reach West Saanich Road. Turn right onto West Saanich Road then take the first left onto Ardmore Drive. Stay on Ardmore Drive until it forks …

Option 1: Turn left to the first beach access near Yarrow Point. The entrance to this fabulous rocky beach is along the right side of this narrow part of Ardmore Drive. It is secluded and there are only two parking spots. Head down the 100-metre gravel trail, enjoying the shade of the western red cedar and Douglas fir trees. The view at the beach is west across to Mill Bay. Beachcombing south along the rocks to Yarrow Point is possible at low tide.

Option 2: Turn right for the beach access at the west end of Aboyne Avenue. This beach is small, quiet and with a beautiful view out to the Saanich Inlet. Follow the dirt and gravel footpath to the concrete staircase and a giant arbutus tree stretching out over the flat granite rocks and toward the ocean. The beach is mostly rocks, a few tide pools, and an excellent patch of sand at low tide on the south side of the staircase.

Option 3: Turn right for the beach access at the west end of Braemar Avenue – further down Ardmore and left on Braemar. Parking is along the wide road on both sides. This is a great beach with a fun swing, artful driftwood and loads of space for relaxing and staring at the ocean. The water is only metres from the road, so this is a good spot to bring a kayak, paddleboard or canoe. A wide staircase with a dozen tall steps leads to the shale and sandy beach.

Things to Note
• There are no washroom facilities or garbage receptacles at these beaches.
• Coles Bay is the closest full-service park with washroom facilities.
• Look for the wood trail markers as your starting point to each access.

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