Great spots for snorkelling in Scotland

Scotland is renowned for its amazing diving and snorkelling spots. But perhaps you have written it off because it’s too cold. Well, Scottish waters might be chillier than southern climes but at this time of year, after a summer of warmer weather, the seas and lochs will be warm enough for  offer some great spots for snorkelling.


Of course you’ll need a wetsuit and a neoprene wetsuit hood is also a bonus but with little else more than a snorkel, a mask and a snorkelling buddy and you could be in for a few Scottish treats.


Six of the best places to snorkel in Scotland



Conger Alley, Argyll

This shoreline offers great dives between Succoth and Artgarten. There are also two old piers that are great for seeing a huge number of crustaceans at a depth of only three metres.


Dunbar, West Scotland

A shore dive here will take in a large number of marine species hidden in and among the gullies. This is a sheltered site that is only 10m deep and perfect for snorkellers.


The Caves at Loch Long

Loch Long has some of the clearest water in Britain. Visibility reaches 10m or more. Heading out from the shore you’ll find a fascinating topography of pinnacles, a variety of marine species. The pinnacles are only 1m below the surface at low tide. In good conditions this spot is hard to beat.


Trail Island, the Clyde

Just off the shore at Millport in the west coast isle of Great Cumbrae, this site is full of marine life including wrasse crabs and jellyfish.


Staxigoe, near Wick

From the slipway in the harbour, swim to the left or right of the bay.  You’ll find a small cave packed with squat lobsters. Also look for kelp fronds laden with squid eggs and rocks covered with crimson sea hares and their pink spiral-shaped eggs.


Portskerra arch, near Melvich Bay, Sutherland

This sheltered bay is rich in marine life. Snorkel out from the slipway, staying close to the reef wall and look for sticklebacks in the bootlace weed. The submerged arch is at the end of this reef. You’ll find the water visibility is excellent and you will likely spot lots of anemones and sponges. But don’t be tempted to duck dive here because you could get trapped under the arch.

1 comment

  • Hi,

    I am disappointed that you do not have Orkney on your list of great snorkelling destinations … we have a great number of varied snorkelling sites including eel grass beds, rocky shores, sandy beaches, blockship wrecks and the Churchill Barriers … our visibility is unusual if it is less than 10m and we frequently have curious seals cruising by to check us out. Lots of marine life including unusual species such as Akera Bullata, little cuttles, lumpsuckers, jellyfish and hydro medusae and horse mussel beds with numerous different species We run a Face book group and post photos of what we are seeing …. we go snorkelling all year round and would welcome any visitors to contact us !!
    Penny Martin

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