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You can now do a snorkel trail around the Isle of Harris

Alice Pritchard

10 July 2017

Discover life beneath the waves on the Scottish island of North Harris. Found off the west coast of Scotland, the island has always been famous for its Harris Tweed but it’s now attracting tourists for a slightly soggier reason.

The new snorkel trail in North Harris takes in six beautiful beaches and bays that are suitable for every level. The stunning beach at Hushinish harbours crabs and urchins and there are kelp beds for the more inquisitive to explore. Dip your fins in at Port Rhenigidale for spectacular views over to the Isle of Skye or float in the shallow waters of Aird Asaig to see amazing sunstars.

It follows hot on the heels of last year's Scottish Snorkel Trail that took in a wider selection of the west coast of Scotland.

“We were delighted to be involved in the development of this new trail in a spectacular part of the Western Isles. I’m sure it will encourage more people to explore the fragile habitats below the waves and the marine life they support, and raise awareness of the need for healthy living seas all around Scotland,” says Noel Hawkins, Living Seas Communities Officer, Scottish Wildlife Trust.

Tourism Secretary Fiona Hyslop MSP said: “Scotland’s waters and coastline are world renowned for their wildlife and scenery, and this remains a key motivation to visit for half our visitors. Marine and coastal tourism is a key priority for the Scottish government and the Year of Scotland’s Coast and Waters will be celebrated in 2020. In advance of that, this snorkel trail offers locals and visitors alike a completely new viewpoint to experience what Scotland offers.”

North Harris Snorkel Trail in Scotland

Have you ever seen a sunstar?

Photography | Graeme Saunders

What can you see on the North Harris Snorkel Trail?

Keep your mask clear and try to spot some of the rarer sights in the Scottish waters such as  stalked jellyfish (jellyfish that are rooted to the spot), colourful sunstars (which have between eight and fourteen legs) and beadlet anemones.

The self-led trail has been developed in partnership with the North Harris Trust as part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas programme.

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