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Scotland's got a new snorkel trail

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Scotland's got a new snorkel trail

News

A new snorkel trail in Scotland is yet another reason to head north this summer. We take a look at what the new Berwickshire Snorkel Trail has to offer.

    Alice Pritchard

    Mon 29 Jul 2019

    Launched at last month's Herring Queen Festival in Eyemouth, Scotland has unveiled a new snorkel trail that brings together some of Berwickshire's - and south Scotland's - most beautiful beaches and diving opportunities.

    Head out on this self-lead trail within the Berwickshire Marine Reserve, between St Abbs Head and Eyemouth (between Northumberland and Edinburgh) to discover some of the crabs, starfish and other marine life that Scottish waters are famous for. The trail's suitable for both beginners and more advanced snorkellers.

    “As part of our Living Seas programme we are trying to raise awareness of snorkelling as an activity in Scotland. People often associate it with exotic locations like the Caribbean, but Scotland’s seas have just as much to offer, even if they are a few degrees colder," says Noel Hawkins, the Living Seas Community Manager from the Scottish Wildlife Trust.

    MSP Paul Wheelhouse says, “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 innovative idea of creating a snorkel trail offers locals and visitors alike a completely new viewpoint to experience what amazing places like St Abbs and Coldingham have to offer under the waves and the area has tremendous infrastructure to support divers wishing to see the wonderful marine habitats along our coast.”

    The Berwickshire Snorkel Trail is the third snorkel trail that has been deevloped by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. For more information about the trail visit scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/snorkeltrail.

    Click here for our guide to the Isle of Harris Snorkel Trail.

    Harbour of boats at St Abbs in Scotland under a grey sky
    Ballan Wrase fish in Scotland
    A sunny day on Coldingham Bay beach, looking over sand to a headland with houses on it

    Image Photography | L: Genine Keogh. M: Linda Pitkin. R: Pete Haskell

    The Berwickshire Snorkel Trail includes five spots:

    1. Starney Bay

    This beautiful beach is part of St Abbs Head Nature Reserve. Rich kelp beds and rocky reefs are home to colourful ballan wrasse, leopard-spotted gobies and an array of anemone species. The central section is perfect for beginners, while rocky outcrops offer more advanced snorkelling.

    2. Coldingham Bay

    An easily accessible beach perfect for a family day out. The central sandy section is a great spot for first time snorkelling. For more experienced snorkellers, the rocky shores fringing the bay teem with life, from seaweed, anemones and urchins to butterfish, gobies and scorpionfish.

    3. Weasel Loch

    This sheltered bay offers advanced snorkelers the chance to explore a range of habitats. Velvet swimming crabs and two-spotted gobies frequent the kelp forests, sea hares feed among the red seaweed, and cuttlefish hover above the sandy bottom.

    4. Milldown Bay

    A small and secluded shingle bay offering fantastic advanced snorkelling. Cracks and crevices provide homes for urchins, anemones and edible crabs, and kelp beds provide shelter for juvenile fish including saithe, butterfish and scorpionfish.

    5. Eyemouth Beach

    Easily accessible and perfect for first-time snorkelers. Rockier outcrops to the north offer advanced snorkellers the chance to spot crabs and squat lobsters in the submerged rock pools, and seaweed gives shelter for many fish species.

    A brittlestar in Scottish waters

    Scottish waters are packed with marine wildlife

    Image Photography | Linda Pitkin

    Want more Scottish escape ideas?

    How about heading to Skye for fresh oysters, Michelin star restaurants and hiking?

    Why we're all about Skye

    How about staying in one of these gorgeous Scottish eco-friendly lodges?

    Book into one of these beautiful eco-lodges.

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