New Torridon snorkel trail makes a splash

A new Torridon snorkel trail has been unveiled to make ocean discovery more accessible.

The trail leaflet highlights some of the very best snorkel locations in the Torridon area, from stunning sandy beaches to remote rocky coves. It contains helpful beach maps with beginner and advanced snorkel areas, and highlights local facilities such as snorkel gear hire, parking, toilets and accessibility information, to help people have an enjoyable day out.

The development of this snorkel trail involved local communities and businesses such as Torridon Outdoors and the National Trust for Scotland Rangers to ensure responsible and sustainable marine tourism was always prioritised.

Five spectacular snorkel sites have been featured in the trail leaflet, covering the coastline of Loch Torridon, Loch Shieldaig and the Applecross peninsula. Some sites are beautifully remote, such as Redpoint which is surrounded by sand dunes and stunning views across to Skye and the Outer Hebrides. Alternatively, snorkellers may choose to explore the site in Shieldaig village, which has a warm community presence or the serene spot in Upper Loch Torridon, behind The Torridon hotel.

Plumrose anemone
Plumose anemone Amy Lewis

Elouise Cartner, Living Seas Public Engagement Officer for the Scottish Wildlife Trust said:
“We have really enjoyed working with Torridon Outdoors to develop this snorkel trail. Their local knowledge coupled with their expertise in leading outdoor activities has been incredible in ensuring that the trail’s snorkel sites are truly spectacular.

“Stepping into the water here feels like a magical experience. I hope this resource will help give others the confidence and encouragement to experience Scotland’s stunning marine life for themselves. The marine ‘spot it sheet’ in the trail leaflet will help snorkellers identify the rich marine life that ranges from dense kelp forests to vibrant plumose and strawberry anemones. There is just so much to see under the waves. The more you look, the more you see.

The Living Seas project strives to help connect the public with Scotland’s marine environment in engaging and meaningful ways. We hope this new resource will help people better understand, value and protect our precious marine life.”

Veshengo Purrum, senior instructor with Torridon Outdoors said “I am delighted to have worked in partnership with the Scottish Wildlife Trust on the Torridon Snorkel Trail – I hope that visitors and locals alike are able to enjoy everything that the area offers for snorkellers of all abilities. The seascape around Torridon is truly amazing and combined with the stunning above water vistas, I can’t think of a better place to explore underwater.”

The launch of this new snorkel trail in Torridon was celebrated in Shieldaig village on the 14 October, when project partners and community members gathered to snorkel at one of the trail’s sites. This is the third snorkel trail to be launched in 2022 by Scottish Wildlife Trust, and the eighth to join the Trust’s wider snorkel trail network. The snorkel trail network is part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas programme, supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation. Working at both national and local levels, the Living Seas project promotes the sustainable management of our seas, from marine planning to community engagement.

For more information about the trail, visit Here you can also find important snorkel safety information. Please always snorkel safely; snorkelling can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. It is your responsibility to check the conditions present on the day and assess whether it is safe to snorkel.

The five sites on the Torridon Snorkel Trail

1. Redpoint
A beautifully remote beach, surrounded by sand dunes and with stunning views across to Skye and the Outer Hebrides. The beach is a short walk across fields and over the hilly sand dunes, west of the car park. The rocky outcrop on the north side of the beach provides perfect shelter for an abundance of marine wildlife.

2. Diabaig
Diabaig (Deep Bay) beach and pier both offer easy access to the water. Take care on the pier’s rocky steps, which can be slippery when wet and when seaweed is exposed, and be aware of boat traffic. On the pier’s northern side, spot schools of fish hiding among kelp forests and on the southern side, explore deeper sandy waters. Cafes and toilets can be found in Torridon Village.

3. Upper Loch Torridon
A short walk through the Torridon Resort and beyond their kitchen garden brings you to a rocky headland near a collection of small islands. Amongst the rock pools are strawberry anemones, on the rocks an abundance of mussels and on the sandy bottoms are velvet swimming crabs and plumose anemone.

4. Shieldaig Village
Next to the school, walk along the small road signposted ‘pedestrians only’ for about two minutes until you reach the old church at the end. Here, turn left next to the wall at the gate (don’t go through the gate). Access is straight ahead down by the rocks; swim right to find an abundance of crabs, sea anemones and if you’re lucky, pipefish! Enjoy snorkelling by the coastal shelf and looking into the ‘void’, as the slope begins a steeper descent to the ocean floor.

5. Toscaig
The pier at Toscaig offers convenient parking and a home for a plethora of wildlife. The water can be easily accessed immediately north of the pier, towards the sheltered bay. Do not use the ladder on the pier itself, and take care to avoid any boat traffic or equipment near the pier. Once in the water, there are lots of nooks, crannies and kelp beds for mussels, common urchins, spiny starfish, and juvenile fish to hide.

Check out the new leaflet online.

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A new Torridon snorkel trail has been unveiled to make ocean discovery more accessible. The trail leaflet highlights some of the very best snorkel locations in the Torridon area, from …

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