Explore East Lothian’s life beneath the waves
New Snorkel Trail
A new snorkel trail exploring East Lothian’s varied coastline has been created by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Scottish Seabird Centre.
The self-led East Lothian Snorkel Trail features five sites on the region’s coast and includes areas that can be explored by beginner and more advanced snorkellers. The sites on the trail include Gullane Bents, Dunbar and the beach and rocky outcrops below the Scottish Seabird Centre in North Berwick.
Elouise Cartner, the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Public Engagement Officer said: “East Lothian is a superb area for snorkelling, with a fantastic variety of beaches and rocky shores to explore. We’re thrilled to have worked with the Scottish Seabird Centre’s enthusiastic team to develop the trail.
“Helping people experience wildlife is a great way to encourage them to value and want to help protect it. We hope both local people and visitors to East Lothian will take advantage of the new trail to experience the spectacular wildlife that can be found just below the waves.”
Charlotte Foster the Marine Engagement Office for the Scottish Seabird Centre said: “We’ve really enjoyed creating this self-led snorkel trail for East Lothian with the team at the Scottish Wildlife Trust.
There’s already considerable interest within the local community and from visitors to the Scottish Seabird Centre for our wildlife walks and rockpool ramble experiences. The snorkel trail provides ideas on what to see for those who wish to venture a little deeper. Explore the trail to discover amazing species such as ballan wrasse, dead man’s fingers, velvet swimming crabs, dogfish and much more”.
Staff from the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Scottish Seabird Centre will be on hand at the centre from 11:30am – 3pm on Friday 15 April to talk to visitors about the new trail and help them to explore it.
The East Lothian Snorkel Trail is the latest addition to a growing network of trails around Scotland. It has been developed in partnership by the Scottish Wildlife Trust and the Scottish Seabird Centre as part of the Trust’s Living Seas programme, which is supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation.
The five sites of the snorkel trail
Gullane Bents This popular stretch of sandy coast is perfect for a family day out. From the car park, head down the sandy track and through the sand dunes to reach the beach. Here, you’ll find a mix of sandy beach, boulders and rocky reef, a perfect area for beginners. Toilets and showering facilities can be found a short walk away from the car park (vehicle height restrictions and parking charges apply).
Yellowcraig Beach Fidra, the island said to have inspired Robert Louis Stevenson's book, Treasure Island, is a fantastic backdrop for this beautiful site. Access is a short walk from the car park along a sandy path through sand dunes. The central sandy area is a great spot for first time snorkelling, whilst more experienced snorkellers can head to the rocky areas west of the bay. Toilets and changing facilities are situated next to car park (parking charge applies).
Scottish Seabird Centre, Milsey Bay This popular beach next to the Scottish Seabird Centre is accessible by ramp, providing a fantastic opportunity for beginners to find species such as hermit crabs and snails around North Berwick’s Boating Pond. More experienced snorkellers can search in gullies to the north and east of the centre. Watch out for Gannets diving offshore in the summer. Visit the Centre's shop and cafe or head into town for more services.
At the quieter east end of Milsey Bay, a section just off the beach is perfect for beginners, whilst the deeper water and rocky outcrops near the cliff line offer more advanced snorkelling. Shore-side parking is available along Melbourne Road and parking areas along Tantallon Terrace. For public toilets, town car parks (charges apply) and other services, head to the town centre.
Dunbar This sheltered, rocky bay, overlooked by Dunbar Castle, is a haven for marine life hiding amongst the kelp and rocky crevices. More experienced snorkellers can head towards deeper parts but be sure to keep away from the harbour entrance. Access is via steps descending from the coastal path, west of Dunbar Leisure Pool. Parking and public toilets are situated outside the building.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information about the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s network of snorkel trails around Scotland visit https://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/things-to-do/snorkel-trails/
About the Scottish Wildlife Trust:
- The Scottish Wildlife Trust is Scotland’s leading nature conservation charity, representing over 40,000 members who care for wildlife and the natural environment.
- For over 50 years, the Trust has worked with its members, partners and supporters in pursuit of its vision of healthy, resilient ecosystems across Scotland’s land and seas.
- The Trust successfully champions the cause of wildlife through policy and campaigning work, demonstrates best practice through practical conservation and innovative partnerships, and inspires people to take positive action through its education and engagement activities.
- The Trust manages a network of around 120 wildlife reserves across Scotland and is a member of the UK-wide Wildlife Trusts movement.
- The Trust receives financial assistance and support from a range of organisations, funders and individuals including the National Lottery Heritage Fund and players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
Listing and header image credit Linda Pitkin 2020 Vision.