It’s only natural that a place with so much water would be a perfect venue for diving! The coastline of the Scottish Highlands is comprised of clean, clear, albeit cold waters with an abundance of wildlife and many amazing and historical wrecks to explore. While salt water diving is the primary focus of dives in the Highlands of Scotland, there are also opportunities for diving in fresh water lochs. Sea lochs are a spectacular choice for divers, as well, especially if the weather is changeable or inclement along the coastline. Loch Linnhe and Loch Leven are just two options in this category. If you are looking for a truly unique Scottish Highlands experience, check out the many diving opportunities around the region. Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands is perhaps one of the most popular dive venues. It has very good visibility, and because of the Churchill Barriers, the water is quite calm. Of course, you will be able to explore the myriad shipwrecks and war relics that inhabit the ocean floor around Orkney. Sea life is abundant, and there is simply no place on earth like the Orkney Islands off the north coast of the Scottish Highlands. The Sound of Mull is another spectacular diving location with clear waters and plenty of wreckage to explore. The proximity to the Atlantic Ocean makes this spot one of the most diverse for marine life, and because it is somewhat sheltered by the island of Mull, divers do not have to contend with severe weather and exposure. The Lochaline Dive Centre, about an hour west of Fort William, provides you with the chance to experience myriad types of dives in the Sound of Mull. The Hispania is considered one of the finest wreck dives in Scotland, and is only one of many wreck dives that Lochaline Dive Centre can help you access. While the Western Isles, Summer Isles, and basically anywhere off the west coast of the Scottish Highlands offer the clearest water for diving, and Scapa Flow offers amazing wreckage and history, there is also an abundance of diving off the east coast of the Highlands. There are still many unexplored wrecks off the east coast, and wildlife abounds, especially if you want to dive with seals and porpoises. The Moray Firth is a more sheltered area in which to dive, and it is easily accessed from Lossiemouth.
Most dive centres offer courses which will train you to the PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) system of diver training. It emphasizes immediate access to the water combined with classroom training. The idea is to prepare you well and get you diving quickly. PADI courses are for beginners through experienced divers and range from things like open water diver to specialty night diver and rescue diver training. Scotland’s waters are unlike anywhere else, and unless you are highly experienced, it is recommended that you experience diving through a certified dive centre and receive adequate training and guidance for the type of dive you wish to do.
There are a variety of types of diving off the coast of the Scottish Highlands. Scotland is world renowned for its wreck diving. Wreck dives allow you the chance to explore the many and varied shipwrecks all around the coast. Scotland’s waters are spectacular for this type of diving. Drift dives are for more experienced divers. This is a type of recreational diving where the diver is transported along by the current, usually quite fast. You get the opportunity to cover a lot of distance this way and see varied scenery. Scenic dives, good for beginners, as well as shallow and shoreline dives are more about the scenery and diversity of the sea life than about exploring a specific site. The coastal waters of Scotland’s Highlands have an amazing variety of fish, corals, anemones, and sponges. Cave dives are available out of Ullapool, as well.
There are no bad times to dive in Scotland, although the best time is considered to be between May and September. Currents can be treacherous, so it is a good idea to have a knowledge of local tides. Again, diving with a guide from a local dive centre can help you with this. Because the waters are so cold up in the Highlands, a dry suit with an under suit is required for most dive conditions. Summer diving may only require a thick semi-dry suit.
If you want to explore the depths of the ocean around Scotland, view some incredible wreck sites, swim with myriad and magical sea life like whales, dolphins, porpoises and seals, or just drift along and see what you can see under the mysterious Scottish waters, then diving is the perfect activity for you. Whether experienced or novice, you will find dive centres to suit your needs and abilities. Avail yourself of the expert training and get under the water today. Book a course at a Scottish Highlands dive centre and immerse yourself in a whole new world under the sea.
Explore the depths of the ocean as you take a dive and visit Scotland’s enchanted waters. The wreckages of the German fleet at Scapa Flow still remain on the ocean floor in the Orkney Islands.
Scapa flow holds famous wrecks like the SMS Dresden, SMS Konig and the SMS Brummer. The water at scapa flow has good visibility and is calm.
In Near Foula lies the ‘Oceanic’ a sister of the Titanic, an intriguing site for any diving enthusiast.
The waters of Scotland offer divers the chance to explore the oceans depths; reefs that are thousands of years old ,wrecks soaked in history and an abundance of marine wildlife ranging from Whales, cuttlefish, conger eels, porpoises, octopus, seals, jellysfish, starfish and sea urchins. For safety reasons we recommend that you dive with a diving company who will know the waters and take the necessary safety procedures.
Diving in the Scottish Highlands is an experience that is second to none and we highly recommend it.
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