Sure, you have to wear thick wetsuits to take a dip here, but below the surface of Scotland’s new ‘snorkel trail’ is a surprisingly rich marine life. Graeme Green takes the plunge to see what lurks beneath these ice-cold waters.

“People might think this is a crazy idea …” admits Daryll Brown, a ranger with the North Harris Trust, a community regeneration initiative. That’s always an ominous-sounding start to any venture.

We’re driving out from the village of Tarbert, the tiny capital of Harris—an island in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides—heading towards Hushinish beach, one of the key sites along a new snorkeling trail. “A lot of people don’t understand why we’d want to snorkel in this water,” says Daryll. “They think it’s going to be too cold and there’ll be nothing to see.”