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Ard Neackie

Alternative Names: None

Type of Dive: Ard Neackie in Loch Eriboll is a good shore dive with a varied seabed and plenty to see.

Suggested experience: Any

Distance from Thurso: 53 Miles 1hr 25 Min From Lairg take the A836 up towards Tongue. At the T-junction turn left on the A838 towards Tongue and follow the road right the way through and across the causeway. Keep following the road until you get to Loch Eriboll which will appear right in front of you and then to your right as you come down the hill. As you pass a viewing area on the right you will also see the isthmus. At the bottom of the hill, there is a gated road on your right that takes you out to the isthmus. The gate is there to stop the cattle and sheep getting out so do close it. Don’t drive out to the isthmus but park at the top of shingle beach before the road turns left over a short causeway.

Parking directions: Park on the grass just above the shingle beach

Ard Neackie

Lat & Long: N58.495684 W-4.661711 Postcode IV27 4UJ Google map

Depth: 40m+

Tides: Tide tables Willyweather

Site entry/exit: Across the grass and shingle beach into the water.

Ard Neackie entry/exit

Underwater directions: Enter the water and head north. This takes you out along the bay keeping the shore on your right but taking you down the gradually sloping seabed. After swimming over the wrack growing near the shore at around 4-6 m you go over an area of tall kelp with large flat blades. There are sandy patches in places and it is here that I saw a number of large black sea hares with white spots, some of which were mating leaving a wiggly pink string of eggs on the weed. There were also several different types of flatfish. The kelp gradually changes to a shorter, smaller variety as you continue on and the bottom becomes stony with a variety of small types of brown and red weed. This continues down to about 20m but as it does not cover the sea floor there is plenty to see lurking about on the stony patches in-between. Scorpionfish are well camouflaged in this environment and there are all the usual velvet/shore/harbour/edible crabs. Lots of sand and sun stars. This stony slope continues down beyond 40m. Just amble around as you head out to your chosen depth, there are loads to see on this dive.

Air & Nitrox: Jimmy Crooks at Lochinver  Tel 01571 844 362, Lazy Crofter at Durness  Tel 01971 511202 and James Forsyth in Scourie  Tel 01971502315.

Site Hazards: Slight mid-tide current

Nearest Public phone: Contact me

Mobile Network service: Contact me

Accommodation: Loads of places to wild camp

Other comments: Take a trolley to take all your gear down to the dive site (about 400m/0.25miles) as there is now a padlocked farm gate in place blocking vehicle access down to the shoreline. You can still walk down to the shoreline via a smaller gate

Pub: None close to here

Cafe:  None close to here

Created By: Jane Wilkinson

Date: September 2012

Revision: 2

Thanks To: Paul Doyle for the access info

Links: Link

Surface Photos:  Jane Wilkinson.

Underwater photos: Jane Wilkinson

Ard NeackieArd Neackie

Dive report: Comment in the box below.