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The Slates 

Alternative Name(s): Ballachulish, Loch Leven,

Travel directions: Leaving Glasgow on the M8 cross the Erskin bridge onto the A82 and turn left at Crianlarich staying on the A82. At Tyndrum bear to the right still on the A82 over Rannoch Moor into Glencoe. On entering Glencoe you will see Loch Leven on the right, Along this road ½ mile on the left is a sign for Lochside Cottages on the right inwest Laroch, turn in here. 

Parking directions: JCBs have dug up the parking area and it is not possible to park here just now.

Car parking

Distance from Glasgow: 92 miles, about 2 hours 10 mins   

Accommodation: The red squirrel   Glencoe Mountain Parkview B+B

Lat & Long: N56.40.665  W5.08.702  Postcode PH49 4HL  Google

Tides: Tide Tables  Can be dived at any state of the tide...

Site entry/exit: Walk down from the car park between the old slate buildings and enter the water on the left side of the large rocks

The slates entry/exitSeaweed

Underwater directions: On entering the water there is a fair bit of weed 0-3 meters, which is great for spending a few mins on your safety or deco stops when you have been to depth at the point. Then there is a sand and silt slope to 12 meters. Keep the slate and boulder slope on your left side and follow the point at your chosen depth into the next bay and exit before the small pier.  The whole of the point is made from old slate from the quarry and there are so many things to see here it's not possible to list them.  Don't forget to look up as there are shoals of fish here. If you do go to the bottom of the point its 50m and from there on its a long flat seabed, I don't think its worth it unless you are on a rebreather.

Site Hazards: Depth 50+ Meters 

Suggested experience: Sport diver + Training area 

Nearest Public phone: Swallow Isles of Glencoe Hotel (100meters from dive site)

Mobile Network service:  Orange 

Other comments: This site has lots of life and is good for pictures. As well as two dives here there is Manse point just along the road. You can also dive the quarry behind the village. Google map Also a few miles along the road is the Kentallen wall  Don't forget to use the comments at the bottom of the page to let other divers know what it's like to dive here.

Air & Nitrox fills: Puffin divers 


Pub: Isles of Glencoe Hotel (100m from dive site)  Laroch

Cafe: West Laroch.

Created by John Nicolson 

Date: 4/9/06 

Thanks To:

Underwater photos: By John Nicolson

AnchorThe slates small wreck

Underwater video:

Underwater map: By John Nicolson.

Underwater map to the slates

Dive Report: Choc star Nov 08 good two days of diving ....with snow on the hills...that's the third/fourth time we have dived the slates and the site has grown on me. Excellent entry/exit and all year round +50 m shore diving with good viz (it was blowing Force 9+ on the last visit and the site was unaffected). I would recommend it to anyone who wants to stay in tune over the winter months. We plan on going at least once a month throughout the winter for skills training and generally escapism to keep ourselves sane(ish). 

Dive Report: Diversinc May 09 The Slates was excellent, there wasn't a ripple on the Loch which made for an easy entry. The dive is primarily a slate wall, which you follow, keeping on your left shoulder. It meanders around into two bays, and you exit on the second. The slate wall is full of curiosities. Broken ceramics, HP sauce bottles, pieces of piping, all offering homes to the numerous squat lobsters, hermit crabs and rainbow wrasse we saw. At 34 metres I shone my torch into one of the slate crevices to be greeted by a silky blue conger. We exchanged stares for a few moments, before it got bored with this aqua tourist and slowly retreated into the darkness. But the best find for me was a lumpsucker, bright orange in colour. After about 15 minutes, we ascended to 20 metres, keen to avoid a deco stop and continued to potter along the wall. We did notice that the seabed was rising to meet us, and as we finned shallower all torches were extinguished. At 10 metres the visibility was around 12-14 metres, with the slate wall and rocky bed helping to minimise the level of silt in the water. After 50 minutes we exited in the first bay, (never made it to the second), followed by an easy climb over a grassy slope back to our vehicle.  

Dive Report:  John Nicolson  20/6/09 A great time diving at Glencoe, I dived the slates. I had a check out dive past the end of the slates and its flat for about 15-20 meters past the point. Depth at the point was 50.2 meters and 15-20 out it was 52.5 meters. From the charts it looks like there is another drop but not to be done from the shore, I spent 12 mins at over 50 meters and all I saw was squat lobster, small dogfish and a brittle star. The slate slope was a lot better with Ballin wrasse, Yarrels blenny, Dragonet, Cuckoo Wrasse, Ling, Pollack and a big shoal of saith. I stopped for a while as I was getting bubbles from the O2 hose to the lung and after I removed and put It back all was OK then I looked up and I was surrounded by saith all the same size about 300-400mm. Max deco showing on my VR£ was 26 mins but by the time I got back to the exit point, I only had 6 mins. I spent the last of the deco watching a battle between two crabs and the dive was over. Total run time 114 mins and viz was 10-12 meters, a very happy chappy. 

Dive Report: Yogi  1/11/09 Dived The Slates today. Despite the really crap weather, this site never fails to surprise. I don't believe I have ever seen so many different species of fish on a single Scottish dive as I saw today. As well as the usual Pollock, gobies and goldsinny wrasse, which are common here, I started the dive following a really bright cuckoo wrasse, observed a lot of poor cod, scared away a large dogfish and photographed a dragonet. And that's just the handful I was able to identify. All in all a good day's diving with an extremely wet surface interval. 

Dive Report: Jorawley Fri 4th & Sat 5th  Dec 09 – water was absolutely flat calm, HW forecasted for 1946 and not having done a night dive in the UK for a few years decided the slates would be ideal. Parked on the pier and kept the plan simple going out from the pier where we left a couple of strobes flashing to easily find our exit point with slate wall to our left for 20mins turn and back. Max depth 20m  Loads of life – scorpion fish, ling, Pollack following our torchlight, mermaid purses, crabs of all varieties. Viz easily 6m+. So impressed that we did a night dive on Saturday night too. The added extra being a huge red gurnard, and an enormous dogfish that was unfortunately too skittish to be photographed. 

Dive Report: Comment in the box below.