The Snorkel Trail

Snorkeller © Julie Hatcher

Snorkeller © Julie Hatcher

The Snorkel Trail in the mild, shallow waters of Kimmeridge Bay, leads the snorkeller through a variety of seabed habitats, including sandy seabed, rocky reef and Japanese seaweed garden.

The 5 buoys that mark the trail are attached to the seabed and each reveals a different type of habitat with different marine creatures and colourful seaweeds to look out for. However the trail is only in place from May to September each year.

The trail

  • should only be followed in clear, calm sea conditions and is best used during neap tides.
  • should be avoided after heavy rain or strong winds as the shallow bay takes time to settle and the visibility will be limited.
  • should only be used by confident sea swimmers - it is approximately 400m long, passes through patches of seaweed and the water can be colder than you're used to. A wetsuit is advised, to lengthen the time you are able to spend in the water and to aid buoyancy.
  • is only in place during the summer months from May to September.

We are here to help

DWT wardens at the Fine Foundation Marine Centre, by the slipway in the bay, are able to help with:

  • safety advice and whether conditions are suitable to use the trail
  • hire of masks and snorkels only, and only during opening times.
  • purchase of a waterproof snorkel trail guide.

They are NOT able to lead snorkellers in the water or hire any other equipment - you will need to provide your own wetsuit. Fins or flippers are not necessary as these can create accidental disturbance and damage to wildlife.

Purchase a waterproof snorkel trail guide

The waterproof snorkel trail guide can be purchased from the marine centre and gives directions for following the trail, safety advice, snorkellers code of conduct and a photo identification guide to the commonest wildlife along the trail. It costs £3 inc postage. You can also buy a copy online.

Hire masks and snorkels

Masks and snorkels can be hired at a cost of £5 per set with a refundable deposit of £20 per set.

Marine Centre opening times

Marine Centre opening times can be found here - these vary depending on time of year. Please ring to check on 01929 481044 or email kimmeridge@dorsetwildlifetrust.org.uk

Kimmeridge Bay seaweeds Chris Roberts


Our Snorkel Trail guide
is kindly sponsored by

Flippas-n-Fins

Snorkel trail buoy © Jess Mead

Watch out for the snorkel trail buoys
© Jess Mead

 

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