Basking Shark Map

What’s the sea temperature in Scotland – how cold is it!?

Mar 15 2022

wild swimming at the lagoon with basking shark scotland.

If you are thinking of taking the plunge into the wild Atlantic, you may be wondering how cold is the water? Though the Hebrides can look tropical on a summer’s day, we are still in Scotland after all. It is that cold nutrient-rich water that brings so much life to the area.

The sea temperature here varies between the seasons but during the summer months, the water warms up to 16 degrees, staying warm through September! The gulf stream is the driver of our warm water and given our Latitude (56deg N) we would be a lot colder without it. It also means the west coast of Scotland is warmer than the east coast and our winter temperature doesn’t drop as much as the east. This brings lots of interesting wildlife to the Hebrides each summer, including vagrant visitors, such as sunfish and very rarely leatherback turtles! We even see palm trees grow here!

Wild swimming has become increasingly popular in Scotland, with many lochs and bays to dip in. The amazing feel after a cold water swim has got many of us hooked on this immersive experience. Though for those who are not accustomed to the cold, we strongly advise wearing our rental suits. Our 8mm premium semidry suits will keep you perfectly toasty for our swimming trips. We also have a 7mm suit which are good for day tours or those that like a bit more freedom of movement. If you want to bring your own gear then we also have advice documents on what’s suitable and what’s not. Believe us – we’ve seen it all!

The coolest time to visit is during the spring, when the water is just warming up from the winter, and there is sometimes snow still on the hills in the highlands. We send you a packing list of what to bring to make sure you are comfy on our tours. Each day in the Hebrides is different!

Ready to join us on an adventure?