They say that Newark Bay in Orkney is the place to find beautiful mermaids. A romantic and favourable description of the Newark mermaid is given by Charles Tait in the fourth edition of his wonderful book The Orkney Guide Book. On page 377 he quotes that the mermaid was said to be “the loveliest creature on God’s Earth, or in a’ the wide sea. Her face was most lovely, and her form perfect in shape and proportion, while her golden hair, descending below her waist, fell over her snow white skin. Her posterior was a tail in the water, and a beautiful petticoat embroidered with silver and gold on land, though often folded to appear like a tail” – but I can’t find the source of that quote. For more realistic accounts of the mermaid sightings (see also Deerness mermaids.
I did not find any mermaids – just a stunning arc of white sand, blue sea with trillions of sparkles, a strandline with broken stems of kelp and bleached bones, dunes covered with lush green vegetation, multi-coloured beach stones, and deep maroon bedrock just below the waterline.