Diving UK

Diving UK


Well personally I don’t want to go diving in the UK I’m strictly a warm weather diver.  Living in the UK is fine in summer but come October I would rather be somewhere well away from the UK for my diving.

However if you searched for ‘DIVING UK’ or ‘DIVING in the UK’ then I have to assume you do actually intend to go diving UK style so  here are some basic facts for those of you that aren’t UK based and want to know about diving here.

  • What is the water temperature like in the UK?  5°C (41°F) in winter to 18°C (64°F) in summer (southern England) 4°C (39°F) in winter to 13°C (55°F) in summer (Scotland) 

  • What do I wear for diving in the UK?  Wear a dry-suit for most of the year if diving UK but a semi-dry is OK from June to October if you are a hardy diver.

  • How good is the Visibility for Diving in UK?  Varies enormously but roughly 1 to 25 metres (3 – 80 feet).  I guess that doesn’t help much.  UK Diving can be very poor visibility due to greenery in summer in sheltered waters.

  • What type of Diving can I expect in the UK?  Wrecks caves reefs walls piers caverns kelp forests

  • How about UK Marine life?  Basking sharks seals cuttlefish octopus conger eels lobsters crabs seahorses bib pollack bass wrasse blennies gobies and much more.

  • When is best to go diving in the UK? Some divers in the UK dive throughout the year as there are many inland diving sites. Diving in the sea is possible from April through to October and indeed all year round with caution.  It has to be said though that July and August are best when temperatures are warmer and the sea is calmer.

  • How to get there for UK diving? Fly to one of the UK’s many airports London Manchester Birmingham are the biggest and then make a journey by train car or bus to the coast.  We have an effective transport network here in the UK. For accommodation it is best to logon to the BSAC Diving UK forum and ask advise which will be plentiful.

For most divers even keen divers diving in the UK is not an option they will consider.  I can tell from the number of searches to this site for “Diving UK” Diving in UK” and “Diving in the UK” that a great many divers look but at best it is wishful thinking quickly discounted. Wreck diving is one of the most popular pastimes of the average British diver. The bulk of a ship that has laid undisturbed on the seafloor for years or decades holds a certain thrill be it in the UK or abroad.  Here in the UK divers are  blessed with more ship wrecks than any other country in the world. We are even starting to sink some specifically for divers – crazy or what! The  number of ships lost in our coastal waters is estimated at over a quarter of a million. Most of these shipwrecks are the result of collisions storms and poor navigation and added to that are many tragedies from  the First and Second World Wars. may 7000-80000.

Some say that sea life is no less prolific on some UK wrecks than if you were diving in some tropical oasis. Under the water in the UK it is as beautiful and varied as it is on the surface with extensive cave systems deep wall dives picturesque sandy bays piers fast flowing drifts rocky chimneys fissures and gulleys and cold water reefs.  We have sharks seals otters conger eels seahorses octopus cuttlefish and shoals of fish in a multitude of varieties. However if you have done your diver training in warm water and have never dived in the UK or other colder climes then consider this:

  • Journeys out to our dive sites can be horrendous even in summer time most UK divers have been seasick at some time on such journeys.

  • The visibility can be really bad the water is cold – sometimes close to freezing.

  • They say that seasickness stops instantly as soon as you get in the water?   Not for me it doesn’t or anyone else I’ve met.

  •  Many sites in the UK have good visibility towards the end of the summer and Cornwall and Scotland are blessed with good visibility for most of the year.  They also have some of the best of our UK heritage and it can often seem like going back in time for those of us that live in the big cities in the UK.

  • OK if I haven’t put you off there are dive centres all over the UK that will be able to supply you with air training and diving kit.  Just join the forums and ask around.  You get plenty of help for Diving UK!