Scuba Diving in the UK
You passed your diving course on holiday with flying colours and had some great dives all under the watchful eye of your instructor. You’ve returned to the UK armed with a scuba t shirt and some basic diving equipment but are unsure how to go about diving in the UK. Sound familiar? You’re not alone every year thousands of people learn to dive abroad and return home only to dive again on their next overseas holiday. But it doesn’t have to be like this.
The water surrounding the UK is heated by warm currents from the South Atlantic which help to keep the temperature of the UK above what it should be for our position on the planet, although sometimes you can be forgiven for disbelieving this. Our waters are teaming with life including the world’s 2nd largest fish, the harmless Basking Shark, Dolphins, Whales, Turtles, Seals and hundreds of fish species.
There are wrecks to explore from our past including submarines, huge freighters, destroyers, and aircraft. The seabed yields its treasures from time to time from roman pots, to civil war canons, to lost cargo of all descriptions.
The best way to enjoy UK diving is as part of a club or organised trip. There are many ways to find what’s available:
Ask your local dive shop if they have a club and run dive trips, if they don’t ask them if they can recommend one. Dive centres are the best way to get started diving in the UK. They have instructor on hand to supervise your first dives and provide additional training to improve your diving skills. They have equipment for hire, including Dry Suits, so you don’t have to buy everything at one. They usually insist on you buying your own wetsuit boots for hygiene reasons. You can find a great list of clubs and shops in DIVER magazine.
Search good scuba diving directories for local clubs and dive centres that run trips.
Ask divers at the coast – often you can just turn up and join a dive boat. For example Fathom & Blues in Portland takes booking from individual divers who can turn up and find a buddy on the day.
Join a scuba diving forum and post your questions online. Divers are a friendly bunch and will usually help you find a good club or dive centre. You’ll also find equipment for sale, dive site and kit reviews, advice on a wide range of diving issues and classified adverts for everything you’ll ever need.
However you dive in the UK remember to never dive alone, take only photos and leave only bubbles and above all have fun.