From snorkelling chalk reefs to scuba diving off the south coast, Britain is home to some great places to start exploring the riches of the deep blue sea.
So pull on that thick drysuit and don your snorkelling mask and experience four of the best British diving spots.
Find out more info about…
- Chalk Reef, Norfolk
- HMS Moldavia, East Sussex
- Lundy Island, Devon
- Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire
Chalk Reef, Norfolk
Lying close to the North Norfolk shore near the seaside town of Cromer, this 20-mile long chalk reef is thought to be the largest in Europe.
According to the Marine Conservation Society, the chalk reefs’ dramatic features were sculpted during the Ice Age. With areas of polished moonscape, boulder fields and two-metre high arches that resemble a mini Stonehenge, the chalk reef is ripe for snorkelling and home to many treasures waiting to be discovered.
HMS Moldavia, East Sussex
Undoubtedly one of the best wreck dives off the south coast, but be warned: HMS Moldavia lies in around 47 metres of water, so only experienced divers should take the plunge.
The original ship was a 9505-ton P&O liner, which was converted to an armed merchant cruiser for World War One. HMS Moldavia was sunk on 23 May 1918 off Beachy Head in the English Channel by a single torpedo from a German submarine, killing the 56 US soldiers on board.
A big, complex wreck, dives are available from Brighton Marina and cost £65.
Lundy Island, Devon
Peaceful and unspoiled, Lundy lies off the coast of North Devon where the Atlantic meets the Bristol Channel. Three miles long and half a mile wide, nothing but (thousands of miles of) ocean separates the island from the United States. The water that surrounds the island is among the healthiest in the UK, and it boasts a number of large underwater rock formations. These are typically covered in kelp, which allows marine creatures to thrive in the region.
With just 23 holiday properties and a population of less than 30 people, Lundy is never crowded – even in the height of summer when day-visitors arrive five times a week. A break here ensures you can pretty much enjoy the island to yourself.
Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire
Skomer Island boasts a range of diving sites for both first-timers and experienced divers. If you’re on the lookout for marine life, the island offers you the chance to spot the European conger eel, porpoises and basking sharks – the second-largest fish species. It’s also been called the puffin capital of Britain.
Skomer Island has everything, from intact wrecks to drift diving, shallow reefs and 45-metre cliff dives. As well as a range of activities, the underwater part has a beautiful array of fish life, including pink seafans – a Mediterranean species which flourishes in the gulf stream.