What is it like to dive in a typical English Lake ?

Easy – gin clear water, very warm, beautiful and colourful marine life, fantastic wrecks, and totally uncrowded and unspoilt – Perhaps not!!!

We would all like to dive in conditions like that but it is not always possible.  So the question is “what is it

The Nautilus - Sussex Scuba

The Nautilus in clear water

 like to dive in an English lake and is it fun?”  The answer to that is – diving in English lakes is good and great fun.

It is very difficult to describe a typical English lake because they are all so different and you can only judge them on the facilities they offer and also the quality of the dives.  If you look at Stoney Cove in Leicester for example.  It has car parking space at the waterside, heated changing rooms,  showers and toilets.  Fairly basic and standard you may think, but sadly not available at all dive sites.  In addition it has an amazing on site shop over four floors, it has an indoor heated pool, snack bar, restaurant, licenced bar and even a night club. But what about the diving – It is an old stone quarry so it doesn’t get kicked up too easily.  There is plenty to see in the water e.g. three full tug boats, the cockpit of a jet, helicopter and lots more.  The marine life is good too with shoals of perch, and roach as well as lots of crayfish.  Visibility is usually good at around 5m but it can be 15m+

There are other dive sites that I can’t name for fear of getting sued, that you would struggle to describe as basic!!  One I know has no changing room, no toilets, very limited parking and a muddy bank to enter the water from.  Once in the water there is practically nothing to see.

There is yet another I know that has limited facilities but it is an old Victorian underground reservoir.  The water is perfectly clear (it’s tap water) and you are able to dive entirely underground and marvel at some amazing underwater architecture 140 years old

So to try to answer the question is difficult as a typical site doesn’t really exist.  When I dive at a new UK site the following are the things I would like to see

    • Changing rooms
    • Toilets, ideally with showers
    • Snack bar or similar
    • Convenient car parking
    • Tarmacked or grassed area to put kit on
    • Jetties or pontoons to enter the water from

And for the dives themselves

    • Variable depths  with flat areas for training
    • Interesting objects eg, boats, cars, vans, jets etc
    • Maps or guides to help navigate round the lake
    • Good well planned emergency procedures
    • Clear water 3-4m + visibility

      Entering the water at Stoney Cove

      Entering the water at Stoney Cove

With facilities like this I know anyone can enjoy a good dive.  True it is not as good as the Red Sea, but we can’t go there every week.  A site that meets the criteria above will ensure any competent divers will enjoy a good dive.  Even more fun if you dive with a club or school who will help you to plan a dive and make sure you enjoy the experience safely.

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