8 of the best scuba diving sites in the UK and Ireland


Porthkerris, Cornwall

Best for: Safe swimming with sharks

Basking sharks are most commonly seen in North Cornwall, but most diving schools launch their boats between the Lizard Peninsula and Penzance. With depths of up to 22m and visibility up to 8m, Porthkerris’ Drawna Rocks reef is teeming with marine life, but it’s the stealthy and silent basking sharks that steal the show. At first it is alarming to be in their presence, especially since they swim with their famous jaws wide open. But basking sharks are harmless, and that’s just how they filter water for plankton. @baskingsharkscornwall on Facebook for comments). Huge barrel jellyfish have also been spotted in Falmouth and Port Isaac, and keep an eye out for the elusive John Dory.

The best scuba diving in Wales

2CCR3YE Holy Island, WalesWolfgang Grallert / Alamy Stock Photo

Holy Island, Anglesey

Ideal for: dives on historic wrecks

The island’s many coves off North Wales are protected from the strong offshore currents, making them popular land-based dive sites for adventurous divers. Underwater, spectacular reefs, pinnacles, mounds and drop offs create a captivating environment for wrasse, gobies, blennies, various crabs, octopus, starfish, nudibranchs and anemones. With over 400 wrecks in the area, some of the best are accessible from Holy Island, such as Puffin Sound Drift, B17 Bomber, Steamer Missouri, and North Stacks.

C7W3T8 The Anvil St Martins Haven Nr Marloes Pembrokeshire Wales looking towards Skomer IslandCW Images / Alamy Stock Photo

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