Diving Northumberland

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Northumberland, United Kingdom

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Country: United Kingdom  Area: United Kingdom

Water Temp: 4 - 14°C (39 - 57°F)

Visibility: 3 - 15m (10 - 49 ft)

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Famed for its diving with the curious friendly seals at the Farne Islands, these islands are a haven for sea life and are an excellent place to visit for divers, photographers and bird watchers!

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Northumberland is one of the most popular diving locations in the United Kingdom for its Grey Seals that live on its offshore islands.

The Farne Islands are a very well known group of 30 islands and rocky outcrops in Northumberland which is a very popular diving location due to the guaranteed seal encounters that can be had at these offshore islands. These islands are a National Marine Reserve due to their outstanding beauty and wildlife and are home to over 4000 Atlantic Grey Seals, 35,000 pairs of Puffins and an abundance of other marine life.

Climate

The climate is as you would expect from England, unpredictable! The water temperatures can drop to 4C at the end of winter/beginning of spring and will reach about 14C at the end of summer and stay warm through most of autumn. This means a good drysuit is recommended to be comfortable and allow you to enjoy your dives. If you are properly protected by the cold temperatures this area can be dived year round, and even with strong winds places like the Farne Islands can usually find a protected area to dive. This area also has some of the clearest water in the country, which is great for enjoying all the marine life it has to offer.

 
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Day Trips

The Farne Island archipelago lays approx 10-15mins boat ride away from the coast and can be reached on trips from the coastal towns of Seahouses or Beadnell.  This area although can be very cold with rough sea is shallow and has many sheltered areas with easy dive condition so can be dived and enjoyed by any level of diver.

The seal dives here are a must for any diver and encountering a large 300kg male seal or playing with a young inquisitive adolescent seal is a thrilling experience. All are very curious which means they will regularly approach divers to play and you can have great fun interacting with these amazing creatures, although don’t wear your best fins as you are likely to get them chewed by some of the young seals! Lumbering and clumsy on land these creatures are fast and graceful performing ballerina like skins and twists underwater and a privilege to be part of their world and watch them swim circles around you and other divers. This is one of the best places to have this fun unique experience and highly recommended for any nature lover.

Although famed for its seal dives the Farne Islands has many other dives sits and much more marine life. It is a very dangerous shipping area of the British Isles which has sunk many ships over the years, so there are quite a few wrecks to explore around the islands which include the Somali, the Chris Christianson, the Abyssinia, the San Andreas, the Britannia and the Acklivety. The most popular of these being The Somali which was bombed and sunk in 1941 and now is sitting in 30m of water and carries a cargo of gas masks, batteries, lead soldiers, fire extinguishers and more and most can still be seen today.

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How to get there

The county is located on the border of England and Scotland and can be reached easily by car or on public transport on trains, buses or coach from anywhere in the UK.

Its closest international airport is in Newcastle which receives many flights from all over the world and also domestic flights from London and elsewhere in the country. If visiting from abroad, generally a hire car is the easiest way to get around the UK (if mainly travelling outside of cities).

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Other activities

Northumberland is a great place to enjoy walks through its excellent countryside as well as great diving, if you are a nature lover Northumberland is well worth a visit whilst in the UK.

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Rating 10/10

Capernwray Dive Center,Jackdaw Quarry, cumbria, Englandshire

Northumberland31 Aug 2012 - 3 Sep 2012

Had 2 dives on Friday during the quiet time, 3 on Sat, and 3 on Sun. Britain, ill grant you is not the most glam place to dive or the warmest, however for an inland fresh water dive site you will struggle to find better. We chose to stay in the accomodation on site which is 1st class and as close to the dive site as you can get without sleeping with your reg in ! The water was around 17 degrees at 15m. The items they have placed under the water to play in are cracking fun and if your brave enough you can buy a bag of fish food in the shop and take it in for the residents..huge trout and massive sturgeon will knock your mask off if your not careful...

Rating 10/10

Best diving ever!

Northumberland2 Oct 2010 - 3 Oct 2010

I did two days diving with a company called Farnes Diver. The boat was great with a diver lift and (albeit basic) onboard toilet facilities.

The skipper was Lee Hall and he was extremely knowledgeable about the waters and always dropped us into great spots.

Diving with the seals was quite simply mind blowing. They are so playful and even cuter in the flesh!!

I couldn't recommend the location or the company more highly!

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Catherine Jones

Sounds Great! Ive just purchased a drysuit and this is top of my list to dive next year!!! :)

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