Although the UK and Ireland might not immediately spring to mind when thinking of exotic dive destinations, the surrounding waters are something of a revelation.
Hundreds of years of merchant seafaring have left a rich wreck heritage, the huge tidal ranges and adrenaline-pumping drift dives have to be seen to be appreciated, and fauna ranging from tiny seahorses to gigantic basking sharks all mean the underwater realm here is rich with surprises.
The UK and Ireland occupy two large islands off northwest continental Europe. England, Scotland and Wales share one, while the island of Ireland sits just to the west. There are almost 24,000 km of coastline notable for their variety: sandy and shingle beaches, crags, rocks, and cliffs abound.
The waters are cool or cold most of the year, so good exposure protection is the order of the day. For those properly equipped, however, these waters serve up some truly memorable dives.
Find local PADI dive shops and explore the top dive sites with our map.
Fly into one of the many international airports that the United Kingdom has to offer. Once you’ve arrived, there is a spider web of interconnecting train, bus, and metro lines.