Mar, 26 || No Comments |
According to a report by the BBC, the UK is home to some of the “best wreck diving in the world” with countless naval battles being fought along the coast for hundreds of years. This hidden trove of sunken ships beneath the waves are caught at the meeting point where the waters from the tropics bump up against the frigid waters of the Arctic, allowing for a dazzling diversity of marine life and coral reefs.
Even better is that most of these spots are only a day-trip away from London with most between a one- to four-hour drive away. British Airways offers some great tips on car rentals that can provide much more flexibility than public transit. Not only that, but they allow travelers to explore at their own pace. There are also specific fly-drive vacations for those make their way to visit some of the terrific dives in Dover or down near Cornwall and the Plymouth Sound. These are a few of our top picks for wreck-divers looking to explore beneath the sea.
There are a few things to remember before stepping off your plane at Heathrow in a pair of swimming trunks and sandals, because this water gets cold! Your shortie wetsuit that you wore for your last surfing trip isn’t going to cut the mustard. You think the Pacific is cold? It has nothing on the North Sea. For those willing to take the plunge in the UK, you’re going to need a dry-suit with a thermal lining if you’re going to jump in. Also, pay close attention to the tides. The seas around the British Isles can get a little choppy, but when you hit them at the right time on the right tide you can still experience unprecedented visibility and deep-sea wrecks positively teeming with life.
HMS Brazen – Dover
The HMS Brazen was a British destroyer that was built in 1930 and served admirably throughout World War II. The Brazen was a convoy escort and was also sent on anti-submarine patrols before serving in the Norwegian Campaign, but it was sunk in the English Channel by German aircraft in July 1940. With good visibility in this area of the coast, divers will be treated to torpedo tubes, depth charges, guns, and a host of aquatic animals
SS Mohegan – Porthkerris, Cornwall
The SS Mohegan sank off the coast of Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall in 1898 when it ran afoul of the dreaded Manacles, which have claimed many a ship of the years. In fact, it’s due to those treacherous rocks and the shipwrecks they have caused that Cornwall has become such a popular spot for scuba diving. The tragic sinking of the steamer was the greatest disaster to ever strike the Atlantic Transport Line up until that date. Watch out for potential ghosts when you go beneath the waves to explore the wreckage along with the sea life that has made the ship its new home. Cornwall Online has loads more information on the wrecks around Cornwall and the Lizard Peninsula.
HMS Scylla – Plymouth
The HMS Scylla was named for the legendary sea monster in Homer’s epic “Odyssey” and was a Leander-class (that’s the one all over that old BBC show “Warship“) frigate that was first commissioned in 1970. The ship served long and well until it was intentionally sunk to create an artificial reef in 2004. Now the Scylla is brimming with all manners of sea life begging to be explored.
These are just a few of the many, many wrecks that line the coast of Great Britain with all of these sites offering many more than just the ones listed here. Don’t wait to take your own adventure beneath the waves; there are plenty of other ships under the sea. And who knows, maybe you’ll discover a new one during your dive.