Adventure is waiting on the doorstep
Experience all Anglesey has to offer from beautiful Rhosneigr
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned diver, you’ll find the breath-taking coastline of Anglesey has an adventure for you among its wrecks and reefs. With its awesome and abundant sea life, breath-taking coastline complementing the underwater treasures to experience, Anglesey is the perfect destination for divers.
What is Diving?
Diving, or rather scuba diving, snorkelling or ‘underwater diving’ is a leisure activity that sees divers explore beneath the water with help from breathing apparatus. Though freediving dates back several millennia, it may surprise many that devices such as the diving bell originated in the fourth century BC, though it would take until the 19th century before surface-supplied diving helmets appeared. Diving as we would now recognise it, however, required the technological advances of the 20th century for it to become a widely available leisure activity.
Best Diving Locations on Anglesey
The world beneath the waves around Anglesey is just as beautiful and teeming with wildlife as the world above. With reefs and wrecks, a marine conservation area and the opportunity to catch a glimpse of marine mammals, porpoises, huge numbers of different fish species as well as the enchanting underwater landscape, Anglesey is a remarkable place for divers of all skill levels.
- Porth Dafarch: – Shallow and easy to navigate, but with a fantastic array of sealife, Porth Dafarch is a perfect dive location for beginners. With a fairly gradual incline, the beach also makes for easy entrance and exit from the water. The seabed is mostly sand with some rocky outcrops and plenty of seaweed and kelp coverage. It is a popular beach, however, so early morning or evening dives will help to avoid visibility issues caused by others (and also to grab a parking space).
- Trearddur Bay: – If you’re looking for reefs and wrecks, then Trearddur Bay is the location for you. Wrecks of 19th Century iron hulled steamer Editor can be seen at around 10 metres, as can the Missouri which sank in 1886 and the Havsu which sank in 1937 and is, while little discernible remains, now a haven for sealife. There are also some stunning reefs as little as 80-100 metres from the shore which will provide at least a couple of tanks worth of enjoyment. As with Porth Dafarch, shore access is possible at high tide, though again the beach is popular which makes early and late dives preferable.
- Rhosneigr: – With several dive locations of various depths, Rhosneigr is an ideal destination for divers of any experience level. With guided dives, training courses and, most importantly, a fantastic underwater world filled with magnificent marine life, the beaches around Rhosneigr provide good access at high tide and will leave you wanting more no matter how many back-up tanks you bring!
- Borth Wen: – With beach access to the water (or boat slip if you want to get a little further out), Borth Wen is a fairly shallow dive, but great for photography – with clear water and plenty of wildlife. However, if you do have access to a boat, you’ll find wrecks (including the mid-19th century clipper SV Southern Cross) and reefs only a short trip from shore. As with many of these beaches, the area is popular with jet skis and for other water sports, so diving further out, early, or late, are the best options.
- Bull Bay: – A fairly easy dive location for the novice, Bull Bay is a shallow incline beach with access to the water from a slipway. However, currents do pick up quite quickly as you move out from the bay itself, so it pays to have more experienced company or keep to the walls of the bay. Bull Bay is also the most common launch point for divers to reach Ynys Amlwch (East Mouse) by boat in order to dive the wreck of the SS Dakota, a 19th Century passenger and cargo ship that ran aground there in 1877.
- Porth Eilian: – Another nice, easy dive for beginners, Porth Eilian can again be accessed via a slipway and, generally, regardless of tide. There’s plenty of sealife in and around the kelp, with crustaceans and worm casts in abundance on the sandy middle area. Current can and does pick up quite quickly toward the lighthouse, however, so divers are recommended to keep clear.
- Traeth Bychan: – There’s a Sport Diver level wreck of a first world war U-Boat (still in great condition and teeming with sea life) around six nautical miles off the coast which is commonly reached via launch from Traeth Bychan. However, for most divers, who’ll stick closer to shore, you’ll find a beach or slipway accessible dive with plenty of sea life – though it is popular with water sports enthusiasts, so it can get busy during the day.
- Menai Strait: – A dive for experienced divers only, the Menai Straits has a strong current which can be extremely hazardous during spring tides.The water can be accessed via the bottom of the Menai Bridge and for those either experienced enough to tackle the dive (and who hire boat cover and assistance) the area is a glorious underwater world and has some of the richest concentrations of sea life available around the island.
- Ynys Seiriol (Puffin Island): – You’ll need a boat to dive around Puffin Island, but the dive is a great way to meet the local seal population (though they have been known to have a nibble on on flippers, so might be best not to be wearing rentals). Visibility can suffer in high winds or especially hot weather, but when visibility is good, there’s so much to see – and, according to local urban legends, you might even stumble across Puffin Island’s secret underwater alien base(!)
Divers exploring the waters of Anglesey should always bear in mind the conditions on the day, but also that there is likely to be surface traffic in most areas during the day. As such, it pays to carry a surface marker buoy (SMB) during dives in case you need to alert jet ski riders or boats of your ascent, or to deploy and tow them during the dive.
Equipment Hire, Servicing & Gas Refills
Anyone that dives will be familiar with the cost of dive equipment, and that makes rental an expensive business. As such, if you require equipment hire there are limited options on the island, so – depending on availability – you may need to take a trip over the Menai Bridge to the highly rated Duttons Divers. It is often less expensive, however, to hire equipment as part of an introductory course. However, there are a number of places that you can get bottle refills if you’re bringing your own gear. These include:
Offgassing Dive Centre
Great staff, great prices, Offgassing Dive Centre offer gas refills, as well as equipment sale and rental. You can check the site for pricing on your equipment needs, or pop into the store for refills (or food at their pub The Adelphi Vaults). The refills will even come with some of the best diving advice available on the island if you ask for it.
Where to Book Lessons
Diving lessons on the island and providers can be found centrally using the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) website, where you can arrange for lessons with one of the island’s four registered clubs. You can find those clubs and contact details here.
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