Scuba Diving in Cornwall
Did you know… that more than 80% of the world’s ocean remains unexplored? What better way to get acquainted with marine life than to learn how to scuba dive!
The county's coastal waters are home to large populations of seals, and it is not uncommon to see a porpoise, octopus or whale.
The combination of a temperature climate and a coastline washed with clean waters from the Atlantic Gulf Stream makes for amazing underwater visibility all year round.
Whether you decide to scuba dive offshore, or from a boat, scuba diving in Cornwall offers everything from wrecks for the adventurous to easy dives for those who’ve dabbled, and everything in between.
If you’re unsure where to start, learn to scuba dive on-park at our very own Sea Acres Holiday Park, or take a look at our Top 6 Diving Spots for inspiration.
Learn to Dive at Sea Acres
There’s no better time to give diving a go than at Sea Acres. You will be given a beginner trial and training in the pool to learn all you need to know before hitting the coast! For more experienced divers, there’s a range of speciality diving courses available:
- PADI Training Courses
- Open Water & Advanced Open Water Course
- Rescue Diver Course
- Divemaster Course
- Assistant Instructor Course
Kennack Diving is run by David Roberts who has over 25 years of local diving experience. David is also certified as a ‘Master Instructor’ by PADI - the world’s best scuba diving training - so you know you’re in safe hands when you’re dipping your toe in the ocean.
Before jumping into open waters, you will take part in a 2-hour extensive training session. This will be done in the heated indoor swimming pool at Sea Acres Holiday Park, where you can practice until you’re confident enough to hit colder waters.
Top 6 Diving Spots in Cornwall
1. Porth Rock Reef
Best for spotting: Corals, crustaceans, spider crabs and exceptionally large star fish!
For budding photographers and newbie divers looking to test out their underwater camera, you will find 15m shallow waters just off Trevelgue Head at the eastern end of Newquay Bay.
Gullies and tunnels radiating out from the rock contain a huge variety of marine life including corals and crustaceans. In the summer months, spider crabs in their hundreds have been known to gather here to breed.
Keep your eye out for a shallow milky rough reef where groups of exceptionally large star fish - up to 2ft across! - have made themselves at home! There are also several gullies to swim through.
Dive Newquay is within easy reach if you want to book a lesson.
2. Harlyn Bay
Best for spotting: Dolphins, basking sharks, seals, lobsters, velvet swimming crabs
Level: Beginners and intermediate
Nearest Parkdean Resorts Holiday Park: St Minver Holiday Park
An ideal dive site for complete novice divers, this site is well sheltered from the general swell, allowing for calmer waters.
As well as the sea life mentioned above, you will often see dogfish slinking across the seabed.
Another plus point of this beach is that you can book a lesson through Harlyn Dive School.
3. Land’s End
Best for spotting: Dolphins, basking sharks, seals, historical shipwrecks.
Level: Intermediate and expert
Nearest Parkdean Resorts Holiday Park: Lizard Point Holiday Park
Up for a road trip? Land’s End is your best bet for spotting larger marine life and historical shipwrecks. It’s a bit of a journey from our nearest park, but worth it!
Land’s End is a spectacular location for snapping some memorable shots on your camera. Both above and below water, it is extremely stunning.
With dramatic wrecks and scenic dives to explore, Land’s End is a paradise for sea adventurers and keen sightseers alike.
4. The Manacles
Best for spotting: Cuttlefish, dogfish, dead man's fingers, sea fans and plumose anemones.
Level: Intermediate and expert
Nearest Parkdean Resorts Holiday Park: Sea Acres Holiday Park
This infamous granite-covered reef on the east coast of the Lizard Peninsula is one of the most popular dive sites in the UK. The area has claimed 100s of ships over the years including the 19th century SS Mohegan, but it is also a sanctuary for sea life. Rock stacks are a hotspot for jewelled anemones, with plenty of dogfish and anglerfish around.
Top tip: If you are dipping your toe in some flippers for the first time, you should never go open water diving alone. Diving on this reef can be dangerous due to very strong tides and little shelter if the wind changes. Seek local advice or dive with a group who know the area.
5. The Syracusa
Best for spotting: Historical shipwreck
Offering a gorgeous reef dive for underwater explorers, at The Syracusa, you can discover a 1243-ton German steamship, which was wrecked just off Newquay in a fierce gale in the 19th century.
The wreck lies in 35 m of water and is recommended only for advanced divers.
Although you will see marine life around the wreck, it is the wreck itself that steals the show here.
6. Falmouth Bay
Best for spotting: Seals, intact shipwrecks, basking sharks and dolphins
Level: Beginner and intermediate (daytime) Expert (night)
With a coastline stretching over 250 miles, you won’t be short of underwater escapades to embark on in Falmouth Bay.
Falmouth Bay is suitable for all levels of diver due to its shallow and offshore dives. If you are looking to bump up your skills and that next step into deep sea exploration, Pendennis and Castle Beach are popular for night-time dives. Here, you will find intact wrecks, as well as seals, dolphins and even basking sharks.
Discover Cornish Sea Life
The Best Beaches in Cornwall
With a coastline stretching over 250 miles, you won’t be short of beaches to discover in Cornwall. Falmouth Bay is suitable for all levels of diver due to its shallow and offshore dives. Pendennis and Castle Beach are popular for night-time dives - and if you want to discover the deeper sea, head over to The Lizard Peninsula. Here you’ll find intact wrecks, as well as seals, dolphins and even basking sharks.