Forget snorkelling. There’s a whole underwater world out there just waiting to be discovered, and this superb scuba diving experience will teach you everything you need to know. Whether you stick to the safety of the pool or dive in for an open water course, there’s a scuba experience to suit everyone from beginners to pros. And if you really want to up the ante, why not take life by the teeth and swim with sharks? As the great Captain Don Stewart once said, divers are "the pioneers of earth’s last frontier" – so whatever you fancy, the possibilities are endless.
Whether you’re a scuba specialist, a first-timer or you’re just a little wet behind the ears, there’s a diving experience with your name on it. Suit up, dive in and sink to new depths for the ultimate high, where you’ll learn how to handle the pressure and experience first-hand the exhilaration of underwater adventure. Once you’ve learned the ropes and mastered this addictive sport, what’s next? From wreck diving and swimming with sharks to diving the Great Barrier Reef, the world really is your oyster.
Lessons and experiences usually take place in a pool with the help of trained PADI instructors. On the day you’ll meet your instructor and undergo a poolside briefing on the principles of scuba diving and full safety procedures. Then it’s time to get kitted out and into the water ready for the nitty gritty. You’ll learn how to manage the equipment and, as the lesson progresses, you’ll develop all the necessary skills required to dive in a safe and fun environment.
Time in the pool varies depending on the venue and the exact experience booked but this is usually 1 – 2 hours, with a poolside briefing of approximately 30 minutes. Participants must be able to swim, but the session is open to all abilities so no previous scuba experience is necessary.
There is also a Scuba Diving with Kids experience (typically for children aged 8 to 14) to allow youngsters to get to grips with underwater exploration.
Scuba Diving with sharks
In this unique experience, the participant will undergo some basic scuba training (typically lasting 1 – 2 hours) and receive a full briefing on diving equipment, techniques and safety. Then it’s into the aquarium for approximately half an hour, mingling with such beasts as sand tiger sharks, lemon sharks, angel sharks, or nurse sharks, along with other fish such as stingrays and conger eels (exact species will depend on the venue).
Learn to dive without the need for bulky breathing apparatus. Understandably, you won't be able to dive as deep or for as long as you could scuba diving, but there's a sense of freeness and being at one with the water freediving.
Down in the deep - What You Need To Know
- WHEN: Most scuba diving experiences take place indoors so are not affected by the weather, meaning they run sessions year-round. Open water courses are subject to weather conditions so may be postponed in the case of bad weather.
- WHERE: Locations are dotted around the UK but are mainly concentrated in the South.
- WHO: Water babies and enviers of mermaids are best suited to this experience. If you'd love to explore a world beneath the waves, a scuba diving course is the way to begin. Continue on to a PADI open water course to gain further valuable experience.
- OCCASIONS: Scuba diving and freediving lessons are great birthday and Christmas presents, especially if you know the recipient is planning a holiday soon after where they could make good use of their newfound diving skills.
- PRICES: Prices typically start from around £25 for an entry-level scuba diving session. Freediving courses start from around £125 a head. Shark diving comes in at around £200 per person as do PADI scuba diving open water referral courses. (correct at the time of writing)
- QUESTIONS: Need help? Ask questions here and I'll try to help as best I can
- TRIED THIS?: Would you recommend it? Share your thoughts here
Top scuba diving experiences
Fancy heading under the sea? Here's some top ways to get your feet wet.
This entry-level experience teaches you the basics of scuba diving in a safe and confined water area. A professional PADI instructor will show you what you need to know, so you can learn how to breathe underwater, clear water from inside your mask, and how to recover your regulator.
This experience takes place at locations in London, Essex, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire.
Become a Mermaid or Merman in Newquay, Cornwall
Jealous of Ariel in the Little Mermaid? Head on this freediving course hosted by professional freediving tutors. Learn how to pose and swim in a mermaid tail. Glide elegantly through the water without the need of breathing apparatus.
Guys, there's an experience for you too. Follow in the footsteps of Derek Zoolander and become a majestic creature swimming without the need of breathing apparatus.
Diving in a shark tank in Cheshire
If the Jaws movie didn't put you off all things shark, this incredible experience lets you get very close to the giant beasts. Get your scuba kit on and head into the shark tank. Spot Sand Tiger Sharks, Lemon Sharks, Nurse Sharks, and over 1,500 fish.
(Photo credit to Catsdhika)