LOCAL DIVE SITES AROUND THE LLEYN PENINSULA & SNOWDONIA
The listings provide a source of information concerning local diving sites and can be expanded to give greater details. Bardsey Island, with underwater visibility of up to 20 metres is a popular Summer dive venue. Aberdaron provides a launch beach although sand is very soft and four wheel drive is advised. Abersoch, further up the coast, provides a hard launching surface suitable for cars and is some 35 minutes from Aberdaron by RIB. Dorothea Quarry with visibility of up to 20 metres provides safe Winter inland diving or Summer diving when the weather is bad, although care needs to be taken because of the extreme depths to be found in some parts of the quarry. If planning to launch at council controlled slip-ways, you need to register first and show insurance. (Contact Gwynedd Council for more information)
Cave and wreck dive in Bardsey sound just around the headland from Aberdaron.
Proceed around the headland from Aberdaron into Barsdey Sound and a small cove is located on the right. In the fare end (left) into the cove is a cave. The underwater cave comples is entered underwater in the base of the cave and extends through the headland. At the exit to the main tunnel, another tunnel that doubles back into the original cove. GPS 52 46.930N 004 44.065W
Bardsey Island at the tip of the Lleyn Peninsular provides some of the best diving in North Wales. Tides can be extremely strong in the area so local knowledge should be sought by inexperienced boat-handlers and most diving will be carried out at neap low water slack, although some exciting drift diving is to be had off the West coast. Few of the locations are suitable for novices. There are several wrecks on Bardsey - the closest to the normal landing bay for tourists is the twin-screw 'Ilesha' (length approx 30 metres) at GPS 52 45.095N 004 47.260W.
Aberdaron Bay on the mainland two miles from Bardsey, provides launching, although the sand can be very soft. Cars are not suitable as launch vehicles here. You may have to pay a launch fee and also to show insurance if council employees are on the slip. See the maritime information page for more details of this bay. Click on the inset map for more precise details including a camp-site suitable for divers.
The Menai Straits offers exciting sheltered drift diving with rich marine life during NEAP tides. Enter the water below the Anglesey Arms, Menai Bridge, Anglesey, 2-3 hrs. before Liverpol L.W.slack and swim into the middle of the channel. Submerge as the current eases off and drift for about 0.5 mile, explore the Swellie rock and then drift back with the flood tide - finally surfacing somewhere near to your starting point. (Use a compass to make sure you stay on the North Side on the way back) Very little boat traffic at low water but take care in case the odd one comes by! This dive has become known as the 'boomerang' dive and during Winter months with S.W. winds, the visibility on night dives can be incredibly good (10-20 metres!) when visibility is the sea is poor. There are several access points but one is GPS 53 13.290N 004 09.785W.
Dorothea Quarry near Tal-Y-Sarn, Gwynedd, is a popular Winter inland diving site with a variety of depths. When you arrive down here and the weather is bad, you fancy a fresh water dive to wash off the gear on the way home, or you want to plan some training dives, this is a good alternative. Few diving organisations support the use of this privately owned quarry but it has been regularly used by divers for over 30 years. Free-flow emergencies are common at this dive location during the Winter, so please plan for things going wrong - it could save your life. Planned correctly this is one of the best inland diving locations in the U.K.
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