When dreaming up your next ocean adventure, you might find your mind instantly drifting to exotic and tropical locations famed for their mystical megafauna and turquoise waters. Marine conservation projects abroad are plentiful and for many of us, diving abroad and getting hands-on with conservation is a dream of a lifetime.

Photo credit: Ollie Velasco (www.ollievelasco.com)

Recently, ocean-lovers have had to look closer to home for their next underwater adventure. It’s well known the UK boasts some of the most dramatic and varied coastlines in the world, but for many years, what lies beneath the waves has often been overlooked.

Photo credit: Mark Kirkland

PADI Dive Center turned marine conservation organisation, Blue Ventures, and marine scientist and presenter, Charlie Young, are on a mission to change this. Together they’ve launched Saltwater Britain, a series of ocean adventures with impact, taking divers on a journey to explore the treasure trove of life above and below UK waves, whilst giving people the chance to get hands-on with marine conservation on their doorstep.

Photo credit: Charlie Young
Photo credit: Francesca Page

From blue sharks to basking sharks, playful grey seals and mysterious whales, British seas are teeming with life, and its hidden underwater magic is something many divers are only just discovering,” said Saltwater Britain Co-Founder and Expedition Leader, Charlie Young. 

Photo credit: Martin Prochazkacz

Saltwater Britain is on a mission to show people that UK marine experiences match those found in the tropics. For UK divers, these home-grown adventures also remove the need for long-distance travel, which cuts down costs, minimizes your carbon footprint and supports the local communities and organisations around our coasts that are integral to protecting and restoring UK marine habitats and wildlife.

Photo credit: Charlie Young

Having already explored the dramatic coastlines and biodiverse waters of the inner Hebrides and Pembrokeshire, Saltwater Britain’s first summer series concludes with an AWARE Week seal diving weekend in the Farne Islands in September 2021 in partnership with the Fifth Point Diving Centre. Divers on this trip will get to explore the cold water kelp beds around these stunning islands whilst getting up close and personal with the UK’s largest native carnivore – the grey seal! Divers will also get to take part and collect critical data in a Dive Against Debris to celebrate PADI AWARE Week, helping to remove harmful litter that could endanger seals. You can read more about joining the Farne Islands dive trip here.

Blue Ventures is an award-winning marine conservation charity and PADI dive centre with over 18 years of experience running marine conservation expeditions and rebuilding marine ecosystems. Committed to having a positive impact on the planet, Saltwater Britain invests 100% of its profits back into fueling conservation that is both urgent and critical – visit the website for more information or to talk to the team at [email protected]


Izzy Elton – Guest, Wild Pembrokeshire Trip

“I don’t think I stopped smiling all week, from jumping off cliffs to swimming with blue sharks to exploring underwater worlds of kelp. The whole team from Charlie, Fran and the Celtic Deep were so passionate and welcoming and it was an honour to share these moments and experiences with like-minded ocean lovers. 

I have gained friends for life, along with an obsession with blue sharks… I will certainly look back on this in 10 years as a marine biologist and thank all of the inspiring souls for making me want to protect what I love.💙”

How to Get Started Diving in the UK

Hopefully you’ve realized by now that the UK’s waters are home to a huge variety of marine life and ecosystems worth exploring. To begin your underwater adventure so that you can experience the marine world in the UK and #LiveUnfiltered, there are a few key steps to follow:

  1. First, get started from the comfort of your home with the first level of scuba diving certification courses. Click here to purchase the PADI Open Water Diver eLearning course now.
  2. Find a PADI Dive Center near you where you can complete the confined and open water dive sessions in order to become a certified diver. Any PADI dive center will be able to provide you with the necessary training and guidance to ensure your safety and enjoyment in the water.
  3. Look for a PADI Dive Center where you’d like to explore the underwater world to help you with rental equipment (if necessary) and guided dives. Or, join a local diving community and participate in group dives in order to familiarize yourself with specific dive sites and conditions in the UK.

With these steps, you’ll be well-prepared to embark on your diving adventures in the captivating waters of the UK. Hit the button below to learn more about diving around the British Isles.

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