The Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) is the world’s leading scuba diving training organisation. Dive centres offer a wide range of PADI scuba certification courses in the United Kingdom. A dive centre should be chosen based on the scuba certification it is authorised to offer, the desired scuba certification and the current scuba certification level. These PADI-certified dive schools meet elevated service and business standards and offer a number of holiday diving packages incorporating dozens of dives at picturesque locations in the United Kingdom and around the world. Here a list of the most popular dive centres in the United Kingdom offering training programs and dive holiday packages to destinations around the world:
Dive Life is a PADI 5 star Instructor Development Centre, a National Geographic Centre and offers all PADI courses from Discover Scuba and Open Water to Advanced and Technical, as well as Rebreather Instructor courses. It is also an IANTD Platinum Centre and BSAC Technical Centre.
Dive Life offers scuba diving equipment from world’s leading scuba manufacturers. It possesses highly accomplished and experienced training staff with over eighty years of dive training experience. The shop at the centre is well stocked and offers scuba equipment including BCDs, masks, wings, regulators, fins and other accessories. Dive Life has a full technical section with the largest range of wings in the UK and specialises in underwater video and camera equipment and housings.
The centre organises escorted dive holidays at various exotic locations with the staff comprising male and female instructors, assistant instructors and Divemasters. Dive Life offers a variety of training courses ranging from junior courses, underwater photography courses, free diving courses, specialty courses and even first aid courses. One of the more popular and comprehensive courses offered by Dive Life is ‘Learn to Dive’, which is a mixture of classroom learning and practical sessions in a seven day course that includes accommodation, flights, and course materials at a cost of £995 per person.
Dive Life | Tel: 0161 796 0300 | Stone Pale Buildings, Victoria Lane, Whitefield, Manchester, M45 6BL | Contact
Bolton Area Divers
The Bolton Area Divers started as a diver drop-in centre for advice, air fills and training. It was reborn in 2004, with eleven club members voluntarily running the non-profit business after the club owner decided to close shop in 2003. Since then, the dive centre has regained the PADI 5 star status and has become a dealer for major brands of equipment. The club now boasts of more than two hundred paid up members and circulates its monthly newsletter to over 1400 diving enthusiasts. The club enjoys a great reputation, with numerous local and worldwide dives organized on a regular basis. A club member has to pay a fee of only £25 for four days to rent a full set of dive equipment.
The dive centre offers a learn to dive program with pool training and classroom sessions at the club, along with four open water dives in warm tropical waters. The package also includes course materials, flights and accommodation. The duration of the package is seven days and is priced competitively at £995.
Bolton Area Divers Ltd | Tel: 01204 394441 | Unit 10a Brownlow Business Park, Tennyson Street, Bolton., Lancashire, BL1 3DX | Contact
Christal Sea Scuba
With an experience of more than ten years in the dive training business, Christal Seas Scuba not only offers training for divers but also organises group holidays. The dive centre also specialises in teaching underwater photography, drift diving and night diving. The best package on offer by Christal is called the Grand Sea Package, where the customer spends seven nights on board a southern liveboard.
The journey begins from Marsa Alam and comprises of dives at St John’s, Wadi Gamal, Fury Shoal and Elphinstone. The package features eighteen to twenty dives in total and includes flight tickets, all marine park fees, a 12 litre tank, weights and nitrox. The package is priced at £1395 per person. Reviews for Christal have been generally very positive, with previous customers praising the dive centre for the holiday packages, training facilities, diving locations, crew and the training experience in general.
Scuba 4 Me & Christal Seas Scuba Ltd | Tel: 01603 485000 | 62 Whiffler Road, Norwich, Norfolk, NR3 2AY | Contact
London Scuba Diving School
The London Scuba Diving School has been operational for fifteen years and has trained more than twelve thousand divers since its inception. At rates starting from £99, the diving school offers courses from beginner to instructor level and boasts of some of the best facilities in the UK. It is also one of the few dive schools in the United Kingdom to own and operate an indoor training pool, which is heated to 31-32 degrees Celsius and features a maximum depth of three metres and a shallower end of 1.4 metres depth for training purposes. The pool features a retractable roof to keep the pool cool in the summer months and warm in the winter. The dive centre also has state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment, including a large television screen for presentations.
The London Scuba Diving School offers a number of escorted dive holidays on board their liveboards, named the Mistral, Cyclone, Hurricane and Whirlwind. These holiday packages feature seven nights on board with up to twenty one dives for the week, along with guidance from two expert guides. The cost for each of these packages varies between £1000 and £1200.
London School of Diving
A PADI 5 star Career Development Centre, the London School of Diving has made a name for itself by offering high quality scuba training for all levels from beginner to expert. London School of Diving organises frequent social events, diving seminars and trips both in the United Kingdom and abroad. It has been named a ‘Recommended Travel Dive Centre’ by Scuba Travel. The London School currently offers two escorted dive holidays with one at Sipidan Marine Park and the other at Sharm-el-Shaikh.
The Sipidan dive holiday package is a comparatively pricier package at £3045, with accommodation at the Sipidan Mabul Resort and eight nights in a stand-alone chalet. It includes three boat dives per day and unlimited shore diving. Priced more competitively, the Sharm dive holiday package features accommodation at the Camel Hotel and extends over seven nights with over twenty dives during the entire holiday. This holiday package is priced at £995.
London School of Diving | Tel: 020 8995 0002 | 11 Power Road, London, W4 5PT | Contact
Northampton Scuba School
The Northampton Scuba School was formed in 2000. The school is a PADI 5 Star Instructor Development Centre and offers a wide range of courses from Try Dive to Instructor and also programmes for children. Dive packages offered by the centre include Project AWARE, Basic Recreational, Rescue Plus, UK Sea Diving, Photography, Deep/Wrecking Diving etc. The Northampton Scuba School also offers scuba and snorkelling equipment, PADI training material, clothing, accessories, as well as robust after-sales support. Air refills up to 232 bars and clean air fills are available.
NSS provides onsite servicing for major brands of regulators and BCDs, along with cylinder testing for Scuba and air gun cylinders. The club is open to all divers and membership benefits include free monthly pool sessions and social activities throughout the year. It organizes trips both in the United Kingdom as well as overseas, and offers discounts and equipment to members. Membership at the club costs £25 year. The Northampton Scuba School also has a dive club called the Scubanuts for those looking to socialise with other diving enthusiasts.
Northampton Scuba School | Tel: 01604 785251 | Cripps Pool, Cripps Recreation Centre, Northampton, NN1 5BD & Scott Bader Pool, 122, High Street, Wollaston, Wellingborough, NN29 7RJ | Contact
Timuna Sea Scuba Diving Centre
Located at the Canary Wharf in East London, Timuna Sea is a PADI 5 star Dive Centre. This dive centre offers a range of PADI diving courses from Open Water to Divemaster. Timuna Sea also offers bespoke courses for customers in case a suitable course schedule cannot be accommodated, with evening/weekend dates.
To suit all kinds of interests, Timuna Sea provides enhanced courses such as Enriched Air Diver, Digital Photography and National Geographic programmes. The opportunity to further develop diving skills is also offered in the form of specialty courses such as Marine VHF Short Range certification. For first aid skills, the centre offers advanced EFR (Emergency First Response) courses. The centre is also a recipient of the highly regarded ‘Recommended Dive Centre’ status from Scuba Travel.
Timuna Sea Scuba Diving Centre currently offers two escorted dive holidays. The first holiday package named Cyclone is aboard the award-winning Tornado Marine Fleet departing from Sharm-el-Sheikh, over a period of seven nights on a full board basis with up to twenty one dives over the week. All marine park fees are inclusive of the £1050 price tag and two expert guides monitor the trip. The second holiday package called Hurricane offers the opportunity of diving at the famous Daedalus Reef, Rocky Island and St John’s. The package features eighteen dives in total and costs £1150.
Timuna Sea Ltd | Tel: 020 7719 9444 | 49 Cannon Workshops, Cannon Drive, West, India Quay, London, E14 4AS | Contact
Oxford Dive Centre
The Oxford Dive Centre has been training divers since 1998. This PADI 5 star Instructor Development Centre provides training for all levels from Open Water to Instructor, including specialties. The dive centre provides training courses from February to November. It has a fully equipped shop with all the top brands in scuba equipment available for purchase and rental. Servicing and maintenance on all types of equipment ranging from regulators, cylinders to dry suits is available.
The Oxford Centre runs two holiday packages. The Maldives holiday package is aboard a liveboard named the MV Leo and terminates at Male in the Republic of Maldives. This seven night holiday package consists of three dives a day on an average and all the seasonal hot spots in the region around Maldives are covered for a price of £1945. The other holiday package consists of a flight to Bangkok, a two day stay at the Davis Hotel, two days diving at Phi Phi and four days diving at Richelieu Rock, priced at £2290 per person.
Oxford Dive Centre | Tel: 01865 242994 | 302a Abingdon Road, Oxford, OX1 4TE | Contact
Seastyle Diving was established in 1972 at Worcester. It offers diver training, sales, servicing, escorted trips and holidays. PADI-certified courses offered range from Try Dive to Instructor, along with a number of enhanced specialty courses. Seastyle has a fully equipped workshop that provides on-site regulator and BC servicing, dry suit and wetsuit repairs, air refills up to 300 bars and nitrox. Cylinder testing is also available.
Seastyle Diving offers a number of benefits for members. The local indoor pool can be accessed by members free of charge. Members who have booked any local dive trip with Seastyle are also entitled to free tanks and weight hire. Priority booking is also an option with members being notified three to five days prior to any newsletter on United Kingdom and overseas dive trips organised by the dive centre. Free air fills are also provided to members, subject to availability and pre-booking. An added facility being implemented by Seastyle is a buddy list for divers looking for a companion to dive with.
Seastyle | Tel: 01905 351528 | Unit 21, Three Springs Trading Estate, Vincent Road, Worcester, WR5 1BW | Contact
Scimitar provides everything a diving enthusiast could ask for in a diving experience. From dive boats for club charter and individual bookings to an SSI (Scuba Schools International) dive school offering a range of courses, Scimitar Diving is a one-stop destination for diving enthusiasts. Three boats are owned by the dive centre and are available for divers - Scimitar, Sabre and Cutlass. The centre is run throughout the year and the dives can be booked either online or directly with the staff at the centre. Air, nitrox and trimix are available at the centre’s gas station, with odd hour refills available at the self-air fill station.
Scimitar Diving is home to the Loose Association of Portland Divers, which is a group of divers representing a large variety of levels, agencies and locations. The escorted dive holiday by Scimitar Diving is a classic itinerary in the Northern Red Sea, with up to twenty dives over the week. The holiday duration is seven nights, all of which are on full board basis with twin share cabin on a liveboard named Cyclone. The package includes all marine park fees, 12 litre tank and weights. The trips are fully guided by two experts from the dive centre.
Scimitar Diving | Tel: 07765 326728 | 14b Hamm Beach Road, Portland Marina, Portland, Dorset, DT5 1DX | Contact