Diving Vivian Quarry in Llanberis in Northern Wales
We know diving in the sea. We know diving in lakes. Diving in rivers we know too. Diving in abandoned quarries? That was new territory for me. Before my recent trip to the north of Wales, I researched some dive sites and found Vivian Quarry – a former slate quarry in Llanberis. And I knew I wanted to go diving Vivian Quarry.
After a few short mails with the dive shop, I had signed up and started packing. One thing was rather unusual for me: I borrowed my boyfriend's suitcase to bring all my diving equipment. My dry suit and equipment filled 2/3 of it. My jacket had to stay home – there was no space left for it. Luckily equipment can be rented at the dive shop too 😉
The old quarry in Llanberis
There is only one single dive school, namely the Vivian Dive Centre. The dive centre is run by Course Director Clare with lots of love and attention to detail. After a few emails, I was able to book my dives in the quarry of Llanberis – Vivian Quarry – and the strait of Menai.
I stayed in Llanberis for a night a couple of days before my dive. I visited the old quarry “on land”, the museum and the hospital during a long walk.
After seeing a few divers disappear through a stone gate, I naturally followed them and was overwhelmed by a little fairytale world on the other side of the gate:
Diving Vivian Quarry | the quarry of Llanberis
I do not want to exaggerate this dive at all – but it was definitely a dive I will remember for a long time. Not only that the view in this small lake was just fantastic, but also the slates and the little things that are there to discover really captured me.
Since I was travelling without a diving buddy, I decided to “borrow” a guide named Will. Will is a diving instructor and an incredibly funny guy with whom diving was even more entertaining than usual.
The dive in the quarry of Llanberis
There are two options to start the dive:
- from a platform that is about 2m above the water surface.
- by walking through some type of cage (which serves as an underwater platform for practice purposes).
Although I'm not sooooo fond of heights, I did not want to pass on the jump. With a huge step and an even bigger splash was finally in the water.
So we started our dive – the water was as clear as in the cenotes in Mexico, so a real treat. Will showed me the slates and hand signalled how they were mined back in the days. There are holes in some plates. The holes were filled with explosives and BOOOOOM!
Some of the walls are vertical and in some places, it looks more like a collection of rock slabs – so pure chaos.
Some of the highlights of this underwater quarry are a submarine, rails and wagons that were left behind when the mine was closed down. The submarine is quite small and serves as a toy for divers. And so Will and I drew Pacman onto it:
Towards the end of the dive I encountered a fish – I really did not expect that! But before we got out of the water, Will and I played around in the cage like children. Will used his fins as gloves and started swimming the wrong way round – I almost lost my regulator because he made me laugh so hard.
Infos about diving Vivian Quarry
13°C in September | 20m max depth
To dive in the quarry, just get in touch with Clare and inquire about the possibilities. Tuesday is the only day they are closed.
If you are on your own, you can arrange a dive guide at the diving school to accompany you at Vivan Quarry. If you come with at least one buddy, all you have to do is register (+ pay the entry fee) and then dive the quarry on your own with your buddy.
Vivian Quarry is open all year round – the water temperature is the warmest between March and October. I would still recommend a dry suit.
You can rent all of the equipment from the dive shop Vivian Dive Centre directly.
Where to stay in Llanberis?
The small town of Llanberis offers various accommodation options. I chose the cheapest option at the hostel for about £ 10 a night in a dorm. The YHA hostel is located just outside of Llanberis, but the views across the quarry are absolutely worth it. You can book a room right here. Don't like staying in hostels? Here are some more options.
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