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UK Inland Diving
Dive Site: Gildenburgh Water
Location: Gildenburgh Water, Eastrea Road, Whittlesey, Peterborough PE7 2AR
Description: Inland quarry
Depth: 22 metres max (40 feet)
Visibility: 15 - 20 metres (50 - 65 feet) in winter, 1 - 5 metres (3 - 15 feet) summer weekends
Gildenburgh holds a special place for me as it was my first open water dive. Go soon after new year and the vis is stunning, spring / early summer and there can be clouds of fish. It is a fairly compact site and it's possible to swim from one side to another without seeing any of the vehicles but only on a summers weekend. Good training site with platforms at different levels and buoys above the vehicles, facilities are pretty basic (rough) but a new building has been started which promises to make the stay more pleasant.
It has been remarked on by several of my dive buddies that the staff at Gildy can be a surly and obnoxious bunch sometimes. As to the site itself, the lake is pretty cool, with ample supplies of wrecks though the shore facilities are a bit basic. Given the dive fees, this ain't really an issue. Just wish some of the staff could get a prescription for happy pills.
I completely agree with the comments about the staff! I did my drysuit speciality there and found the staff had very little patience to find you a suit that nearly fitted, they made me feel awkward asking for kit that I had paied for. My buddy was so intimidated by the staff that she ended up diving in a suit that was dangerously oversized. Shame really because the lake is quite nice.
I dived GilendBOG in order to complete my Dive Master mapping project. I totally agree with the comments about the staff, surly, rude and no time for the customers (not a patch on Stoney or Horsea). The facilities are basic, but there's loads to see and as long as you don't stir the bottom up, the vis aint bad either. Work on the staff's attitudes and it'd be much better.
Dived all year round last year and agree with everybody about staff. Few wrecks to see here and did most of my training here, excellent site but basic. Dived in Feb 07 and the temp was 5 degrees C. My partner has seen a huge pike here, the bottom is littered with bricks. I would get air fills elsewhere.
As there are no dates on the above posts, I have no idea who they could be talking about. However, I dive here on a regular basis and have never had any problems with the staff. There is still loads to see and a lot of work has been done to clear out the rubbish and put new lines in. Yes, there is more to be done, but it is a long job as time is limited by the fact that it is always busy here.
I dive here most weekends and it's an excellent place to learn and just dive generally. The viz in the summer can be very poor but this adds to the training element! Loads to see in the water but facilities are basic and staff attitudes need addressing, including the management!
The best thing about this site has to be the homemade chicken and mushroom pie with shortcrust pastry, no attempt made to microwave it either. Cakes are very good too. Ideal site for beginners.
Not a bad dive but vis was poor and gear needed dipping afterwards as the water isn't fresh. Stoney Cove is a much better site.
Just came back from Gildenburgh 30/8/07, I was there doing an under water nav and found the viz quite good - 2m if you don't touch down! Some fish, lots of bricks, only fault was the air man - he was rather short and didn't seem to have any time. Good customer service from the dive shop - 10/10.
Have a clean up esp the locker room
Dave the Diver
Gildenburgh is now up for sale. Hopefully they find someone who wants to develop the site to its full potential!
I have been diving this site for around 6 months now, I agree its not a brilliant place but IMHO if you can dive Guildy then you can dive anywhere and if you do you training here the only way is up. I personally like Guildy as a place but yes it does need a little work and it would be nice if there was less goose poo around, little things like clearing an area on the far side for the Geese could cut down on the amount of c$%p around. This could be a four star plus site but only with a lot of work. I agree with the above comments, lets hope that it gets purchased by somebody willing to put a little time and money into the site.
I have been diving in Gildenburgh since September 07 and have logged about 20 dives there since. In my honest opinion I would describe this site as needing a lot of work, the lake is good but everything else needs sorting out and the staff are rude. I rented a drysuit and it flooded due to a faulty zip, I told the staff and they shouted at me telling me it was not done up properly, a month later another diver I was with rented the same drysuit with the same faulty zip and they told him the same!
I have to agree with everything about the staff and management there. It's a shame they could do with taking a page out of there sister site's book, Dosthill Quarry. The staff there are really friendly and helpful.
The air fill man needs to go as he has a bad attitude towards his work and most important of all he is very rude to the customer. The staff in the main building could have put a bit more effort in. Great place, sh*t vis, loads to see. This site makes good divers.
I did my whole training at Guildy from novis to rescue diver and lived on site for 4 weeks. Yeah the caravans need some work and theres alot of goose crap!!! But as for staff issues that's rubbish, everyone there was awesome (frist night BBQ and beers: you don't get that from people who are antisocial and rude!!!!) and a massive help to me and the 2 mates I went with. I would recommend Guildenburgh to anyone who wants to learn to dive or just for a good day trip with great staff.
I started diving here many years ago and have reached MSD. All my family have dived here, two are now instructors. Even my oldest grandson. It's got its faults but so many people have given a lot of time so WE can dive in Peterborough - long live Gildy. Try to remember to smile at the staff.
Ron Coleman | 30/11/2008
I did my first UK dive here last weekend and was more than happy with all it had to offer. I did have my own gear so had no real need to deal with the staff, but all in all found it a great experience if not a little cold at 4°C. But great visability and lots to investigate. I would say come and see Guildy, it's well worth it.
Ross Cousins | 03/03/2009
Great site, lots to see. Let down only by the worst vis ever.
Anthony Mason | 08/04/2009
Dived Guildy for the first time yesterday. Pleasantly surprised!! It's not as good as Stoney, but cheaper and a lot closer to home. Quite a bit to see (if the viz is good enough - it wasn't) with the double decker bus quite a novelty. Sraff can be quite short, but to be fair they run a very safety conscious and busy enterprise. B+ (Not bad, but room for improvement).
David Burton | 10/05/2009
This place is OK but all your gear needs to be well washed after getting out of the very stagnent water. Followed a line down to 22m then completely lost my bearings and my dive buddy. Next thing I know I'm ascending quite quickly and came out of the water like a trident missile. Things turned out ok though as my buddy did the same thing about 30 seconds after me. I'd rather dive stoney as you dont need to dip gear afterwards.
Christopher Winfield | 14/06/2009
Sadly, the staff make Basil Fawlty look postively welcoming! In my experience certain individuals are very rude and seem to resent customers being on their site. Facilities are generally poor, with the toilets being particuarly bad and the whole site having a very dilapidated feeling. This impression is enhanced by various abandoned buildings, vehicles and equipment. Roads and car parking areas are potholed and muddy, and even the grassy area by the lake is spoiled by huge amounts of goose droppings. Viz is variable, though when the lake is busy it is often no more than 2-3m.
Potentially this could be an excellent site, but there seems little of this chance with the present management - who I understand are trying to sell it off and seem to have no interest in making any improvements.
Peter Snow | 18/07/09
Myself and my wife did are open water here and our advanced here. We still come here to practise and navigate. Lots to see in the lake but the toilets do need updating. Get rid of the geese.
Mike | 05/10/09
Me and my husband did our first open water dive and advanced course here with learn scuba. We love it, the lake is really nice especially around the yacht where the vis is clear, but elsewhere the vis is not so good due to sediment being kicked up. Plenty to see and do, but the only complaints I have with the place is 1)Poor and basic changing facilities, plus they smell and 2)The bloody geese and their droppings. Someone could fall very ill one day, the owners should get rid of the geese and stop feeding them. The place does need to be cleaned up, it looks disgusting. Unlike the other posts we have had no problems with the staff, but there should also should be more of a varied menu at the diner with healthier options, the food is rubbish.
Louise | 06/10/09
I happen to work at the dive site issuing kit and doing air fills, I think the person you are all complaining about is ray, he may seem to be a little short with customers at times but I have never worked with someone so knowledgeable about the job they are doing. However I am now working in the kit store and doing most of the air fills so the chances are that if you come to dive at Gildy on a weekend you will see me there.
We are always trying to improve the site for the better and although some of the facilities there may be not very aesthetically pleasing they are functional and are there to serve a purpose not just to look pretty.
Unfortunately I cannot comment on any reviews before September as I’ve only been working there since then, but if you come to Gildy we will do all we can to make your stay as enjoyable and easy as possible. I and the other staff hope to see you soon.
Nathan Hooker | 08/12/09
Well I've been diving at Gildy since Summer 2008. I've not found any of the staff intimidating at all, although I have noted at some very busy times they are unable to give quite as much time to individuals as they would like. As for Ray, he's actually a cool guy if you bother to take the time to chat to him and realise he's not just "the air guy"....! I have successfully moved from AOW to OWSI with the team at Gildy and have found them very helpful and patient. The vis can be poor in the summer, but all spring it has been 15m plus. Cool at 5 degrees, but that's what an undersuit is for. :)
Pete Moore | 30/03/2010
I went to Gildenburgh on Sunday 18.4.10 it was part of my training to become an ocean diver.
After reading some of these comments I was apprehensive to say the least. The last thing a new diver needs is staff with attitude.
I would like to say that all the staff were friendly and welcoming even the air guy.
I'm not sure what these well accomplished divers are expecting with the facilities but "it does what it says on the tin". Parking was ok, changing room ok, ladies loo ok, the food was ok, and the shop was ok.
The important bit to my comment is I got into a panic on the surface and I can honestly say as embarrassing as it was for me, the alarm was triggered the staff were in the water to my aide quickly and efficiently, the poor guys mobile even got wet.
I hope my comment reassure any new diver that Gildenburgh is a friendly and above all else a safe place to dive, and I'm looking forward with confidence to completing my ocean diver exam at Gildenburgh.
Michelle Kyriacou | 20/04/2010
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