Stoney Cove is the most popular of the UK's inland dive sites and you can be assured that it will be busy at all times of the year. It is located not far from J20 of the M1 and J2 of the M69. A position in the lower car park by the waters edge requires queuing at an early hour in the morning before the gates open. The facilities here are good and the staff are efficient. The water temperature is always cold, even in the summer, and in winter free flows may be a problem. One attraction is the Hydrobox at 36m, which has air pockets you can talk through a reg to each other in. Others include the block house, cockpit, bus, helicopter and the boat complete with treasure chest (make sure you return it to its place after looking at it!). There are ledges at various depths which are ideal for training. There are even some fish, pike and crayfish. It is a great site for a first open water dive, for skills and for gradually acquiring depth experience.
Everyone knows Stoney. The only disagreement I have with the above excellent description is the "some fish." There are hundreds of 'em. The roach are like seagulls. Our favourite dive is with a grab bag full of sweetcorn or even bread. You are mobbed as the fish have no fear of divers. The perch dart in front of the roach to snaffle the food and even when its all gone, they all follow you about 5 metres behind waiting to pounce. It's hard to dive whilst grinning so much. A great 1 hour 5m dive, just wrap up warm:)(:
If you can go mid week you will get Stoney at its best - it's quiet! You will get a waterside car parking spot, quick refills and decent viz. Still not yet seen the monster pike - maybe one day. I still think the diver log scheme is poor value for money.
John Green, BSAC Advanced Instructor
Stoney Cove is a 5 star site. The guys and gals are really friendly. I have a secret location of the giant pike... go to the block house at the far end of the 7 metre shelf then look closely in the weeds or behind the structure itself - hope u like jumpy moments! I have dived at Stoney over 100 times and I'm still going. Thanks to all the staff for all their hard work.
I dived at Stoney last Monday and saw two lovely adult pike they must of been at least over 10pounds in weight. One was at the rocky edge of the novice area and one at the Stangarth. I also saw lots of dead crayfish. Please remember if you are new to Stoney please don't handle them as this will kill them due to stress. If you would like a dive buddy to dive at Stoney please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stoney is the second inland dive site I've visited. Just got back from a weekend training to get to 20m. It really does have great facilities and friendly staff and I was really impressed with the visibility - even on the novice shelf, it was clear as a bell despite loads of trainees (myself included) thrashing about too close to the bottom... Definitely want to return - the sooner the better!
I recently dived Stoney Cove for the first time and I have to say I was utterly impressed. Facilities at the site were excellent. Huge schools of perch and loads of sunken "toys" to navigate to and swim around. Finally, the staff: friendly, professional and plenty of them looking after us, even had a show of their rescue procedures. Response boat was out and at the area in less them a minute of the alarm being raised!! Thankfully it was a false alarm and all was well but reassuring to know they're on the ball. Stoney Cove is now a firm favourite of mine and will be seeing a lot more of me.
What a fantastic place Stoney is. I re-took up scuba after about a 20 year break, and Stoney Cove was the place I used to get back in to Scuba. F A N T A S T I C ! ! ! ! !
The tank has been moved out from the bus stop and has been placed off the stern of the Stanegarth 160degrees and follow your nose.
(if anyone would like to mark the new location on a copy of our map and mail it in we'll update the map this end - dsd)
Stoney Cove is a brilliant place to dive, the Stangarth is one of the the best attractions there. PLUS it's not a dirty site and the facilities are great.
Stoney Cove is great! If you dive midweek or early morning the visibility will be quite good. The Stangarth is a must see, haven't found the giant pike though. Try not to kick up too much silt, because it can totally mess up the visibility!
Stoney is a great place to learn and as a first time diver I didn't find the water temp too bad (October 2005). Plenty of fish to see that got very close as well, also enough things to look at on the novice shelf. Great 1st open water dive BUT too busy to get into.
If you want to see the pike you need to do a night / very early dive and go to the DC10 cockpit as that is were he sleeps!
Ian Boggis, PADI Advanced & BSAC Sports Diver
Visited Stoney Cove last weekend (26th & 27th November 2005) to complete my Open Water - loved the place! We were lucky enough to see the pike and although the last weekend in November the water temp was around 11 degrees. 7mm Semi Dry was more than adequate.
Stoney has to be the best inland site I have visited. Facilities are excellent, staff friendly, and the rescue crew have got great reactions as we saw when the whistles sounded during a night dive. Altogether this has to be one of the top sites in the UK. Recommended to novice and pro alike.
I like the place but £15 entry is just far too expensive.
I've been diving for a year now. Did my first open water dive at Stoney. I love it, it's a great place to dive.
I've been diving Stoney Cove for over seven years, it's my local dive site. The staff are superb as is the site, it's like one big family. Go there and enjoy it, I agree though that diver log is a rip off.
Mark Willoughby, BSAC Open Water Instructor
Did my first open water dive at Stoney Cove in April this year (2006), what a great place. The initial £15 in is a bit excessive but once a member £8 a time is fair for what you get. I've been four times since and I'm hoping to get in a good few more in the next couple of weeks before the world cup starts. The Stanegarth is excellent and on the last dive we did see the pike, in fact a total of 7 all in one bunch just the other side of the block house in the reeds.
I did my open water course at Stoney Cove in April. People said it would be a bad time to dive due to it being cold but I dove in a 5mm semi with a shorty over the top and I was really snug until I did my mask skills and it was like putting my head into a deep freezer. All in all it was a fantastic first open water dive, all thanks to Chris Ward from Scuba Duba in Sheffield who I did my course with "what a great instructor" I am booking my advanced with him in October. I have been back since and think it's a great dive site.
Completed my Nat. Geo & part of my Adv here (Feb & April '06). Saw the pike on both visits! Enjoyed it but would like to try some pleasure dives. Lots of interesting features. The lack of facilities was a bit of a let down though, especially after Capernwray.
Angela Robson, PADI Adv Open Water Diver
Like many I completed my O/W at Stoney and have so many fond memories considering I only dived there the four times. Most notable was diving with a metre and half vis along the bottom just before going over the ledge and free falling down into the unknown. An experience I'll never forget and always makes me smile. Loads of fish contrary to what my friends were telling me and still insist. I also believe it will benefit me greatly when I get the chance to dive the warmer tropical waters in the near future. Definitely want to return!
Been diving the Stony Cove since 1989 and have always enjoyed it, I'm always looking for new buddies, anyone wanting to dive get me at email@example.com the place is great, the staff are always supportive and helpful, first rate and getting better, just hope they don't get too big.
I did my very first dives at Stoney Cove and did my final training dives there, I love it, I must have done around 34 dives there. It's a pain when the poolside car park is full and you have to carry all your kit on your back down to the dive site but other than that, no bad points about it.
Fantastic dive site, have dived 25 times and still more to see. Would recommend.
Hi Guys - great to see so many positive comments and experiences on here for Stoney Cove. I'm keen to keep the map and information up to date so any comments / feedback from current users of the information on dive site directory and in the PDF print information would be greatfully recieved. Is it useful from a diver perspective? / What's good? / What's not so good? / What could be improved? / Is anything outdated or missing?
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
Excellent site for novices and experienced divers. Variable conditions provide valuable learning opportunities for all. Can get busy with some dive groups not following good practice. Suggest traffic light controls on 6m shelf during busy periods!
Absolutely fantastic, I just completed my AOW here (February 2007)and found the staff very friendly. My instructor was fantastic and the visibility was pretty good. It was a little chilly even in a drysuit but with so much to see and lots of fish, I loved every minute of it. I even saw 3 pike in one dive and witnessed one of them catching lunch. Something I will never forget.
I've dived at Stoney loads and love it. We dive in Semi-drys and don't get too cold. Best place to dive around here (Newmarket).
Dived Stoney all round last year and is our fav dive site. Plenty of aquatic life and the Stangarth is worth a visit.
A friend and I dived Stoney last week and saw some huge perch inside the cockpit of the Viscount. I see from this website a lone picture of a carp on the surface. Has anyone else seen carp at Stoney?
Love it, hate it, it is still a great site, did my first dive here in 1979. Wasn't as deep then. Scared the pants off me, been going back ever since. Mid weeks are ace, go any time you will enjoy it. Happy diving!
Ex Royal Navy - Ships Diver. Left diving for years, did open water in Mexico (2007) have done 15 dives at Stoney Cove. Did advanced open water with Stoney Cove - the instructors are the best, trust me, I am going to do deep dive speciallity next.
I have been diving at Stoney many times and can reccommend it as a great training place. The facilities are good too. Mid week diving is better though quieter and less silty.
Scott Meyers, PADI Divemaster
Too expensive at 15 quid and the changing facilities are a disgrace. All the money they take from us divers should lead to better facilities. It seems customers don't matter. The diving is good though..
I found Stoney to be a very professional dive site, great shop! Exit of the water can be tricky though but don't let that put you off. Must get there well early though at weekends, otherwise it's a long trek to the water with your gear on. I've heard some sites shuttle divers every 15 minutes...
Just completed my open water course and for someone who until now would find it a real effort to go to the swimming pool I have suddenly got the diving bug. This has opened up a whole new world for me and my partner. The diving instructors, Bob, Graham and the rest were real diamonds and made the whole experience so easy and friendly. You guys were great, thanks.
I work at stoney cove but have never dived so it’s nice to see these underwater snaps.
I completed my open water at Stoney Cove today. The viz wasn't too great but still plenty to look at. I really enjoyed the weekend and will return here on a regular basis. I just wanna say a big thank you to Katie and Darren from submission diving school in Stoke-on-Trent for helping me get over my "mask removal fear"
Has anyone seen the really big carp (around 30-40lbs) I spotted in the reeds uder the pub Oct 12th, I think it was a leather carp as it was very dark brown in colour, a very impressive fish biggest I've seen in freshwater.
I have been to Stoney Cove many times including on my open water course. It's ideal for a days diving with a huge list of things to see, but the Stangarth has got to be one of the best.
I’ve dived Stoney Cove loads of times it's a fantastic dive site for beginners and alike, but it is becoming a victim of its own success as at the weekends it can be like Blackpool on heat.
David Morby, Club Diver SAA
I must say that I am very happy with Stoney and its staff, I had my first visit there in mid January 08, yes the water was cold at 7 degrees but it was crystal clear and I had superb diving. The staff are all friendly which is more than I can say for other inland sites I have visited, all in all I think you dive this site once and you will return.
One thing that really added to the day for me was that after 3 dives at 7 degrees walking into the changing rooms and them being clean and heated, this was a lovely touch and a different class to somewhere such as Guildenburgh.
My very first 2 open water dives were at Stoney Cove, and since then I have dived there many many times.
I am now waiting to buy new dive equipment as all my gear has been stolen (not insured) stupid or what, but as soon as it is replaced I will be back to Stoney enjoying all that is offered.
I have dived stoney quite a few times & it's a fantastic place to learn to dive, test equipment etc. The price of entry is very reasonable; the people who feel it's to expensive should try somewhere else and see what they get for there entry fee.
Richard in Essex
Brilliant dive site, loved every bit of it. Good facilities and brilliant staff, lots to see underwater. Recommended to everyone.
This is an amazing dive site — I went here to finsih my course and I loved it :D
James McEvoy, Age 14 — 12/11/2010
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