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UK Inland Diving
Dive Site: Wraysbury
Location: Station Rd, Wraysbury, Staines, Middlesex, TW19 5ND
Description: Inland quarry
Depth: 12 metres max (40 feet)
Visibility: 5 metres (15 feet)
Located just near Heathrow, access is easy via the M25, J13. Wraysbury opens at 9am and serves mostly as a training site. The lack of visibility may make it a bad choice for a first open water dive. However, there are four 6 metre platforms, and a few things to look at including a boat, a VW Camper van, a control panel and a taxi. The onsite facilities are sufficient, but it is advisable to get there early as they only have limited parking and on busy days spaces soon run out. Entrance costs £9 (as of March 2010) and site users are issued with a membership card so thay do not have to fill out their personal details each time they go. Use their website for further details.
I went to Wraysbury for the first time with my buddy this weekend. I like the fact that the site is so close to London, but it would appear that so does every other diver in London.
The visibility was terrible, about 3m, and there was nothing of interest to see. Plus there was a two hours wait for air fills.
On the positive side, it was good to be able to park so close to the lake, the entry fee is reasonable, and the cafe/shop staff were friendly. But this will not be enough to lure me back to this inland site again.
I thought it was crap. I would rather drive an extra 150 miles and go to Vobster. What made it crap was the staff, what a moody bunch. Some old guy with grey was nice to this bunch of divers then as soon as they turned their backs he was taking the piss out of them.
Then there is the young "instructor" who I spoke to about a course. Man, he just looked down his nose at me and was so patronising, all he could talk about is how good a diver he is, talk about the military and how crap other London dive schools were and that they come to THEIR dive site to teach. It sucked, bonus was I signed up with a dive school that was teaching there on the day.
On entering the site you may wonder why you have never come across it before. It is very appealing with its lake surrounded by trees, bushes and rushes. It's very relaxing and you are made very welcome from the owner and his staff. With the cost still at £6.00 (June 2006) and a cafe serving hot drinks and 'tucker' it's very good value for money. There are no charges for non divers and a grassed area with picnic tables for people to chill out on.
As for the diving, we found plenty including the taxi, boat, staging, coach & minibus and a shoal of roach. It is a bit of a problem with the training going on but it's a case of keeping clear of the area and get yourself to the other side of the lake, there's still plenty to see.
On the downside..........The lack of decent toilets and showers is a real shame. I'm not sure if it's planning or the lack of mains drainage which is the problem but the plastic portaloos are not good. They serve the purpose but that's where it ends. The staff do their very best to keep them clean but it's not long into the day before the loos are not a place to be unless your desperate.
Please don't let the loos put you off though!! Pinch your nose, hover, do what ever it takes but try and visit Wraysbury, it was a wonderful day out and I'm sure the owners have the facilities issues in hand and when it's built I'm sure you will have to queue to get in.
Toilets are currently being built at the centre now that planning has been approved so not long till the plastic ones are gone for good.
I dived this site for the first time last week, 19/01/08. It was much better than I had expected and has a nice wreck that you can swim through. The facilities were basic but it has everything you need (including toilets and showers) worth a visit.
New toilet and shower block is very good the young instructor mentioned in earlier posts has now departed, sadly though Wraysbury is a shadow of the site it was two years ago and most of the good staff that were there have all moved on to the detriment of the place.
Dived lake today (Monday 7th April 2008). Viz was simply stunning: easily between 25m and 30m for those that have dived here before you could see the whole bus, see through from one end to the other to the container and the platform beyond it was incredibly good. Water Temp 10°C. Had a great day.
New toilet and shower block is excellent. This site is well worth a visit Monday through to Friday with the present vis you will not be disappointed at all.
In response to Peter Maskell's comments, I think he has wraysbury confused with Horsea Island. Horsea is owned by the MOD where as Wraysbury is privately owned. It is Horsea that is to close fairly soon due to the MOD wishing to store more sensitive military material at the site.
Wraysbury is still going strong, dived there two days this week (April 2008). Vis was awesome well over 20m better than Stoney Cove at present by a long way.
FYI, it's now £8 per diver. Viz is rubbish on the side of the lake closest to the slipways & carpark. However, if you swim over to the far side away from all the trainee divers on the platforms you can get decent viz.
The site is also open late on Wednesday nights (to 9pm IIRC), which offers to opportunity to dive after work.
A lovely relexed place to dive. The vis is never that great, but hey I've dived in worst..... The facilities are basic but it has everything you need and they're clean unlike some larger inland sites up north. The staff can be a bit hit or miss and the air fills take forever. But saying that the site gets a little bit better each time I go.
03/11/2008: I just visited Wraysbury for the first time, the vis being reported was around 4 to 6 metres with a temperature of 11c. I was unable to dive myself due to blocked nose and a cold, so I could only provide surface support for OW training. This did however allow me to speak to staff and look around the site, I got a good feeling for the site and can't wait to go back and dive it for myself.
28/05/2009: Just spent the May bank holiday diving with my daughter and a couple of other buddys at Wraysbury, get days diving. Vis was around 4 - 6 metres with water temp between 15 - 17°C depending on depth. Visit this site at the right time and you wont be disappointed.
Check out my site for photos of diving at Wraysbury: www.richards-world.com
Richard Welch, PADI Rescue Diver
Our first visit for a Dry Suit training course with Tevor and Mark, both great guys, very patient and knowledgable. Went on a Tuesday and virtually had the whole lake to oursevles. Vis was great 10m+. Definately will go back again and well recommended.
Keith & Sam, PADI OW | 01/05/2009
I have used this diving centre a few times and always found the staff very helpful and friendly. The shop is always worth a visit as it is always good value for money, and there is a cafe and a bar. The lakes visibility is ok at the start of the day, but quickly gets silted up so the viz goes down to about 2 - 3m. The car park is right next to the lake so there is not a long walk with all your kit. The changing rooms are adequate and the are toilet facilities on site. Its £8 to dive all day and £3.50 for re-fills on your own cylinder.
Shane Farnham | 05/07/2009
This site is improving all the time, yes the staff can be surly at times but in most cases they are extremely helpful. Site facilities have improved enormously and now includes a male & female changing room, toilets, kit shop, food shop and now a bar. Water conditions vary with low visibility around main training areas, but temperatures last week were 20°C. Weds pm is a great idea and it gets quite busy.
Overall much better than it used to be, still a good site for Open Water Training.
Robin Gilchrist | 18/08/2009
FYI Wraysbury have put the price up to £9. What a rip off, just to dive in a muddy puddle with rude staff.
Mark Roberts | 09/03/2010
I think I must have visited a different Wraysbury compared to some of the people who have left comments here!
First visit October 2009, ALL staff couldn't do enough to ensure that we had a great days diving. Don't know where all the rude staff were, they must have had the day off!
Second visit Good Friday this year with my two nephews for a trial dive, their first go at scuba. ALL staff again couldn't do enough to make their dive enjoyable and memorable. Again, as it was Easter maybe they had given all the rude staff the day off!! It was fairly quiet so we sat chatting to the staff for a good hour after the trial dives. Two more staff arrived whilst we were chatting but they still weren’t the elusive rude ones!!
Third visit, Friday 9th April 2010. I arrived at 9am and left at 3.30pm, I had a great days diving with those same friendly staff again. Even though I was there all day, still no sign of those rude staff, it is becoming a bit of an obsession to spot one now.
OK the visibility is not the greatest and there isn't that much to see (there are some big Pike and Carp in there though!) but the surroundings are great, the STAFF ARE FRIENDLY and it is handy for anyone in London and surrounding counties. Let’s get real on this one, I would dive in a puddle if it were deep enough just for the kick I get from diving and that what it's all about. Wraysbury offers an accessible place to dive and that good enough for me.
PS: The staff are so friendly that my wife is now thinking of doing her OW course here rather than in Malta as she had planned.
Steve Howard | 15/04/2010
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