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Northern Ireland's long coastline and fascinating loughs offer some fabulous diving opportunities. The North Coast is known for spectacular drop offs, wrecks and reefs both deep and shallow - for all levels. Strangford Lough is home to 15 divable sites, while Belfast Lough offers up to 20 dive sites.

Map of Northern Ireland

Ballintoy Harbour

Grid Reference: D059448

Superb shore/boat dives. Excellent gullies cut into limestone rock on one side with volcanic rock on the other side of dive site

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

Grid Reference: D060450

The island north of the bridge as some lovely diving including a cavern going under the island. Great drop offs.This is the famous Guinness bridge

HMS Drake

Grid Reference: D130500

14100 ton heavy cruiser torpedoed by U-79 on 2nd October 1917. Lying in 18 metres of water in Church Bay, Rathlin Island.

Iron Man (Storks)

Grid Reference: C883410

This can be a dangerous reef between skerries and Dunluce Castle. Dive drops down from surface to 20+ metres. North side very good. Various ancient artifacts have been found on site

Lough Gary

Grid Reference: D167513

Government transport formerly of MacBrayne's Hebrides fleet struck rocks finally sinking off the east coast of Rathlin on 21st January 1942. Lying in 33 metres of water, upright and intact. Superb dive

MV Alastor

Grid Reference:

As a wreck dive for a novice this is an excellent site. From the pier there is a line that leads directly to the stern on the port-side. The wreck still has its funnel and is home to many species of fish - particularly a female conger eel which has made its home behind the bath at the starboard side of the wreck. There is a companionway that is good for getting used to swim-throughs and when you look up from the bottom of the bow (clear of the sand) you get a real impression of how big the wreck is.

North Wall - Rathlin Island

Grid Reference: D135518

The visibility can be absolutely stunning at easily over 40m making this one of the most truly awesome dives in the UK & Ireland. The sheer vertical walls have masses of deadman's finders, sponges and such like. Cuckoo and other wrasse varieties are common and at 28-34m is a truly spectacular sea arch. Below this are a series of large sea caverns. Eventually it's time to ascend into the kelp forest above, at 20m, where sea hen may be found, with a variety of mackerel, pollack, and moon jellyfish.


Grid Reference: C872419

Located north of skerries. Minium depth 25 metres. Good planning and well equipped, qualified divers can have a superb dive here. Strong currents make this deep reef a dive to remember

Shamrock Pinnacle

Grid Reference: D083552

Rises from the sea bed at 60 metres up to 20 metres, 7 miles offshore. this dive needs exceptionally calm weather.

Skerries Cavern

Grid Reference: C873429

Cavern located on the shore side of skerries, walls covered in soft corals.

The Blue Pool

Grid Reference: C847403

The Blue Pool is a well known divers favourite. Overhangs, reef and boulders provide loads of homes for marine life. Be careful of fishing lines and a swell can make exits difficult at times. Recent night dive we saw cuttlefish, octopus, lobsters congers etc.

The Maidens

Grid Reference: D429044

The Maidens is a group of 9 rocks located approximately 6 miles north of Larne. The diving here is spectacular and the natural underwater landscape remains relatively undisturbed by man - possibly as a result of strong tides. With local knowledge and neap tides the clear waters of the Maidens are a must for visiting divers. All of the wrecks lie between 5m - 18m of water with one, the ‘Housatonic’ extending down to 35m.

The Portnahapple

Grid Reference: C765363

The Portnahapple is a naturally formed old swimming cove. Nice 7m overhangs leading out to kelp forest. Large conger in rock crevice on South side. Makes great safe night dive. Very tame dogfish.

The Sard

Grid Reference: C827393

The Sard is well broken up due to location. Boiler still intact. Large sheets of metal plating. Home to hundreds of edible crabs. Can be shore dived if very fit and keen of climbing down rocks and then back up again

The Skerries - East North Face

Grid Reference: C873429

This is a classic wall from surface to 20metres with boulder slope down to 30+metres. Sponges and dead man's finger's even down at 40 metres, upper walls thick with life. Take advantage of current and make this an easy drift dive.

The Templemore

Grid Reference: D121429

Sank in Ballycastle Bay on 6th December 1911 in heavy weather. Lying in 18 metres of water, well broken up. This wreck is inhabited by loads of tame conger eels around boiler section,which may be hand fed by divers. Bow section full of fish life


Grid Reference: C845404

The Towry sank while under tow for Portrush from Portstewart on 20th June 1930. Lying in 18 metres of water. Bow and stern sections intact. Excellent dive & Superb night dive. Check out conger in Boiler and the one at rear of stern.

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