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Waterswallows quarry

Alternative Names: Hughes Brothers Quarry

Type of Dive: Waterswallows quarry is a typical freshwater quarry.

Suggested experience: Ocean Diver upwards

Distance from Birmingham: 72 miles 1hr 40min

Parking directions: Follow A6 East from Buxton. Just before leaving Buxton turn right onto Waterswallows Road. Lomas Distribution has a car park on the right opposite their site. Turn onto this. It used to be possible to drive right to the water's edge but they have now put boulders in place to stop you. It would be possible to push them to one side but when I was there security guard had seen us on CCTV and had turned up within 2 minutes of our arrival. We said we were there to dive and he said he'd turn a blind eye so we just parked where we were. The water is a relatively easy 400-yard walk. It may be worth asking for permission beforehand as not all the security may be so obliging.

Update site access: this is now unofficially via the Lomas Distribution lorry park and waterside parking is now possible for anyone diving. The whole site is now seemingly more accessible since the landowner removed all the fences and the lorry park has no gates or security, access is now 24/7.


Lat & Long: 53 16.220' N 1 52.710' W. OS grid reference 085749 Google

Tides: n/a

Depth: 40m+   

Site entry/exit: 400 Yards from the car park. Follow gravel road parallel to the car park and then around to the right.

Waterswallows quarry entry/exitWaterswallows quarry entry/exit

Underwater directions: This is a large quarry so not really sure of the best route. Probably best to look at the map and use that as a rough guide.

Air & Nitrox: Aquatech

Site Hazards: Altitude. The site itself is at 320m so would be classed as an altitude dive. For reference I believe Hodge Close is only 190m From a safety point of view the site is remote, water access is restricted. The water temp even in the summer is about 4-6 degrees (colder than Hodge or Dotty).

Nearest Public phone: Village of Peak Dale

Mobile Network service: Orange


Other comments: Planning permission has been granted for a dive site to be set up on this site but not followed through. It should be made clear that this is an altitude dive, it's over 300m above sea level and at the moment there is no access available. The site is of geological importance and this is the reason the site was never allowed to run as a dive site. The basalt rock cliffs are like the Devil's Causeway in Ireland!

Pub: None close to here.

Cafe: None close to here.

Created By: Poiret

Date: 22/2/12

Revision: 1

Thanks To: The security guard and Proscuba Diving College

Links: Link

Surface Photos:  By Jon Glanfield

Waterswallows quarry

Underwater Photos: Contact me

Dive Map: By Samantha White

Waterswallows quarry map

Dive Report: This is a very large quarry probably a little smaller than Dorothea but it appears to me that it is still filling up (there are several life buoy holders submerged around the edge). I have seen a roughly drawn map that claims it drops to over 40m although I couldn't verify that. If as I suspect it is still filling it could well end up 10's of metres deeper. Due to the size, I didn't get to see much of it. The first dive we just headed out from the entry point to the North West. The sides slope quite steeply to about 6 metres where a line of trees begins underwater and the gradient reduces. We wound our way through these to where they finished at about 10m and then continued on down to approximately 22m where it levelled out. Visibility was about 5m but the water is quite bright. There is a thin layer of silt throughout and below that a solid feeling bottom. I can't say there's a lot to see, not even piles of dumped cars but there are numerous pipes and valves running around and what look like lengths of steel rope. Having swum around for about 25 minutes with the depth changing slightly to a maximum of around 25m we decided it was getting a bit chilly and headed back.   Having been in once the second dive was a quick dash to try and find the drop off to 40m. We'd seen a drop off to 30m first time around and I headed back to this only to discover it was just a small bowl at which point I thought I'd give up. I think I was probably to far South and hadn't quite gone far enough out to reach it although I did find a caravan on the way back which I'm sad to say was the highlight. I can't say that it is a great site as there is very little to see but if you're stuck inland this certainly makes a change from Stoney Cove or Capernwray.

Dive Report:  Comment in the box below.