Welcome to Stoney Cove
Stoney Cove is a disused and flooded quarry based in Leicestershire. The centre is extremely popular with divers from across the UK, and has long been a Scuba 2000 preferred location for training and practice dives right from the very early days. This is largely because it offers diving for all levels and different depths, with easy access to the water and often better visibility than some other inland training centres.
The facilities at Stoney are also good, with parking, a fully stocked dive shop, air & nitrox filling, changing facilities, hot food/drinks and a bar.
Highlights from our July 2022 Trip to Stoney Cove
What Can You See at Stoney Cove?
There’s a variety of underwater attractions, spread across the different depth areas. In the shallows, you can find:
The Viscount aircraft cockpit (Map ref. 1)
The Viscount rests just off the Bus Stop entry point and on the edge of the roadway, leading down to the deeper areas of Stoney Cove. Now home to some of the Cove’s pike and perch residents, this makes a great stop to explore and take photos at the beginning or end of a dive.
The Nautilus (Map ref. 2)
An artistic replica of The Nautilus from Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Captain Nemo’s sub). The Nautilus rests along the 7 metre ledge. Built from solid steel, The Nautilus looks quite unique and is worth passing by for a look. Makes for great photos too when then visibility is clear.
Archways beneath the pub (Map ref. 3)
Originally constructed by Italian Prisoners of War, these archways make a fun swim through and are a beacon for beautiful sunlight passing through the windows on a sunny day.
The Gresham Ship (Map ref. 26)
The remains of this armed Elizabethan merchantman ship were moved to Stoney Cove in 2012. The ship originally sank in the River Thames over 400 years ago! After being stored underwater at Horsea Island in Hampshire for around eight years, Stoney Cove has now become the final resting place.
The Majority of Diving at Stoney Cove is Around 22 Metres Deep
In the deeper 18 – 22 metre area, which is ideally suited to intermediate divers and those building their experience, you will find:
The Wessex (Map ref. 4)
The Wessex helicopter rests at the bottom of the northern cliff face. Although it was in immaculate condition when it was purposefully sunk at Stoney Cove, divers have taken bits from it over the years. It still makes an interesting dive and can be combined with dives to the Stanegarth or the other wrecks beyond it.
The Bus (Map ref. 5)
The bus lies close to the cliff edge, which drops down to 36-metres. The area around it is silty and it can be tricky to find but when conditions are good, it makes a great dive.
Stanegarth (Map ref. 15)
The Stanegarth, a steam-powered tug boat built in 1910, was deliberately sunk at Stoney Cove in the year 2000. A buoy marks its position in the lake but it’s also possible to navigate to it using the anchor and chain. To find the anchor, head down the roadway to the 18-22m area, then swim to the left along the bottom of the cliff to find the anchor. Then follow the chain directly to the Stanegarth.
Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) Tank (Map ref. 16)
The APC Tank was built in 1964, carried a crew of 11, including the driver and was equipped with a Rolls Royce engine. Once used for transportation, river crossings and winching tasks, this 8-tonne beast now lies approximately 185 degrees from the Wessex helicopter and a short swim from the MV Belinda.
Defiant (Map ref. 24)
A Dutch tugboat was discovered at a farm in the north east of England, this vessel was believed to have been used during World War Two as a means of a escape for two men. The Defiant was sunk at Stoney Cove in 2009 and now provides an interesting dive.
MV Belinda (Map ref. 25)
MV Belinda, a trawler originating from the north sea, now rests in the cove between the Defiant and the APC Tank. She was sunk in 2010 and still has a very solid steel structure, with a prominent wheelhouse and her name clearly marked on the side.
Other Points of Interest
In this area you can also find other points of interest including a land rover, a van, a replica 17th Century Galleon (although very worn) and an aircraft wreck at the far side of the Cove.
What Lurks in the Deepest Depths of Stoney Cove?
The deepest parts of Stoney Cove are dark, cold and a far-cry from the comparatively ‘tropical’ shallows. This area is strictly for advanced and experienced divers. Temperatures are much colder and as you descend down from the 20 metre cliff, it feels like somebody switched the lights off! The silty bottom is also a hazard, so divers must take care not to disturb the silt and reduce visibility.
For those who are experienced, there are two points of interest in this area:
The Deep Hydrobox (Map ref. 9)
The hydrobox is marked by the orange buoy close to the entrance of Stoney Cove. Comprising a 5 metre tall metal structure, the box is designed to provide a dry working environment for underwater tasks (e.g. welding). Divers exploring the box can swim through the top opening and out through the bottom. Great care must be taken when exploring the box, due to the depth, risk of reduced visibility and entering an enclosed, overhead space inside the box.
The Shiers Bell (Map ref. 27)
Situated 25 metres west of the hydrobox lies the Shiers Bell. This feature was added in 2017, having previously been tested at Stoney Cove in 1974, before being put to work commercially during work at the Thames Barrier in the 1970’s.
Join us for diving at Stoney Cove
We have regular club diving trips at Stoney Cove and can also offer private guided diving or scuba coaching too. Please check the dates here or simply get in touch to discuss something more personalised.
Not qualified and want to try out or learn scuba diving or snorkelling in Leicester? We offer that too – click here for more information.