Learn to dive in Northumberland

Create your own adventure.

Become an eco-conscious PADI scuba diver.

Use your new skills to protect the ocean.

If you’re reading this, there’s a VERY good chance you're head over heels in love with the ocean. 

  • Were you blown away by coral reefs teeming with life on Blue Planet?
  • Did you have an amazing snorkelling adventure on holiday?
  • Are you completely hooked on scuba diving after the fun you had during your try dive?
  • Do you want to get involved with ocean conservation and protect the place you love so much?

You'll love learning to dive in Northumberland.

We are spoilt rotten with amazing dive sites and incredible marine life encounters right on our doorstep.

While exploring the Northumberland coast, you'll encounter reefs teeming with marine life (move over tropical reefs, you ain't got nothin' on the North East!)

You'll meet crabs, lobsters, schools of colourful fish, beautiful coral (yes, there's coral here!) and if you're really lucky you'll get to hang out with grey seals, dolphins, whales... it's. just. the. best.

We love it so much, we need your help to protect it.

When you learn to dive, you acquire skills that help save the ocean. Only scuba divers can witness the impact of marine debris and climate change underwater. With your new skills, you'll be able to do something about it!

You'll help us pick up litter during dives. You'll contribute to surveys providing essential scientific data. And most importantly, you'll learn techniques to minimise your impact on marine life through responsible interaction.

You pick the adventure

We’ll use the PADI Open Water Course as a basic framework to start your underwater adventure. You’ll learn all the essential skills that scuba divers need to be confident and safe in the water. 

Our amazing instructors will work with you 1:1 (although diving is always more fun with a buddy so bring your mates along too!). They will teach you everything you need to know to become a fantastic eco-diver, all on a timescale that suits you best.

But that’s just the beginning of the journey. You will create your own training plan and customised adventure - tell us what you want to get out of your training and we’ll make it happen!

  • Want to dive with the seals at The Farne Islands? Let’s go!
  • Want to explore sunken wrecks? You got it!
  • Want to get involved in our ocean conservation projects? Yasss!
  • Want to go diving every weekend? So do we!

PROTECT THE OCEAN

EXPERIENCED INSTRUCTORS

AMAZING FACILITIES

CUSTOMISE YOUR ADVENTURE

CHOOSE YOUR SCHEDULE

1:1 TRAINING

"WOW! I’m buzzing! I even found a plastic bottle on my first dive and tapped my Instructor Emma on her fin so she could grab it. It was epic! It's unlike anything I’ve ever experienced."

- Paul

What's involved?

Become an ocean advocate during an adventure that you create. With prices starting from £695.00 you’ll receive amazing scuba diving training that gets you certified as a diver and using your skills to protect the ocean. 

  • In-depth independent study. Gain a solid understanding of really important diving and marine conservation concepts.
  • Confined water sessions. Jump in our training tank and pool with your instructor to practice all your essential scuba skills.
  • Open water dives.  Explore the beautiful Northumberland coast, meet incredible marine life, and use your new skills to protect the ocean.
  • Create your own adventure. Add incredible experiences or extra training that help you achieve your bucket list goals.
  • Choose a training schedule. Organise your sessions around work and family commitments. 

How does it work?

STEP 1

Describe your adventure.

We know you want to learn to dive, but what sparked that goal?

Tell us exactly what you want to get out of your training - just hit the button below and answer some quick questions (it’ll only take a couple of minutes)

STEP 2

Choose your adventure.

We’ll send you an adventure menu by email. It will include everything you need to know about the PADI Open Water Course (your basic training) plus some suggestions for activities or extra sessions that we think you will love based on what you told us. 

You’ll see exactly what’s included, how long we think it will take and how much it will cost.

STEP 3

Organise your adventure

Book a time to visit the dive centre or take a virtual tour over zoom.

We’ll answer any questions you might have, introduce you to the team, schedule your training and once you’re happy with everything, you’ll dive right in!

Ready to become an

Learn to dive, have an amazing adventure while you're training, and do your bit to protect the ocean.

FAQs

The Ocean Advocate Adventure is suitable for complete novices. You don't need any prior scuba diving or snorkelling experience, although it does help if you feel generally confident in the water.

Before you begin your adventure, you must meet these requirements:

  • You must be at least 12 years of age (although this depends on the time of year - there's more info about this in the "is this adventure suitable for kids?" section)
  • You must have reasonable swimming skills (you need to be able to swim for 200m and float for 10 minutes as part of your training)
  • You must be in good physical health and complete this Medical Statement (Please take a look at this form. It's a self-declaration of your fitness to dive by answering a series of yes/no questions. Depending on your answers, you may need to take the form to your GP to get signed off as fit to dive before you can hit the water.)

During your Ocean Advocate adventure, you will forge the basis of your future diving journey. Learn from the best, most experienced, and passionate instructors in the region and start your journey the right way. We are committed to developing divers with outstanding skills and who share our environmentally conscious attitude towards scuba diving.

Your training is all about YOU.

YOU pick the schedule.

Your life is busy and we can help make it as easy as possible to arrange your training.

Confined water sessions are completely flexible in our onsite training tank. You can jump in during weekdays, late into the evenings, weekends. Whatever works best for you.

We're out diving every weekend and in the summer we do lots of weekday and evening dives too.

YOU decide when you're ready to progress.

Every student learns at a different pace. There'll be plenty of time built into your adventure to develop as a scuba diver. If you feel you need more sessions, that's absolutely fine by us. We want you to feel confident and competent when you're out exploring the ocean.

YOU choose the adventure.

There is soo much fun to be had off the Northumberland coast. You'll be qualifying as a PADI Open Water Diver, but that is only the framework of your adventure! You tell us what you want to achieve, so whether that's diving on wrecks or meeting cheeky grey seals, we can build that into your package.

Our credentials.

We are a PADI 5* Instructor Development Centre which means our team train everyone from beginner divers just like you, all the way up to instructor level.

Nic and Jim (1the co-founders of The Fifth Point) have been teaching people to dive for over a decade. They have created a very special team of instructors and divemasters. They're amazing in the water, but most importantly they're going to make sure that you feel welcome and like you're part of the family.

Our commitment to protecting the ocean.

The ocean is a very special place. It's our playground, our office, our happy place. It's also the world's life support system. Without it, there would be no life on Earth.

As a scuba diver, you will witness first-hand the pressures that the ocean face. From the devastating impact of climate change on underwater habitats to the issues caused by marine debris.

As a scuba diver, you also have the skills to do something about it!

Your actions on land and underwater can directly protect the ocean. You'll learn how you can tweak your lifestyle and make better choices when it comes to single-use plastic or which seafood you eat. You'll get involved in underwater clean-ups to remove the trash that can kill marine life.

Diving with The Fifth Point is joining an army of like-minded eco-divers who do everything they can to protect what they love.

 

The basic framework of your adventure is the PADI Open Water Diver course. You will become a fully qualified diver who is certified to dive to 18m with a buddy anywhere in the world.

This part of the adventure consists of four main phases:

  • Knowledge Development
  • Confined Water Dives
  • Water Skills Assessment
  • Open Water Dives

Knowledge Development

You'll work through your Knowledge Development in your own time using awesome PADI elearning. We'll help you get this all set up when we see you.

There's an introduction followed by 5 chapters and the eagle-eyed among you will clock that chapter 1 links in with your first confined water session, chapter 2 talks about confined session 2 etc. This means that if you treat each chapter like a homework task to be completed before your next water session, you'll be prepped and ready to smash the skills!

Using the elearning in this way also makes it super easy to fit around everything that's going on in your life. Each chapter will take less than 2 hours to complete, so you can spread out your learning rather than trying to cram everything in last minute.

The theory is really interactive with sections to read and videos to watch. At the end of each chapter you'll complete a Knowledge Review. At the end of Chapter 5, you'll complete the final exam.

If you have any questions about the concepts you've learnt during your elearning, your instructor is always available to help. During your water sessions, they are going to help you apply your new knowledge to real life diving.

Confined Water Sessions

You'll complete at least 5 Confined Water Sessions where you'll learn the basics of scuba diving and build your confidence. Most of these sessions take place in our onsite training tank at The Fifth Point but you'll also come to at least 1 big pool session at Astley High School too.

You will use the time in confined water to prepare for diving in the sea. There's no time limit on how long this takes. Some students fly through their initial confined water training, others take a little bit longer. It's important that you and your instructor both feel that you're ready. If you want extra sessions to be built into your adventure, we'll make it happen!

Water Skills Assessment

At some point during the course, you'll need to prove that you've got basic water skills. You'll swim freestyle non-stop for 200m (or with mask, fins and snorkel for 300m) and float in water too deep to stand for 10 minutes.

Open Water Sessions

Depending on the adventure you've created, you'll complete at least 4 dives in Open Water. We regularly visit cracking local dive sites including Collywell Bay, St Mary's Island and Beadnell. We also venture further up north for some stunning dives in Eyemouth. We try to dive in the ocean whenever possible. However, if the weather turns and sea diving is not an option, we'll head to some cool lakes and quarries inland instead.

What comes next is up to you!

The PADI Open Water Course is just the bare bones of your adventure. There is so much you can add to make it more challenging, exciting or to tick something off your bucket list. It all depends on what you're interested in, what you want to learn and what you want to get out of your training.

Here's a list of the most popular add ons that our customer's request

  • The PADI AWARE Specialty Course. All of our ocean advocates add this to their adventure because they want to learn more about how to protect the ocean. It's a short video course hosted by our co-founder and ocean hero Nic. You'll learn 10 tips to add to your everyday life and how to improve your diving techniques so you can become an eco-conscious diver. It's also an official PADI certification!
  • The PADI Drysuit Course. It can get chilly in the North Sea (especially if you're thinking about learning over the winter months). During this course you'll learn to dive in a drysuit. It'll keep you toasty warm during your adventure and open up year-round diving in the UK.
  • Boat dives. Your training dives will take place at some beautiful shore diving sites in Northumberland. Boat diving is just on another level and gives you access to more depth and stunning habitats. We regularly take our charter boat out to the Farne Islands and St Abbs marine reserve.
  • Get up close and personal with grey seals. We are SO lucky to have The Farne Islands on our doorstep. Over 5,000 seals call these islands home. The interactions with these cheeky little sea doggos are unforgettable.
  • Explore sunken wrecks. The Northumberland coast is scattered with wrecks. Although most of them are a little bit deeper. With a little additional training, you can start exploring World War 2 wrecks that lie at 30m!

Of course, these are just a few examples of the awesome adventures we've shared with our Ocean Advocate divers. Tell us what's on your bucket list and we can help you achieve it!

There are no set start dates for this adventure. You set the schedule.

Your training can be intensive (where you're immersed for several consecutive days) or you can do one session per week - whatever works for you!

Most intensive adventures will take 5 to 6 days (depending on the extra activities added).

A typical adventure where divers spread their sessions out usually takes around 7 to 8 weeks to complete.

You will lock in your schedule during your adventure planning visit to the dive centre (or you can dial in on a video call too).

All adventures begin with confined water sessions and theory. Once you feel confident and comfortable in the training tank, you will start to venture into the ocean.

How much will my adventure cost?

The Ocean Advocate Adventure starts at £695.00. This includes your basic training (the PADI Open Water Course), certification as a fully qualified diver and all your equipment rental (you'll be diving in a wetsuit).

Diving is always more fun with a buddy so if you're bringing a friend and you're both on the same adventure schedule, we can give you a lovely little discount!

It might be that a basic package is perfect for you - especially if you're only planning on scuba diving when you're on holiday in warmer waters.

Most of our Ocean Advocates include things like drysuit training (so they can stay toasty warm and dive all year round in the UK) or more adventurous dives from a boat with the grey seals, but this is totally up to you.

That's why we ask you lots of questions before you begin your adventure. We want to find out exactly what you want to get out of your training and what kind of adventures you'd like to have. From this information, we create an adventure menu where you can pick and choose from lots of items to personalise your adventure.

We want you to have a perfect adventure so if there's no extras you want to add on, we're not going to push you into anything. However, there may be times when we make certain items compulsory - a good example of this is requiring you to add drysuit training to your adventure if you're diving over winter. Your adventure can't happen if you don't have the correct gear for the conditions.

 

Why are you more expensive than other dive centres?

We know that our beginner scuba diving training is a lot more expensive than other centres in the North East. We totally understand why you'd question this. After all, you need to know you are spending your hard-earned cash wisely!

We always suggest that you get in touch with the other dive centres too. You need to find the centre that has the right feel for you. You also need to find the instructors who you click with the most, you're going to be spending a lot of time with them after all! The only way you can do this is by sending emails, phoning up, or best of all calling in for a visit to meet the team.

We've outlined some reasons below that give you an idea why we're more expensive:

  • We pay our instructors. Most dive centres in the UK rely on volunteer instructors who teach for free because they love it so much. While this is admirable, we don't agree with it. Our instructor team are incredible and we think they deserve to be paid for all their hard work. We support their career and progression in the diving industry and we value their training and experience.
  • We only teach 1:1. Our beginner scuba diving training is 1:1 with your instructor (or if you're bringing a buddy it'll just be you guys). This means you get the full attention of your instructor and all the support you need.
  • You choose the adventure schedule. We have the facilities to be completely flexible when it comes to scheduling your adventure. You can jump in our onsite training tank during weekdays, evenings and weekends. We dive in the ocean several times each week.

You will use top of the range, modern diving gear during your adventure. In fact, you'll be wearing exactly the same equipment as your Instructor! We'll make sure that you've got gear that fits you properly, is comfortable to wear and straight forward to use.

We supply everything you need including:

  • xDeep Zeos backplate, harness and wing buoyancy device
  • Apeks XL4 long hose regulator
  • xDeep integrated weight system and weights
  • Fourth Element Hydros 7mm semidry wetsuit or Aqualung Fusion One/Azdry dry suit with Fourth Element Artic undersuit
  • Fourth Element 3mm or 5mm hoods and gloves
  • Fourth Element 5mm Pelagic boots
  • Apeks RK3 fins
  • Aqualung i100 diving computer
  • A scuba diving air cylinder to best suit your size (choose from 7L, 10L and 12L tanks)
  • A selection of Cressi masks to choose from

Rental of all your dive equipment is included in your adventure. Investing in your own dive gear definitely has its advantages, but it's a lot of dosh! It's always nice to have your own gear when it comes to more personal items. For example, you might want to invest in your own mask, snorkel, fins maybe even your own dive computer to track and log your adventures?

When you're ready, we can help you choose your own gear and give you all the advice you need. Our Ocean Advocates also get great discounts from our store at The Honest Diver Supply Co!

How fit do I need to be to scuba dive?

You need to be relatively fit to start this adventure.

When you're in the water, swimming around, scuba diving is actually really relaxing. You'll be going nice and slow so you can take everything in.

There can be times where exertion levels increase. For example, when you have to deal with mild currents or carry your gear - it is quite heavy! Your instructors and the rest of the team are on hand to reduce this load. If you need help carrying your gear or a little tow against the current, we're here to help.

Having said that, a general level of fitness is required so you keep yourself as safe as possible - just like in any sport.

Before you hit the water, you will need to complete a Medical Statement questionnaire. Take a look through the questions here. Depending on your answers, you might have to take this form to your GP and get signed off as fit to dive before you hit the water.

 

Do I need to be able to swim?

There are some water skills assessments as part of your basic training. You'll need to swim for 200m freestyle (or 300m with mask, fins, and snorkel) and float for 10 minutes. You're not allowed to stop, touch the bottom or hold onto the sides.

But you don't need to be an Olympic swimmer! There's no time limits for the swim, you can use any stroke you like - you're just demonstrating that you can take care of yourself in the water.

Getting kids into scuba diving is one of our favourite things to do!

The Ocean Advocate Adventure is suitable for 12 years+ although it will differ slightly compared to an adult adventure.

We like to sit down with parents and guardians to work out the perfect adventure based on their child's interests, learning styles, maturity, strength etc.

For 12 to 15 year olds

  • Their adventure will be built around the PADI Scuba Diver course as their basic training framework. This qualifies them to dive anywhere in the world to a maximum depth of 12m when accompanied by a professional.
  • The basic training is less intense than the adult course. We've found that it keeps younguns much more engaged as it's a little bit shorter and gets them out into the ocean exploring sooner.
  • This adventure only runs in the warmer months (May to September) when the conditions are more favourable for young people.

For 15 to 18 year olds

  • Their adventure will be very similar to an adult adventure and will be built around the PADI Open Water course. It may be tweaked slightly depending on the individual.
  • We can run this adventure all year round but we'd make sure it was suitable depending on how well they handle the cold in the winter months!

If you'd like to discuss this more, just give us a shout!

At the end of your Ocean Advocate Adventure, you will be a fully qualified PADI Diver. You might have even picked up some other qualifications on the way too!

There is so much more fun to have, here's just a few suggestions!

Join The Submerge Scuba Subscription

Our Diver Subscription is the perfect way to keep diving after your Ocean Advocate adventure. It's aimed at divers who want to get out in the water regularly without it costing the earth.

There's different membership levels that include...

  • FREE guided dives each month
  • FREE equipment rental each month
  • FREE training tank sessions every month
  • FREE Astley High pool sessions every month
  • 10% discount on retail at The Honest Diver Supply Co
  • 10% discount on courses
  • Access to our closed Facebook group for online training, bants and support
  • Priority booking on all dives, trips and environmental activities
  • Invites to monthly socials
  • and much more...

Find out more...

Continue your education and adventures with the PADI Advanced Open Water Course

The next step on the ladder is the Advanced Course. We've got loads of different options as well as special course experience weekends including Grey Seal Encounters and Ocean Protection. The course includes at least 5 Open Water Dives and you'll also be qualified as a Dive Against Debris diver, helping us clean up the ocean one dive at a time.

Find out more...

For those who chose the Ocean Protector or Ocean Hero Open Water experience, we can also use your extra dives as credit towards your Advanced Course. Get in touch to learn more.

Start the path to Master Scuba Diver

The Master Scuba Diver rating places you in an elite group of respected divers who have earned this rating through both significant experience and scuba training. Every diver should aim for Master Scuba Diver.

To qualify you need to:

  • Be a PADI Open Water Diver
  • Be a PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
  • Be a PADI Rescue Diver
  • Hold 5 PADI Specialty Diver certifications
  • Log 50 dives