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Global diving travel has become increasingly easy over the last decade or so, providing easy access to a growing number of tropical and exotic destinations. So, for many divers residing in cooler climates or new to the sport, it is tempting to look only towards these warm distant destinations and perhaps ignore the wealth of marine life on their own doorstep.

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Octopus | Mark Webster

Although I have the opportunity to travel regularly to warmer climates, this never discourages me from diving as often as I can in my cooler, but no less spectacular, home waters around the south west peninsula of Cornwall in the United Kingdom. The south west peninsula and county of Cornwall is physically remote from the remainder of the British Isles and also has a rich history full of myth, legend, smuggling and illicit ship wrecking. Industry is sparse in this area, which boasts spectacular countryside, and as a consequence, it is one of the UK’s most popular tourist destinations offering both a slower pace of life, a mild climate and miles of unspoiled coast line and secluded beaches.

 The rugged granite of the peninsula juts out into the Atlantic and has a striking contrast between its two coasts. There are calm sleepy inlets, coves and fishing villages on the south coast, while there are dramatic towering cliffs and the power of the Atlantic on the north coast. The rugged topography of the peninsula extends far out to sea, forming reefs, pinnacles and shoals teaming with life.

 You can dive a deep wreck in the morning, a spectacular sheer drop-off in the afternoon, and explore shoreline gullies and tunnels in the evening, or after dark. All this makes the area popular with both diving and marine life enthusiasts seeking the variety this coastline provides. It is also popular with the family diver who wishes to mix his or her sport with exploring the attractions on land, some lazy days on the beaches, and the occasional foray under the waves.