Hodge Close
photo of Hodge Close Quarry
Hodge Close Quarry Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional
General Description
Use the drop-down menu above to view STILL photography if available - VIDEO will be shown on each "Site" page if available

Hodge Close is a local beauty spot that is frequented by walkers who hike around this area. By rock climbers who enjoy the vertical slate face inside the quarry, and by we divers who enjoy exploring (photo a).

For those with other Interests
Parking is available at the top of the quarry. (photo a)
Nothing to do here but wander around the disused quarry and maybe pick up a piece of slate as a memento of your visit. If you have children - keep hold of them around this quarry. If they or you slip, the ending will be a tragic one, unless you are able to knock yourself out into the deep water as you fall. It will feel as though you have submerged into ice cubes - you have 60 seconds to get the heck out if this happens. Seriously.

Places to Stay
This site lies between Coniston and Ambleside. You will find plenty of accommodation at either of these towns / villages

Try "Stay.co.uk" or alternatively check some of these links > Hotels and Guest Houses Youth Hostels for Families etc.

How to get here
Follow A593. A small sign just over 1 mile north of Coniston states: "Hodge Close only". It's a rough ride on a single track road. Let's face it, this is a road to what was once a working quarry where a four by four might be a better solution. What Devil's Bridge near Appleby in Cumbria is to Motor Bikers and Divers - Hodge Close is the equivalent for Climbers and Divers.

Detailed Information for Divers

Main Attraction
Is diving the superb vertical rock faces in crystal clear, crisp, cold water (photo b). What draws we divers to this site is probably the very fact that it does draw us here and perhaps also it's that special atmosphere between divers - the camaraderie. Several motor vehicles are lying on the bottom too, as well as the little newts.

Viewing Freshwater Life
Sadly, life in this quarry is restrained to those who dive and a rare little chap called a newt (photo c) - in fact they are very common in here.

Dive Planning Help
Hodge Close has seen some quite fierce fighting between divers and the locals. The locals wanted and demanded peace and quiet, whilst the divers wanted to enjoy this dive and have fun. Regrettably, the site became over-popular. Gardens and Lawns were turned into parking areas with the result that serious problems developed. Roads were barricaded, police, solicitors and court actions were fired out by both sides and an unsteady truce has finally been born.
Map of Hodge Close Quarry click to dive Hodge Close Quarry
Clickable map! >
Under National Trust jurisdiction
No Permission Required
Disabled divers have no access to water.
Walkers appear to like pottering around this area - why?
Rock Climbers will enjoy this site.
Very dangerous area for young children.
Who's the nearest for Dive Air?
Scottish Sub-Aqua Clubs:
Solway Sub-Aqua Club: Wigton based. Air compressor at Wigton.
West Lakes Sub-Aqua: Cockermouth based club. Air compressor sited at Cockermouth.
British Sub-Aqua Clubs:
West Cumbria: branch is based at Egremont.
Solway divers: branch is based at Whitehaven.
Kendal + Lakes: branch is based at Kendal Leisure Centre.
Altitude, Visibility, Temperature, Torches
Altitude and Depth:
When visiting, you will notice the tunnel entrance states it is an altitude dive of 150 metres (562 feet).
During summer
Visibility: 30 + metres. Special note: in spring, IF algae occurs viz can drop to 10 metres.
Temperature range is 6 to 7 degrees Celsius.
During winter
Visibility: improves to 30 + metres.
Temperature range is 6 - 7 degrees above zero.
Torches: Advisable when walking through any tunnels at the site. Needed if you want to dive the Sump or you decide to entering one of the tunnels for a few feet, you will need one to see what they look like inside! Please do not fully enter into a tunnel - several buds have been trapped in the past and sadly are no longer with us. Under the rail tracks is a cave with air pocket above.
Thermoclines: None observed.
If new to freshwater diving: this is an ideal introduction to quarry diving with excellent visibility. Sadly, access is difficult and will not be for everyone.
Communication intel
phone icon Mobile phones do work in the dive area..
phone icon Public phones: No public phones here - it is very remote. You are not likely to find any of the local residents at home either.
More useful Information for buddies
For the latest on the weather: "Scuba Weather Report"
For more air details see "Dive Clubs & Air".
Note: The above page's will remain open while you click to gather info.

Nearest toilet: NONE in this area.

If this site isn't you, no worries. Many lakes are within a ten mile or so radius of Hodge Close. Grasmere, Coniston, Windermere, etc., which is handy, if when you check out the Hodge Close site you decide it's not for you or feel it is beyond your physical abilities or simply cannot find the way in!

No fish, so no angling, but there is nearly always absailing on Bank Holidays thanks to the local absail club.
NT trying to control this site i.e. ban on diving but not yet.

National Park Authority "Visitor centre contact listing"
NT Address:- National Trust HQ
The Hollens, Grasmere, Ambleside,
Cumbria, LA22 9SW. Tel: 015394 35599.
Or Email: enquiries(at)ntrust.org.uk
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