Andark Lake - Atlas Obscura

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Andark Lake

Swanwick, England

One of the country's largest diving schools set in a picturesque nature reserve. 


Andark was originally formed in 1976 as a commercial diving business in Southampton, England.  Andark divers would work on everything from surveying ship hulls to underwater construction. In 1980, the company diversified and started a scuba diver training program.

In 2011, the business expanded yet again. On the high ground behind Andark, a small yet deep lake was constructed. This bowl-shaped lake, 40m x 60m, known as Andark Lake, became one of Europe’s first purpose-built scuba diving lakes. Today, Andark Lake is still one of England’s biggest leisure diving schools.

Today, the area surrounding the lake is a nature reserve. Andark Lake employees work to make sure the lake doesn’t have a negative impact on local wildlife, even ensuring the water is filtered naturally through reeds and weeds. The lake is also used for open water swimming (including ice swimming in the winter), camping, and the very rare helicopter landing spot.

The lake hosts a small shop and cafe, it is a nice tranquil spot to relax and enjoy a sunny day. The shop keeps a file about what wildlife can be seen at the lake, which nature enthusiasts can request to see.

Know Before You Go

The main car park is at the bottom of the 300m track leading up to the lake. Next to the lake is parking for the campsite and blue badge holders. 

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August 11, 2023

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