Farm4life Photography Exhibition 16th May 2014

April 19, 2014

Farm4Life will be holding an exhibition of Hannah Elizabeth's photography work at the View Cafe Bar

Hannah Elizabeth Farm4LifeFarm4Life will be holding an exhibition of Hannah Elizabeth’s photography work at the View Cafe Bar.

The photos were taken by Hannah during a visit to Ghana and they capture the fantastic work carried out by Farm4Life.

The event will take place on Friday 16th May 6:30 – 10:00pm and will include an Auction.

Prizes in the auction will include a beauty evening, a ride on the Wire Zip slide and many more yet to be announced.

All money raised will go towards the completion of the Adoley Welfare Centre in Amasaman, Ghana.

Join the event on Facebook here>

We would love for to come and join us!

Farm4life are a group of individuals who respond to the needs and problems caused by poverty overseas. Farm4life provide the resources for self-sufficiency. Please visit the Farm4life website to find out more.


Cherry Rebels to play free concert at View Cafe Bar, Chepstow – Sat 17 May 2014


Cherry Rebels Free Gig at the View Cafe Bar Chepstow

On Saturday 17th May 2014, we have alternative rock covers band Cherry Rebels playing a FREE concert at Chepstow’s View Cafe Bar.

Cherry Rebels are a four piece Alt Rock cover band based in the Rhondda Valleys. They play a wide variety from rock classics and new smash hits!

Their aim is to please the crowd and get
everyone up singing and dancing by bringing you a versatile
set ranging from ACDC, Rolling Stones, Beatles to
Foo Fighters, the Strokes and Kings of Leon, plus many more.

This is a free event and everyone is welcome, you can join the event on Facebook here.

Hot food is available from the View Cafe Bar until 9pm.

Some of the bands Cherry Rebels cover:

Cherry Rebels    •   Foo Fighters
    •   Stereophonics
    •   The Beatles
    •   Black keys
    •   Rolling stones
    •   Kings Of Leon
    •   Blur
    •   Pulp
    •   ACDC
    •   The Strokes
    •   Thin Lizzy
    •   Jet
    •   T Rex
    •   Black Sabbath
    •   Kaiser Chiefs
    •   Billy Idol
    •   David Bowie
    •   Metallica
    •   Steppenwolfe

Plus many more……..

Watch the Cherry Rebels in action


The View Cafe Bar can be found on the A48, just outside Chepstow at the National Diving & Activity Centre.

Location of View Cafe Bar Chepstow

Detailed map and directions to View Cafe Bar>

We look forward to seeing you


200ft of new pontoon space at NDAC diving quarry


New Pontoons at NDAC

PontoonsWe have recently installed five new 40ft long pontoons in the NDAC diving quarry.

This gives us an extra 200ft of pontoon space to meet the growing popularity of scuba diving, swimming, freediving, flyboarding, water walking and other water based activities at the NDAC.

This extra pontoon space also creates a bridge to the Saltfree freediving platform so they no longer need to take a boat trip before diving.

This development is something a lot of the divers have been asking for and is part of our ongoing investment plans, which will see half a million pounds invested in the centre.

For some more photos of the installed pontoons, take a look at some of the images on the Saltfree Facebook page, here, here and here


NDAC Director Features in Soldier Magazine

April 17, 2014

Darren Bryce NDAC in Soldier Magazine

Soldier Magazine QuoteOne of the Directors of the National Diving & Activity Centre, Darren Bryce, features in this month’s Soldier Magazine.

Darren is a former Warrant Officer with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers, REME. The article looks at how he planned and made the transition from military to civillian life, running the Chepstow Diving and Activity Centre and offers words of advice to current serving soldiers who are considering their future careers.

The Soldier Magazine article can be viewed online here >

Soldier Magazine is the official monthly Magazine of the British Army published for the UK Armed Forces by the Ministry of Defence. It is a magazine aimed at all ranks of the British Army, cadets and the wider military community, including veterans and members of the public with an interest in the military.


3,000 Likes for NDAC Facebook Page


3,000 Facebook Likes

We are really pleased to announce that the National Diving & Activity Centre (NDAC) is the first open water UK Dive Centre to reach 3,000 likes on it’s Facebook Page.

Vobster were close with 2,296 likes, Stoney Cove had 332 followers and Capernwray 457 likes at the time this was posted.

We created our new Facebook page in February 2011 and it has proved a very popular way of staying in touch with everyone.

We also have a very active Twitter feed with around 1,117 followers, and of course we have our news blog with all the latest from he site.

Please continue to share your stories, photos and videos with us as we love seeing them.

If you haven’t already liked us you can do so in the sidebar on the right, or by visiting the NDAC Facebook Page.

Thanks again!


Hope Support Services Team Building Day

April 14, 2014

Hope Support ServicesTeam Building Day

Team Building DayOn a sunny day in February, the National Diving & Activity Centre became a hub of excitement as the youth management teams of local charity, Hope Support Services, got together for the very first time.

With a buzz in the air and a spring in their step, 9 young volunteers started their day with a spot of ‘speed dating’, the perfect way to get to know each other. Six were from the well-established Herefordshire Y-Team and the others were recent recruits to the new Gloucestershire Y-Team.

The Y-Team members are all aged 14-25 years and each has experienced their own family health crisis making them well-placed to be a part of Hope, a charity which supports young people when a close family member is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Hope’s Y-Teams have their own management structure, run their own bank accounts and organise their own fundraising bids and events to pay for the support service and activities. They drive the service forward, keeping it young and fun.

Once they all knew a bit more about each other, the time had come to get them working as a team playing the ‘guttering game’ to get an egg from one end of the room to the other. Over lunch members of the Herefordshire Y-Team welcomed the new Gloucestershire members, discussed roles and responsibilities and they all signed-up to the Hope Y-Team mission statement as proof of their commitment. Then, it was time to get out on the water.

Ness Holbrook, Hope’s Youth Development Officer for Gloucestershire, said “The two teams had an amazing time on the water, building and racing their rafts. Amazingly both rafts survived the afternoon and stayed afloat! The young people did a great job working together which will stand them in good stead for their time with Hope.”

She continued “We’re really grateful to Darren and everyone at NDAC for supporting us and giving us the opportunity to use their fantastic facilities. It was the ideal place to for a team-building day like this. We’d love to come back soon!”


NDAC Closed Thursday 22nd May

April 7, 2014

ClosedThe National Diving & Activity Centre will be closed to the public for all activities on Thursday 22nd May 2014.

General site infrastructure works are taking place and the site will be closed for all divers and visitors; this also includes the Wire, Wigwams, all Diving and The View Cafe Bar.

The site will be back to normal opening times on Friday 23nd May 2014.

Apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.


The Easter GUE Experience Day 12 April 2014

March 14, 2014

GUE Training Day at NDAC

Fancy seeing what you look like in the water? – Only £25

Global Underwater ExplorersInterested or curious about GUE but never had the opportunity to see what the fuss is about or ask questions from people that will give you straight answers? Have an annoying issue with buoyancy or confidence in the water? A little rusty after the winter? Fancy seeing yourself on video? Then a GUE experience day is for you. Join GUE Instructor Gareth Burrows at the National Diving and Activity Centre on Saturday 12th April.

For only £25 you will receive guidance on your diving skills, video feedback and tips on how to improve your diving skills, and an insight into the GUE style of diving, without having to make a heavy investment in time or money. We’ll show you how to make your fin kicking more effective, how to take the stress out of ascents, and even how to swim backwards. You can attend a talk on taking the stress out of diving. You can bring any equipment, dive any gas.

Location and Date
This event is being held from 0830 on Saturday the 12th April at NDAC. Meet in the View Cafe Bar at 0830 promptly! (Location Map).

We will be covering the following
  •  Discussion – The origins and goals of GUE
  •  Discussion – The strengths and techniques of buoyancy control
  •  Dive 1 – Demonstration of trim and buoyancy control
  •  Dive 1 – Practice and video of trim and buoyancy control with in water feedback
  •  Dive 1 – Ascent with stops practice
  •  Discussion and hands-on – Kit configuration
  •  Discussion – Why team diving?
  •  Dive 2 – SMB demonstration
  •  Dive 2 – Valve drill demonstration
  •  Dive 2 – Ascent with stops practice
  •  Video Feedback for all divers
  •  Q&A

In the evening, Gareth will also be giving a talk on the diving lessons that can learnt from Captain Scott’s tragic expedition to the South Pole.

Over the weekend the NDAC is also holding a Dive Equipment Demonstration Weekend.

This day is aimed at recreational and technical divers looking into GUE for the first time. You don’t need any specific gas, any specific equipment. As long as you have an open water qualification then you can just turn up and take part. You can take what you want from the day and leave the rest. We will create an environment where people feel free to ask whatever questions like they like, and to watch demonstrations of the skills we teach, and even get some video feedback and advice on their own skills.

Organising several of these events throughout the year costs a significant amount of time and money. Nonetheless, I feel it important that these events continue to be run as non-profit. So the small registration fee of £25.00 is there to encourage those who sign up to turn up, and also to cover some of the direct costs of organising the event. Other than these direct costs, all proceeds from the event will go to the RNLI. The last event we ran ended up with £100 donated to the RNLI.

These events have become so popular that I have had to limit the registration to keep the numbers small. This enables us to answer everyone’s questions, and also to have time to look at everyone in the water. So, registration for this event is limited to 10 people.

Registration is now open. If you have any questions about this event, please do not hesitate to contact GUE. Please note that this is a non-profit event. all proceeds beyond direct costs go to the RNLI.

To attend this event, all you need to do is register at DiveDIR.

If you need accomodation there are Wooden wigwams on site at The National Diving & Activity Centre.

Food and drink is available at the View Cafe Bar

These events are always a great laugh, and people seem to get a lot out of them. Here’s what they have said in the past…

"I couldn’t believe it. I had been struggling with my trim for years.
Ten minutes in the water with a GUE instructor and it was sorted
out. Best £25 i ever spent on diving.


" presumed the GUE instructors would be boot-camp military types,
but they were just very relaxed and laid back divers – albeit divers
with incredible knowledge and skill, and the ability to pass on that
knowledge. In all honesty I went to prove a point, but after an
hour realised I had a lot to learn.


"I was fascinating to have so many myths busted in one day,
and also feedback on my buoyancy control which has taken
all the stress out of ascending

"I realised two things in the first hour. Firstly, the bar set
by GUE standards is like nothing I have experienced before.
Secondly these guys do not preach – but they are incredibly
well trained to teach

"As a single tank diver, I expected to feel like an alien,
but was welcomed to the crowd. Forget about the fact
it was a GUE day. It was just a bunch of divers enjoying
the sunshine.

We hope to see you there.


Free Presentation at View Cafe Bar: “Lessons for divers from Captain Scott’s Tragic South Pole Expedition”


A FREE presentation in the View Cafe Bar at the National Diving & Activity Centre, Chepstow
Starts at 7pm – all welcomeGUE

Saturday 12th April 2014


GUE Instructor ‘Garf’ Gareth Burrows

Captain Scott's  Tragic South Pole ExpeditionIn 1911, two men set out to make history by being the first man to the South Pole. One would win, the other would become a hero.

History has been both kind and cruel to Captain Scott. He has been hero, victim, villain, fool. He has been a scientist, a buffoon. However, one hundred years ago he struggled for his life, battling against thirst, starvation, and the horrors of scurvy. This presentation outlines the latest thinking on why Scott failed, what could have been done different, and whether Scott is, in the end, a true British hero.

In this presentation, Gareth uses stock video and images to show how the men lived and died. He discusses the problems faced by polar explorations, both those known in the day, and those we have learnt since. Gareth also presents lessons that can be learned from the different approaches taken by Amundsen and Scott, and how they might apply to scuba diving in the 21st Century.

Garf has been fascinated with polar exploration since he was a child, and has amassed a huge collection of books and articles on the “heroic age”. He has developed this interest into this multimedia presentation that presents an intriguing, and sometimes horrific, account of the trials and dangers faced be men willing to dare all to be the first.

We are also hosting a GUE Experience Day and a Dive Equipment Demonstration Weekend


View Cafe BarWith breathtaking views overlooking our Chepstow quarry, the View Café Bar serves an extensive range of hot & cold meals as well as a wide selection of beers, wines and soft drinks from the licensed bar.

Accommodation is avaialable in our Wigwam Village >

If you would like to host an event at the View Cafe Bar in Chepstow, please get in touch


Demonstration Weekend 12th & 13th of April 2014


Demonstration Day At NDAC April 12th 2014

Sea and Sea at NDAC Demo DayThe National Diving & Activity Centre will be hosting a dive equipment demonstration weekend over the 12th and 13th of April 2014.

The weekend will include equipment from

Sea & Sea
Fourth Element
Atomic Aquatics

James from Sea & Sea will have a wide range of products for you to look at and try out, including;
• Ocean Full Face Mask
• Various types of Dive Rite sidemount kit, including harnesses, regulators and cylinders
• Liqiuvision OLED Dive Computers for try dives
• Cobra Kayaks to have a play on or even dive from

Sea & Sea will have lots of other equipment on display including more Dive Rite sidemount systems and lots of other accessories, Underwater Kinetics torches, Scaps and Liqivision dive computers.

If anybody wants to try any of the Sea & Sea kit, they just have to leave a credit card or driving license as a deposit.

Staff from all the companies will be available over the demonstration weekend to answer all your questions – so why not pop in and treat yourself to some new kit.

On the Saturday we are also hosting a GUE Experience Day and a free talk in in the evening titled ‘Lessons for divers from Captain Scott’s Tragic South Pole Expedition‘.

Why not make a weekend of it. Food is available from our View Cafe Bar and we have glamping accommodation at the Wooden Wigwam village.

Demo Day at NDAC


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