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Open water swimming venues
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Sunday 10th April 2016


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It's a while since we did our round-up of the various open water swimming venues in the UK so here's a freshened-up list. Come on in, the water's lovely! Oh, and please remember that open water swimming in the UK should only be undertaken at properly managed and supervised venues – you can't simply rock up at any old lake, reservoir or river and jump in! All open water swimming carries a degree of risk and permission will always be required from the land or riparian owner.

As always, if there are any corrections or additions to the listing, do in get in touch with us via editor@tri247.com.


Barton Marina

Location: Barton Marina, Barton under Needwood, Staffordshire (website)

Season: from May 1st to end of September 2013

Day/Time: Wednesday (6:15pm - 7:30pm) and Saturday (8:30am - 10:30am)

Cost: Swim is £3 for Derby Tri Club Members, £5 Non-Club members

Layout: approx 500m loop

Facilities: car parking, café, pub

Wetsuits available: None

Coaching: Club Members Only

Events: Derby Tri Club training sessions

The Blue Lagooners Triathlon and Open Water Swimming Club

Location: The Blue Lagoon, Northfield Lane, Womersley, near Pontefract, DN6 9BB

Season: from April to October dependant on water temperature

Day/Time: Wednesday (6:00pm - 8:00pm) and Saturday & Sunday (8:00am to 10:00am)

Cost: Swim is £3 for Club members, £10 non-Club member day membership available

Layout: GPS Measured 450m & 200m buoyed circuits

Facilities: car parking, café

Wetsuits available: Yes, free to use as part of your swim fee

Coaching: Yes, book in advance if you wish to have specific 121 coaching

Events: Various club and open events

Bosworth Water Trust

Location: Market Bosworth, Leicestershire (website)

Season: from May subject to temperature

Day/Time: Thursday (6:30pm - 8:30pm) and Saturday (7am - 9am)

Cost: £3 per vehicle, swim is £2 for 1485 Tri Club Members, £3 guests, £2 Youths & Juniors

Layout: 700m loop

Facilities: car parking, changing rooms, showers, toilets, café, shop, hot drinks

Wetsuits available: By arrangement

Coaching: No

Events: Venue also hosts Terrapin Sprint Triathlon

Boundary Water Park

Location: Boundary Water Park, South Manchester (website)

Season: from May 2nd to September 28th 2013

Day/Time: Thursday (5:30pm - 8pm), Sunday 1pm - 3pm)

Cost: £TBC, season ticket available

Layout: 400m and 750m buoyed loops

Facilities: TBC

Wetsuits available: Yes

Coaching: Yes

Events: Manchester Tri Club and Uberfit use the venue for events

Bray Lake

Location: Monkey Island Lane, Windsor Road, Maidenhead (www.braylakeswimming.co.uk)

Season: 27th April to mid September 2013

Day/Time: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday (6am - 9am) plus Thursday evening (6pm - 8pm)

Cost: £5 per session, bulk buys available

Layout: Various up to 1k loops

Facilities: Car parking, clubhouse, showers, toilets, hot drinks and food, safety boat, transition training and running trail

Wetsuits available: Yes

Coaching: Yes, www.openwaterswimmingcoach.co.uk

Events: Monthly series

Cotswold Water Park (Lake 32)

Location: Cotswold Water Park, Gloucestershire (website)

Day/Time: All days of the year before 10am

Cost: £40 season membership

Layout: TBC

Facilities: TBC

Wetsuits available: No

Coaching: via Jan Whiting (www.janet-whiting.com)

Events: Same lake used by Triferris for Cotswold triathlons, Waterland also organise aquathons

Dover Harbour / Deal Tri Club

Location: Dover Harbour, Kent (website)

Season: TBC

Day/Time: Every Monday evening at 6pm meeting at the Dover Sea Sports Centre on Dover seafront

Cost: £1; Deal Tri Members

Layout: Various courses within the safety of Dover Harbour

Facilities: Car parking on sea front, use of Sea Sports Centre changing rooms, showers, toilets, clubhouse, hot and alcoholic drinks

Wetsuits available: possible

Coaching: possible

Events: Regular monthly 1000m swim time trials across the Harbour culminating in a 1000m Handicap event

Fairlop Waters, East London / Essex

Location: Fairlop Waters, Forest Road, Barkingside, Essex, IG6 3HN (website)

Season: April 7th 2013

Day/Time: Sunday (08:30am - 10am)

Layout: TBC

Facilities: TBC

Wetsuits available: TBC

Coaching: RG Active

Events: TBC

Fritton Lake

Location: Fritton Lake, Church Lane, Fritton, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk NR31 9HA (Active Outdoor Sport website)

Season: April 30th (2013) opening

Day/Time: Tuesday (5pm - 7pm), Thursday (6pm - 8pm), Saturday (8am - 10:30am)

Cost: £6 for casual users, Bronze and Silver memberships available

Layout: 100m lane, 400m loop, 750m loop, free swim area

Facilities: parking, clubhouse, showers

Wetsuits available: TBC

Coaching: Yes

Events: Various throughout the season

Gosfield Lake

Location: Braintree, Essex (website)

Season: TBC - see website

Day/Time: Tuesday (6pm - 8pm), Sunday (7am - 8:30am)

Cost: £5

Layout: TBC

Facilities: parking, clubhouse

Wetsuits available: TBC

Coaching: No

Events: Various throughout the season

Ham Lake

Location: Thames Young Mariners Lake, Ham, Richmond, Surrey (website)

Season: May 1st 2013

Day/Time: see website for details

Cost: £10 per coached session, £5; for regular Just Swim sessions on Tuesdays

Layout: TBC

Facilities: Car parking

Wetsuits available: N/A

Coaching: RG Active

Events: N/A

Hampstead Lido

Location: Hampstead Heath, London (website)

Season: No 2012 info

Day/Time: TBC

Cost: £ see website

Layout: open air pool (60m x 30m Lido)

Facilities: changing, toilets

Wetsuits available: No

Coaching: triforfitness (www.triforfitness.co.uk)

Events: No

Haysden Lake (7Oaks Tri Club)

Location: Haysden Boating Lak. Tonbridge, Kent. see map on club site

Season: May to September

Day/Time: see website

Cost: Free for annual members, session clip for PAYG, £5 session BTF members

Layout: Various up to 850m

Facilities: Changing tent / safety boat / running trails

Wetsuits: No

Coaching: by arrangement

Events: No

Heron Lake

Location: Heron Lake, Wraysbury J13 M25 near Staines (website)

Season: April to September

Day/Time: Saturday and Sunday 6.15am - 9.30am, Monday and Wednesday 4.00pm - 8.30pm (Please check website for any changes)

Cost: £5 per session for NOWCA members. Guests are welcome, extra £1 charge for band.

Layout: 400m and 1000m course

Facilities: Ample car parking, Indoor changing with showers and toilets, Excellent Café plus a running path around the lake.

Wetsuits available: Yes, please contact Alan directly on 07833 496780

Coaching: Yes, click here: http://www.swimheron.co.uk/coaching-2/ 

Events:Yes, click here: http://www.swimheron.co.uk/events/

Ladyburn Lake

Location: Ladyburn Lake, Druridge Bay Country Park, (website)

Season: mid-May to September

Day/Time: Thursday (7pm) - meet at the watersports car park at 6.45pm with Alnwick Tri Club

Cost: £TBC

Layout: TBC

Facilities: Bring your trainers, you can run round the lake afterwards to warm up.

Wetsuits available: No

Coaching: Tracey Sample info@alnwicktriathlon.co.uk

Events: Northumberland Tri Festival

Leybourne Lakes

Location: Larkfield, Kent (website)

Season: May to September

Day/Time: TBC

Cost: £5 per day subject to assement

Layout: Measured swim courses of 550m, 750m and 1330m.

Facilities: Toilets, changing and security for valuables. Tea/coffee, Mars bars etc, available

Wetsuits available: Zone3 for trying out.

Coaching: Team Outrageous

Events: Midweek Series (Wednesday at 7pm) and Saturday morning sprints (8am start). See www.teamoutrageous.com

Lavender Patch Lake

Location: The Lavender Patch, Hall Croft Farm, Uttoxeter Road, Hilton, Derby, DE65 5FZ (website)

Season: May (TBC)

Day/Time: Tuesday (6:30pm - 7:30pm) and Saturday (8am - 10am)

Cost: £3.00 for MVH and Burntwood Tri Club members, £5.00 for others.

Layout: TBC

Facilities: TBC

Wetsuits available: No

Coaching: No

Events: TBC

National Watersports Centre, Holme Pierrepont

Location: National Watersports Centre, Holme Pierrepont, Nottingham (website)

Contact: Coach@absolute-triathlon-coaching.co.uk

Season: May (TBC) to mid September

Day/Time: Wednesday or Friday evening (7pm - 8pm), see website

Cost: £10 per session free or £90 for 10 sessions

Layout: Rowing lake

Facilities: Ample, free car parking, changing rooms & showers (included in cost), safety boat, 7km of running trails, bar serving food, local overnight accommodation, lake water regular tested. Great venue for transition training.

Wetsuits available: Please contact us for details.

Coaching: Yes

Events: Home of the National Relays, The Outlaw plus numerous other events.

openwaterswim.co.uk at Liquid Leisure

Location: Liquid Leisure, Datchet, near Slough, SL3 9HY (see website)

Season: April 27th (see news) to mid September 2013

Day/Time: Tuesday (6pm - 9pm), Thursday (6pm - 9pm) Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays (6:30am - 8.50am)

Cost: £5 per session, bulk-buys available

Layout: Measured and buoyed 750m, 400m and 250m loops plus a 1.3km loop on busy weekends

Facilities: car parking, toilets, changing rooms, showers, hot tub and sauna. Full café with hot drinks, hot food, and wireless internet

Wetsuits available: 2XU

Coaching: Richard Stannard and support

Events: Aquathlon series

openwaterswim.co.uk at Westhorpe Water Sports Centre

Location: Westhorpe Farm, Little Marlow, Bucks, SL7 3RQ (see website)

Season: April 29th (see news) to September 2013

Day/Time: Monday (5.30pm - 7:45pm)

Cost: £5 per session, bulk-buys available

Layout: 250m, 750m and 1500m

Facilities: car parking, toilets, changing rooms, showers, snack bar, sauna

Wetsuits available: 2XU

Coaching: Richard Stannard and support

Events: OWS Swim Race Series

Otley Sailing Club Lake

Location: See Leeds and Bradford Triathlon Club

Season: TBC

Day/Time: Tuesday (6:15pm - 8pm), Saturday (7:30am - 9am)

Cost: £3

Layout: Buoyed 500m loop

Facilities: Car parking, changing, showers, free hot drinks

Wetsuits available: TBC

Coaching: No

Events: No

Pennington Flash

Location: See Pennington Flash near Warrington (home of Ironman UK swim)

Season: April

Day/Time: Mondays (6pm - 8pm)

Cost: £5

Layout: Buoyed 400m and 750m loops

Facilities: Car parking, refreshments

Wetsuits available: Yes (2XU)

Coaching: Yes (pre-book)

Events: No

Queen Elizabeth II Country Park / Newbiggin-by-the-Sea

Location: Queen Elizabeth II Country Park, Woodhorn Grange, Ashington, NE63 9AT and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Northumberland

Season: TBC

Day/Time: every Thursday evening (6pm - 8.00pm), see website

Cost: £2 includes shower and coaching and canoe cover

Layout: Olympic-style 2km rowing lake (QEII)

Facilities: Car parking, showers (included in cost), safety boat, running trails, bar.

Wetsuits available: Yes

Coaching: MVSport and Tri4U Level 3 coaches with Level 1 & 2 assisting

Events: QE2 Sprint, Northumberland Tri, Couple Challenge Middle distance and Newbiggin Sprint

Queenford Lakes Open Water Swimming

Location: Oxford Wakeboard and Ski Club, Burcot Lane, Berinsfield, Oxford, OX10 7PQ

Season: April 24th to October 2013

Day/Time: Monday (6pm - 7:45pm), Wednesday (6am - 8:45am), Sunday (6am - 8:45am)

Cost: £5 a swim or 10 for £40

Layout: approx 1000m loop

Facilities: free parking - right on the edge of the Chiltern Hills which are ideal for on and off road cycling. Outdoor lake-side shower to rinse off after your swim, hot shower, hot tub, toilet. Kids climbing area. Short (1.3 miles) and long (2.3 mile) cross country run loop around the lake. Light refreshments will be available at each session. WiFi.

Wetsuits available: Mailsports attend most of our sessions and certain models can be trialed. A limited number of wetsuits are available for hire at each session.

Coaching: A number of coaching sessions will be held through the season in association with VoTwo

Events: Aquathlon series, dates and times to be confirmed. Timed loops and mass starts are held once a month. Queenford Relays will be held on September 15th.

River Welland (Spalding Triathlon Club)

Location: Welland Yacht Club

Season: May to September (conditions and safety allowing)

Day/Time: Monday nights 6:30pm

Cost: £1 session. Club members only (£20 annual fee)

Layout: 800m between buoys

Facilities: Heated changing room with showers / Safety Boat /BTF coaches

Wetsuits: none

Coaching: Always a coach on the bank and mostly the safety canoe is amnned by a further coach

Events: none

Runaround Sports

Location: Top Barn Activity Centre near Worcester (website)

Season: TBC

Day/Time: Thursday (6pm - 6pm) Saturday (8am - 10am)

Cost: £TBC per session, bulk buys available

Layout: 750m loop

Facilities: Car parking, changing, showers, coffee shop, free WiFi

Wetsuits available: Testing days throughout the season

Events: TBC

Salford Watersports Centre

Location: Dock 8, Media City, Salford Quays (website)

Season: April 20th to September 28th 2013/p>

Day/Time: Wednesday 5:30pm - 8pm), Saturday (8am - 11am)/p>

Cost: £5 per session, juniors £4

Layout: Buoyed loop in dock

Facilities: Changing, toilets

Wetsuits available: Hire

Coaching: Yes (Manchester Tri Club)

Events: Regular aquathlons

Salford Quays Dock 9

Location: Salford Quays (website)

Season: TBC/p>

Day/Time: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday (6.30pm - 8.30pm)

Cost: £TBC

Layout: Buoyed loop in dock

Facilities: Changing, toilets, showers

Wetsuits available: Hire

Coaching: Yes

Events: Salford Triathlon and Great Manchester Swim at this venue

Serpentine/Swim For Tri

Location: Serpentine Lido, Hyde Park (website)

Season: TBC

Day/Time: Tuesday and Wednesday (7pm - 8.30pm)

Cost: £15 per session COACHED (fitness) or £20 per session COACHED (technique). Bulk/course discounts available

Layout: Open air lido in the Serpentine Lake

Facilities: Car parking, changing, showers (see Serpentine website)

Wetsuits available: No

Coaching: Swim For Tri

Events: No

Shepperton Open Water Swim

Location: Ferry Lane, Shepperton (website)

Season: May to late September

Day/Time: Monday evenings, Wednesday morning and evening, Saturday morning, Sunday morning

Cost: £5. Bulk/course discounts available

Layout: Man made lake right next to the River Thames at Desborough Island

Facilities: Car parking, changing, showers (see website)

Wetsuits available: Yes, 2XU

Coaching: Yes

Events: Yes, timed midweek swims, see website

Strathclyde Country Park

Location: Near Glasgow (see website)

Season: May to September

Day/Time: Monday and Friday evenings (6:30pm - 8:30pm)

Cost: £TBC.

Layout: TBC

Facilities: See watersports website or ring 01689 402100 for details

Wetsuits available: No

Coaching: No

Events: Various

Stubbers Adventure Centre/Swim For Tri

Location: Stubbers Adventure Centre, Upminster (website)

Season: 27th April to 14th September 2013

Day/Time: Saturday (7:15am - 8.15am)

Cost: Technique courses £50 per 3-week or £20 per session; Fitness £70 per 10, £40 per 5 or £10 per session

Layout: Marked out with buoys (loop distance TBC)

Facilities: car parking, changing, showers, tea, coffee, hot chocolate and bread pudding !

Wetsuits available: no

Coaching: Swim For Tri

Events: 11th September charity swim race

Taplow Open Water Swim

Location: Taplow Lake, Amerden Lane, Bucks, SL6 0EA (website)

Season: TBC 2013

Day/Time: Tuesday morning 6am - 10am, Wednesday evening 6pm - dusk, Saturday and Sunday morning 6am - 8:55am

Cost: £5, £40 for 10

Layout: Large, rectangular, natural lake

Facilities: Car parking, quality changing facilities, showers (included in cost), safety boat, extensive running trails, bar.

Wetsuits available: Demo wetsuits available

Coaching: Yes

Events: Regular aquathlons and mass start swimming races.

The Quays, Mytchett Lake

Location: Mytchett Lake near Farnborough (website)

Season: May 2013

Day/Time: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (6am - 8am), Sunday (6:30am - 9:30am).

Cost: £TBC

Layout: TBC

Facilities: TBC

Wetsuits available: Yes

Coaching: TriSportCoaching

Events: TBC

Thorpe Open Water Swimming

Location: Thorpe Water Ski Lake, Thorpe Road, Chertsey, Surrey KT16 8PH (website)

Season: April to October

Day/Time: Tuesday (5:30pm - 8pm), Saturday (6:30am - 10:30am) and Sunday (6:30am - 9:30am)

Cost: £6 (2015)

Layout: TBC

Facilities: Showers, café, parking

Wetsuits available: Yes

Coaching: Rick Kiddle

Events: Yes, triathlon and aquathlon

Tri20 Swim Centre

Location: Kirtons Farm Lake, Reading (website)

Season: April 20th to end September 2013

Day/Time: Tuesday and Thursday (5pm - 8pm), Saturday and Sunday (7:30am - 10:00am)

Cost: £5 per session, £45 for 10

Layout: buoyed 750m loop

Facilities: car parking, changing rooms, showers, toilets, clubhouse, hot drinks, wireless internet, turbo trainers, 1.7k run loop

Wetsuits available: Yes

Coaching: Yes

Events: None


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