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Open water swim venues 2012 [Updated]
Posted by: Editor
Posted on: Tuesday 24th April 2012


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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 for 2012. 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 2nd (Wednesdays) and May 5th (Saturdays) to end of September

Day/Time: Wednesday (6:15pm to 7:30pm) and Saturday (8:30am to 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 to 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 5th (Saturdays) and May 10th (Thursdays) subject to temperature

Day/Time: Thursday (6:30pm to 8:30pm) and Saturday (7am to 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 April 14th

Day/Time: Thursday (5:30pm to 8pm)

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: 21st April to mid September

Day/Time: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday (6am to 9am)

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: May 7th to October

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: TBC

Day/Time: TBC

Layout: TBC

Facilities: TBC

Wetsuits available: TBC

Coaching: Yes

Events: TBC

Gosfield Lake

Location: Braintree, Essex (website)

Season: TBC - see website

Day/Time: Tuesday (6pm to 8pm) Sunday (7am to 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: April 24th opening

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: May 5th (see news) to mid September

Day/Time: Wednesday, Saturday, Sunday (all 6am to 9am), Monday evenings 6pm to 8pm

Cost: £5 per session, bulk buys available

Layout: Approx 1k loop using waterski buoys

Facilities: Car parking, toilets, limited changing and showers. Hot drinks and food. Overnight accomodation can be booked

Wetsuits available: yes, more here

Coaching: yes, more here

Events: TBC

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 to 7:30pm) and Saturday (8am to 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: 28th April to mid September

Day/Time: Tuesday, Thursday (6am to 8.45am) Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Mondays (6am to 8.30am) and Wednesdays evenings (6pm to 8:30pm)

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: 31st April to September

Day/Time: Monday and Thursday: 5.30pm - 8pm

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: 220 Triathlon Open Water Swim Race Series

Otley Sailing Club Lake

Location: See Leeds and Bradford Triathlon Club

Season: TBC

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

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: 10th May to September (venue switches to Newbiggin-by-the-Sea from July)

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 to October dependant on water temperature

Day/Time: Mondays 6pm - 7.45pm, Wednesdays and Sundays 6:00am - 9.00am, another day may be added

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: April 28th (water temp permitting)

Day/Time: Thursday (6pm to 6pm) Saturday (8am to 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: Salford Quays (website)

Season: TBC/p>

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

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

Serpentine/Swim For Tri

Location: Serpentine Lido, Hyde Park (website)

Season: June 1st/2nd - September 3rd/4th

Day/Time: Tuesday and Wednesday (7pm to 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: Late April 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 to 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: 28th April to 8th September

Day/Time: Saturday (7:15am to 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: April 21st

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 aqauthlons and mass start swimming races.

The Quays, Mytchett Lake

Location: Mytchett Lake near Farnborough (website)

Season: TBC

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

Cost: £TBC

Layout: TBC

Facilities: TBC

Wetsuits available: Yes

Coaching: TriSportCoaching

Events: TBC

Thorpe Swimming Lakes

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

Season: 31st March to October

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

Cost: £5

Layout: TBC

Facilities: Showers, cafe, running trail

Wetsuits available: Yes

Coaching: Rick Kiddle

Events: Yes, triathlon and aquathlon events

Tri20 Swim Centre

Location: Kirtons Farm Lake, Reading (website)

Season: April 21st to end September

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