Splash! Outdoor open swimming spots
We’ve been in lockdown for what feels like FOREVER and now that there’s light at the end of tunnel, your morning walk may not cut it for much longer.
The weather’s getting warmer so brush off the cobwebs, lift your mood, be at one with nature and dive into our guide to the best open water swimming locations across Leicestershire and Rutland and beyond.
Scheduled to reopen in April this year (subject to the latest government guidelines) Stanton Lakes is open to all swimmers from experts to complete novices – think less swimming club and more of a friendly group of swimmers/triathletes. Last year, due to Covid, the session times changed and had to be booked in advance and we’re guessing it will be much the same this year. One hour slots, £6 per session. Get in touch for more info nearer the time.
Race Hub at Six Hills, Melton Mowbray
Actually recommended by a reader, this one opens at the end of March and we can’t wait. It’s a fantastic open water swimming venue used by British Triathlon, local triathlon clubs and swimmers of all abilities. There will obviously be some changes in place when they reopen ie no changing facilities, showers or toilets will be open and swims will need to be booked in advance. Swimmers will need to be NOWCA members. Reopening 29 March.
The largest artificial lake in the UK offers a tonne of water-related fun (no surprises there) including open swimming. Inspire2tri run two sessions in Rutland – one for confident swimmers and one just for fun but even kids are allowed, although anyone under 16 has to be accompanied by an adult in the water. There’s parking, showers, changing rooms, toilets, lockers and a staffed bag and bike drop available. £8.50 per swim and this covers parking too. Things may change slightly when they re-open for the 2021 season from May so keep an eye on their website and Facebook for the latest information.
Known for the quality of its spring fed water and on shore facilities, Stoney Cove covers area of 13 acres and offers a 1000 metre perimeter course in Leicestershires cleanest water and is open all year round for swimmers (apart from now due to Covid) It’s also fully manned with a rescue boat on constant standby and qualified first aiders – handy if you’re not a confident swimmer. One hour open water swimming sessions cost £5 and they even offer sunset swims every first and third Wed from 6-9pm! Once lockdown lifts combine your swim with a bite to eat at on-site, Nemo’s Bar and Restaurant. They’re reopening 29 March!
Open water swimming has taken place here for many years. The lake is surrounded by trees and is a haven for wildlife so it’s a great place to enjoy all the joys of nature. The 50-acre leisure park offers sessions from May until October and they usually run Saturday mornings and Thursday evenings and cost £5 but all swimmers need to be a member of NOWCA.
Tallington Lakes, Stamford
Swim in a clean spring fed lake for just £6 a session from April. The lake is marked out with buoys. Once they reopen there will be certain time constraints and everything will have to be pre-booked no doubt.
Colwick Park, Nottingham
Usually open all year round, Colwick offer sessions every day including the quieter mindfulness dips for those who want to enjoy the lake for peace and restoration, rather than swimming laps and chill swims from October to March. Their timetable may changes once they reopen so keep checking their social pages.
Ferry Meadows, Peterborough
Choose from a 400m circuit on the lake or a shorter one when open swimming session restart this summer on Gunwade Lake. This one is really only for more confident swimmers. No need to book but you must register via the link above in advance.
PS – The best open water swimming spots are often word -of-mouth affairs, so do pop a note in the comment box below if we’ve missed anywhere good near you.