The Best Places To Go Open Water Swimming In Nottingham

With warmer days around the corner, it's easy to get caught up in the enthusiastic desire to swim in rivers and lakes. It is important to recognise, however, that this type of open water swimming can be incredibly dangerous. Fortunately, there are safer locations for enjoying a fulfilling outdoor swim near Nottingham - all of which come highly recommended! To ensure safety for yourself and other swimmers, be sure to read up on strategies for being safe on your open water excursions before taking a dip.

Spring Lakes Watersports and Leisure Centre

Location: Long Eaton, south-west Nottingham

Price: £5

Supervised?: Yes

Requirements: Tow float/bag & brightly coloured swim hat

At Spring Lakes, both novice and experienced open water swimmers can find a suitable place to enjoy their sport. With a range of aquatic activities and safety measures, this center is a bustling hub of aqua-related activities.

If you plan on using the lockers to store your belongings rather than leaving them in your vehicle or bringing them in a dry bag, be sure to bring a padlock. Additionally, if you'd like to bring your dog along, you may do so for a fee of £2.50, but remember to bring a lifejacket for your furry friend.

Once you're finished swimming in the crystal-clear waters, you can warm up with a hot drink and a snack at the cafe. To make your pre-swim preparation and post-swim recovery more comfortable, changing facilities and toilets are also available.

Colwick Lake

Location: Colwick Country Park, east Nottingham

Price: £6 

Swim course length: Up to 600m

Supervised?: Yes

Requirements: Tow float/bag & brightly coloured swim hat

In order to regularly enjoy the benefits of wild swimming at Colwick Lake, it is necessary to become a member of Whole Health. The annual membership fee is only £25, but each swim session requires an additional payment of £6. If you are unsure about committing to the yearly membership, Whole Health does offer an initial trial swim session for £10, allowing you to get a feel for the venue before making a decision.

One of the advantages of swimming at Colwick Lake is the variety of different swimming sessions available. For those who are new to open water swimming, the beginner sessions might be a good starting point. However, if you are an experienced outdoor swimmer, the long distance swimming sessions which follow the 600m swim circuit may be more appealing. Alternatively, if you enjoy the mental and physical health benefits of open water swimming, you might prefer the mindfulness dips.

No matter which type of swim session you choose, it is important to bring your own swim hat and tow float. It's also important to note that there are no changing facilities available at the venue, so it's recommended to arrive already dressed for swimming or bring a changing robe.

Notts County Sailing Club

Location: Hoveringham Lake, north-east Nottingham

Price: £6.50

Swim course length: 100m & 500m

Supervised?: Yes

Requirements: Orange tow float/bag, brightly coloured swim hat, & NOWCA wristband

Hoveringham Lake offers organised swim sessions managed by Love Open Water, where swimmers can choose to swim different distances. To participate, you must book your sessions in advance using the ACTIO app and have membership with NOWCA to receive a required wristband.

The swim sessions are supervised by lifeguards and are available throughout the year. During the summer months, no induction is necessary to swim in the lake. However, between October and March, a cold water induction is required before swimming.

The facilities at the venue are limited, with only toilets available for swimmers to use. However, changing is not permitted in the toilets. After the swim, hot drinks are provided, but swimmers must bring their own mug.

River Trent

The River Trent is the third-largest river in the UK, originating in Staffordshire and flowing into the Humber Estuary, which leads to the North Sea. Along its course, the river passes through the south of Nottingham and provides some beautiful locations for open water swimming.

However, the River Trent is a fast-flowing river, and there are no supervised swim areas along the Nottingham stretch of the river. Therefore, it is recommended that only strong, experienced swimmers with good knowledge of the river and its conditions should swim here. 

It is strongly recommended to have someone on the riverside to keep an eye on you while you're in the water so that if you face any difficulties, they can call for help. Wearing a tow float or dry bag can also help reduce the risks.

If you choose to swim in the River Trent despite its risks, some of the best locations for a dip include Victoria Embankment, the Ferry Boat Inn Pub at Burton Joyce, the river next to Attenborough Nature Reserve, and where the river passes through Holme Pierrepont.

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