Swimming’s a great way to have fun and get healthy, whatever your age or level of ability.
At Ships and Castles Leisure Centre, our swimming pool is packed with fun features including the regions longest flume, and a series of water play features. Our fun swim sessions are a must for all the family however we also offer lane swimming for those who prefer a more leisurely swim.
Our beach area is perfect for litlle swimmers who are looking to build their water confidence.
This means that when it comes to developing your skills, teaching your child, holding a party or just having fun, there’s never been a better time to take the plunge.
At Better, we believe that swimming should be fun and exciting for all the family. That’s why you’ll find a wide range of fun sessions at Ships & Castles Leisure Centre swimming pool.
With lots of exciting features including a wave machine which brings the thrill of the ocean indoors and a river run (Extreme Aqua Splash sessions only) which sweeps you along at an exciting speed, there’s something to make swimming fun for kids of all ages – and mum and dad too.
These features are activated about every 20 minutes (during Aqua Splash sessions only).
Take a look at our swimming timetable by clicking below:
If you’re looking for a low-impact way to get fit and healthy, swimming could be the perfect choice. And whatever your fitness levels, age or level of ability, you’re sure to find a session for you at Ships and Castles Leisure Centre.
Our Swim for Fitness sessions take place in slow/medium and fast lanes, so you can take things at your own pace.
Contact a member of the team today:
If it's just swimming that you're interested in, our single activity swimming membership means you'll get unlimited access to swimming.
If you're looking to use the gym and classes too, our BETTER health & fitness may be for you.
Ships & Castles Leisure Centre would like to introduce you to Better Swim School.
Better Swim School teach more than 100,000 swimmers throughout the UK. At over 100 locations, our swim school programme is designed to be flexible and affordable, with prices starting from as little as £6.00 per lesson (dependent on the length of your lesson). Our experienced, qualified teachers follow the Amateur Swimming Association's National Learn to Swim Teaching Plan. We support all swimmers to progress and take the plunge, whatever their level of ability. Fully inclusive and suitable for all age groups, our classes include:
- One-to-one lessons
- Parent and Baby Lessons
- Pre School Lessons for 3-5 year olds
- Children's Learn to Swim Lessons
- Rookie Lifesaving
On your first visit you can to collect your child's membership card from reception. You'll also get a free swimming hat from your swimming teacher, as these must be worn for every lesson.
Lessons are delivered on a rolling programme that allows pupils to join at any stage and progress at their own pace. For those who want to make waves quickly, one-to-one lessons are available. Our lessons operate for 50 weeks of the year with a gap in lessons over the Christmas period.
Become a Better Swim School DD member and benefit from free swimming outside of your swimming lessons.
Better Swim School provides an online tool - our Home Portal - that helps you to track your progress or your child's progress in the pool. Once you book a course, it's easy to set up an account using your unique barcode number. Once registered, you'll be able to log in to access information and updates directly from your swimming instructor. Features include:
- Record of Achievement - clear and regular updates on progress, including achievements and areas for improvement.
- Book Lessons - choose dates, times and Swim School Stage (subject to availability).
- One account for multiple children - perfect for schools and families.
- Allowing you to move up unto the next class upon successful progression.
- Printing your Parent Barcode to gain quick access to our centres at lesson times.
- Pay Online - skip the queue and go straight to your lesson.
Why not visit our homeportal and see the benefits of becoming a Better Swim School member:
Adult & Infant (Discovery Duckling 1 and 2)*
This class is aimed at infants from 3 months until they are able to walk with no support from an adult. An adult must accompany the child in the water. The lesson focuses on promoting early water confidence and basic motor skills in a fun and friendly environment.
Adult & Toddler (Discovery Duckling 3 and 4)*
This class is aimed at toddlers who can walk with no support from an adult up to 3 years old. An adult must accompany the child in the water. The lesson focuses on promoting early water confidence, basic motor skills and introduces independent movement in a fun and friendly environment.
Pre School 1 (Duckling 1 and 2)*
This class is aimed at children between 3 – 5 years who are new to swimming lessons or are not yet water confident e.g. unable to submerge their face confidently, float on their front and back unaided.
Pre School 2 (Duckling 3 and 4)*
This class is aimed at children between 3 – 4 years who have previously attended adult and child swimming lessons or are water confident e.g. able to submerge their face confidently, float on their front and back unaided and paddle/kick a short distance unaided.
Stage 1 (Stage 1)*
For children 5 years and over who are new to swimming lessons and are not yet water confident e.g. unable to submerge their face confidently, float on their front and back unaided.
Stage 2 (Stage 2)*
For children 4 years old and over who have passed Pre School 2 or Stage 1 and are water confident e.g. able to submerge their face confidently, float on their front and back unaided and paddle/kick a short distance unaided.
Stage 3 (Stage 3)*
For children who have passed Stage 2 or able to travel 5 metres on both the front and back without the use of buoyancy aids, able to regain standing and blow bubbles into the water.
Stage 4 (Stage 4)*
For children who have passed Stage 3 or are able to travel 10 metres on their front and back unaided with a basic technique. Confident to jump in and submerge under water and have experience in deep water.
Stage 5 (Stage 5)*
For children who have passed Stage 4 or are able to kick 10 metres of frontcrawl, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly with good technique and swim 10 metres of a stroke.
Stage 6 (Stage 6)*
For children who have passed Stage 5 or able to swim 10 metres of frontcrawl, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly with good technique and are able to confidently tread water and perform somersaults in the water.
Stage 7 (Stage 7)*
For children who have passed Stage 6 or are able to swim 10 metres with clothes on, swim frontcrawl, breaststroke and butterfly with rhythmical breathing, swim 25 metres correct technique of at least 1 stroke, able to surface dive to the bottom of the pool, confident in deep water and able to swim with clothes on confidently.
Stage 8 - 10 (Stage 8, 9 and 10)*
For children who have passed Stage 7 or are able to swim 25 metres of frontcrawl, backstroke, breaststroke and butterfly demonstrating correct technique, swim 100 metres using 3 different strokes, perform a competent sitting dive and tread water using eggbeater leg action.
There are several aquatic routes to choose from:
Rookie Lifesaving, Swimming Challenge, Multi Aquatics, Mini Polo, Synchronised Swimming, Diving, and Competitive Swimming.
Please contact your local Leisure Centre to see which of these are on offer.
( )*INDICATES ASA AWARD
• Pre Cleanse
Please help us to keep your pool clean by following our
Swim Hygiene guidelines by showering and using the toilet
facilities before you swim.
People of different standards and abilities will use the pool. Please
respect their right to enjoy their swim.
Choose your lane using the fast, medium and slow signs and by
watching those already swimming. Before pushing off at each
turn, check to see if anyone faster is approaching.
Please follow the directional signs and move across to the
appropriate side of the lane for each length.
Try and leave at least 5 metres between yourself and another
swimmer and if it’s possible to see a pace clock, then a 5 second
gap is just as good.
Wide stokes such as butterfly and breaststroke should be avoided
when the lanes become busy. If you change to a slower stroke as
part of your session, think about moving lanes.
Fitness swimming training equipment, such as fins and hand
paddles, is permitted at the discretion of the lifeguard and based
on capacity. Snorkels can be used in conjunction with conventional
Whether stopping for a rest or catching your breath after
completing your swim, please be mindful that others using the
lane will want to keep on swimming without stopping
Celebrate your achievements and share your swimming stories
with us on social media using #betterswimming, we’d love to hear them!