Please ensure you read the information below before planning your visit.
Before you visit
Our sessions are currently for experienced open water swimmers. If you are not used to swimming in open water, we strongly urge you NOT to start now unless you can do so under supervision and guidance. Before you plan a visit to West Reservoir, please see and take on board official advice from Swim England for open water swimmers.
At West Reservoir we pride ourselves in offering the best and safest environment for open water swimming in London. We currently have 2 swim courses – a 200m loop and a 100m warm-up lane. As the water temperature increases, we will bring back our larger courses as we have done previously. All of our sessions are fully supervised by our qualified safety team.
For your safety, our changing rooms will not be in use. Swimmers will need to come ready to swim.
BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL
To help us meet physical distancing regulations and capacity restrictions, it is now essential for open water swimmers to book a timeslot before visiting West Reservoir. Book your timeslot today online or on the Better UK app and choosing West Reservoir as your preferred club. Click the link below for everything you need to know about creating a booking account and booking a swim through the Better UK app.Booking activities through the app
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to complete an induction?
No, you do not need to complete an induction. Due to the current social distancing measures to protect swimmers against the spread of Coronavirus (Covid-19), we can not currently hold open water swimming inductions – therefore swimmers are not required to complete an induction before swimming but must have agreed to our online waiver and terms and conditions at the time of booking. However, all new swimmers will have an introductory safety talk with the team on your first visit before entering the water.
Do I need to book in advance?
Yes, it is essential for bookings to be made via the Better UK app. For videos and step by step guides on downloading the app and how to book your swim session, click here.
How long can I swim for?
We need to ensure a fair allocation of time for each swimmer so all sessions will be limited to one hour. The one hour slot will include the allowance for safe arrival, 50 minutes in the water and leaving the premises. As the water and air temperature drops swimmers should stay in for a shorter time - speak to staff on maximum swimming time during the winter.
How many sessions can I book a day?
Each customer is allowed one swim booking per day. Multiple bookings can be made during the week, as long as they are not on the same day.
What time do I need to arrive at the centre?
To avoid congregation outside the facility or queuing, we ask that you arrive on time for the beginning of your session (no earlier or later). Swimmers will be admitted in a regulated order based on session start times.
I am a first time open water swimmer, can I just turn up?
No, our sessions are currently for experienced open water swimmers. If you are not used to swimming in open water, we strongly urge you NOT to start now unless you can do so under supervision and guidance. Before you plan a visit to West Reservoir, please see and take on board official advice from Swim England for open water swimmers.
Do I need to wear a wetsuit or tow float?
Wet suits are no longer compulsory when the water temperature is below 16 degrees. However we strongly recommend wearing a wet suit once the water temperature drops below 14 degrees. If you do not have a tow float we have some for swimmers to use.
Can I hire a wetsuit?
For your safety, we are not offering wetsuit hiring services at this time.
Is there anything else I need to bring?
As changing rooms will not be in use, please only bring the essentials (towel, water bottle). You will be required to wear a red swimming cap. Red swimming caps can be purchased at the centre via contactless payment. Cash payments will not be accepted. During colder months we also highly recommend bringing a hot drink to help with warming back up after your swim.
Is there a café at the centre?
Our cafe has now re-opened for you to get a hot drink or bite to eat after your activity. However we only have external seating or a take away service available.
What temperature does the water need to be for me to swim?
We now stay open all year round and allow swimming no matter the water temperature. However as the water temperature drops the course size reduces and times are restricted.
Do the sessions still go ahead when it rains?
Yes, sessions still go ahead during the rain - you are going to get wet anyway! Sessions will only be cancelled if the water temperature drops below 10 degrees and in cases of dangerous environmental conditions (i.e. lightning storms, snow, serious fog) where swimmers are less visible to our safety team.
Is there anywhere to change and leave my belongings?
As changing rooms will not be in use, please arrive changed and bring only the essentials (towel, water bottle). A non-secure bag drop area will be available outside, so if you are planning to bring belongings, consider a waterproof bag to store your essentials and avoid bringing any valuable items.
What does it cost to swim?
Visit our price and membership page for more information.
Can children swim?
Yes, but they need to be minimum of 14 years old. Children under 16 years old must be accompanied by an adult from the same household and swim with a tow float and wear a green swim hat.
What is the last entrance time?
Please refer to our timetable for session times. To avoid congregation outside the facility or queuing, we ask that you arrive on time for the beginning of your session (no earlier or later). Out of consideration for fellow swimmers, you may be refused entry to your booked session if you are more than 10 minutes late.