Please ensure you read the information below before planning your visit.
Before you visit
Our sessions are currently for confident swimmers. If you are not used to swimming in open water, now is a good time to start under our 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 a number of swim courses ranging from a 100m warm up lap to a 200m loop. Courses available are dependant on weather conditions and water temperature. All of our sessions are fully supervised by our qualified safety team.
We have limited indoor and outdoor mixed changing space - we currently have no private or indiviual changing rooms. We strongly advise swimmers to come ready to swim.
We have small vauable lockers and cool outdoor showers available to use.
All swimmers MUST wear a bright Red, Orange or Pink swimming hat.
BOOKINGS ARE ESSENTIAL
We strongly advise booking in advance for open water swimming, especailly in peak times. 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.Book Now
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 not compulsory when swimming at West Reservoir. However we strongly recommend wearing a wet suit once the water temperature drops below 14 degrees.
Swimmers not wearing a wet suit MUST use a tow float.
If you do not have a tow float we have some for swimmers to use at the centre.
Can I hire a wetsuit?
Currently we do not have wet suits available for hire.
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.
How will I know what the water temperature is?
For the daily water temperature, check @westreservoirN4 on instagram or follow @westreservoir on X (Formally Twitter).
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 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 14-17 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?
Opening times will vary depending on daylight hours. Refer to the BETTER UK APP for available sessions each day. 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.
Mamma Swim CIC is a social enterprise empowering mums to boost their mental and physical health through the joys and benefits of swimming outdoors.
Their mission is to inspire, engage and empower mums through swimming, to help them build confidence and strength in the water and all areas of their lives.
Swimming is (for many) the key to retaining good mental and physical health while raising children, yet it’s very difficult to find the time to swim without childcare support. For many mums living in the UK, this support just isn’t available.
Mamma Swim coordinates a voluntary service to ensure that more women have access to the physical and mental health benefits of swimming because we have a firsthand understanding of the hugely positive impact that swimming and community can have on mothers' lives and the lives of their families.
Mamma Swim has over 1000 members across its London and Somerset groups.
The below 2 group swim at the following times at The West Reservoir;
- Mamma swims ‘Sunday Swim’ group meets weekly on Sundays at 9.30 without kids
- ’Mamma Swim Babies’ is a group of mums who take turns to look after one another's babies whilst they each grab a much-needed dip. They have weekly groups on Mondays & Fridays at 10am-12pm in the Seminar Room.
Mamma Swim is a passionate grassroots sports community defending the need for swimming, joy, friendship, and community in motherhood. Their community is free to join on Heylo here
Follow them on IG here