Do I need to complete an induction, and if so, why?
Yes – everyone that wishes to swim at West Reservoir must complete one of our centre safety inductions.
This is to ensure that all of our swimmers have been inducted on the safe use of the reservoir, what to do if you get in trouble when swimming, where our safety team are located, centre rules and other handy tips for swimming at the Reservoir.
What does the induction cover?
Inductions are done in a very friendly and relaxed environment by our qualified open water swimming coach. The induction usually lasts around 30 minutes
The centre safety induction covers the following:
- Basic centre rules
- Instructions on what to do in an emergency – where our safety team are located
- Swimming in cold water – getting used to the water
- How to get in and out
- Course distances and route
- Hints and tips on getting the most from your open water swims
- Centre information – facilities etc.
Please also note that during all inductions swimmers must wear a wetsuit.
What time do I need to arrive for my induction?
Inductions start at the time advertised so please arrive at least 20 minutes before to allow you to check in at reception and get changed into your wetsuit ready to start in the class room on time.
Do I need to wear a wetsuit for my induction?
Yes - during all inductions swimmers must wear a wetsuit. If you don’t have a wetsuit we have a limited number available for hire.
Do I need to wear a wetsuit during normal sessions?
You only need to wear a wetsuit when the water temperature is below 16 degrees for safety reasons. However if you want to, you are more than welcome to wear one throughout the season.
Wetsuits also help with buoyancy so if you’re new to open water swimming or not fully confident it's strongly advisable to wear one.
I don’t have a wetsuit – can I hire one?
We have a limited number available for hire.
Is there anything else I need?
Swim hat - You need to wear a RED swim hat – these are provided free of charge when completing an induction. We also have our own branded swim hats for sale.
Towel – not essential but strongly advised.
Change for a locker (20p’s).
Is there a café at the centre?
Yes we have a café on site serving hot and cold drinks and food.
What temperature does the water need to be for me swim?
We only open for swimming when the water temperature is above 10 degrees for safety reasons.
How will I know what the water temperature is?
The website will be updated daily advising swimmers of the current water
Do the sessions still go ahead when it rains?
Absolulety – you are going to get wet anyway. We only cancel sessions if the water temperature drops below 10 degrees, during lightning storms, snow or serious fog where our safety team's vision is affected.
Do session times change as the daytime hours reduce?
Yes. As the days shorten and it gets darker earlier, our swim sessions finish earlier. Generally sessions end 15 minutes after sunset so make sure you arrive and check in at reception at least 45 minutes before sunset. Watch out for updates to opening/closing times on our website and reception during the session.
Do I need to book in advance?
No – you can just turn up on the day and pay as you go (as long as you have done an induction which must be booked online).
I am a first time open water swimmer, can I just turn up?
Yes - As long as you have completed an induction. If you’re still unsure on your first visit, make a member of the swim team aware when you arrive and they will help with any concerns you have.
Is there anywhere to change and leave my belongings?
Yes, we have a number of lockers at the centre. Our lockers take 20p which are nonreturnable. The centre has very little change at reception so make sure you bring the correct coins.
What does it cost to swim?
See our price and membership section.
Can children swim?
Yes but they need to be minimum of 14 years old and have done an induction at the centre. Children under 16 must also swim with a tow float.
What is the last entrance time?
Swimmers need to be checked in 30 minutes before the end of each session.