The Best Places To Go Open Water Swimming In Nottingham

As summer heats up, open water swimming can be a refreshing and thrilling experience. However, there are potential hazards with it, especially when swimming in unguarded locations or areas with unknown depths. To ensure the highest levels of safety and enjoyment, it's important to take caution when finding your ideal open water spot. 

Nottingham is home to some of the most picturesque lakes and rivers for swimming in England - there's no doubt that it's a great place to explore. By taking a look at this list of the best spots to go swimming in Nottingham, you can make sure you find an ideally-suited destination for your next outdoor swim - just make sure to take proper safety precautions before diving in.

Spring Lakes Watersports and Leisure Centre

Location: Long Eaton, south-west Nottingham

Price: £5

Supervised?: Yes

Requirements: Tow float/bag & brightly coloured swim hat

Whether you are a novice or an experienced open water swimmer, Spring Lakes is a place where you can feel at home. This aquatic center offers a wide range of water sports and activities, including open water swimming, and has all the necessary safety measures in place.

If you plan to store your belongings in a locker, rather than leaving them in your car or bringing them in a dry bag, it is important to bring a padlock with you. In addition, you can bring your furry friend along for a swim, but there is a charge of £2.50 for dog entry, and you must provide a lifejacket for your dog's safety.

After taking a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters, you can head to the on-site cafe to warm up with a hot beverage and a snack. Changing rooms and restrooms are also available, making it more convenient and comfortable to prepare for your swim and recover afterwards.

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

To swim regularly at Colwick Lake, it is necessary to become a member of Whole Health. The annual membership fee is only £25, but you also need to pay £6 per swim. However, if you want to test the waters before committing for the year, Whole Health offers an initial first swim without membership for £10.

One of the main advantages of wild swimming at Colwick Lake is that there are a variety of swimming sessions available to choose from. For beginners, there are sessions that cater to their needs, while experienced outdoor swimmers can attend the long-distance swimming sessions that follow the 600m swim circuit. Additionally, if you are interested in swimming in open water for its physical and mental health benefits, you may enjoy the mindfulness dips.

Regardless of the swim sessions that appeal to you, or whether you prefer to mix and match, it is crucial to bring your swim hat and tow float. It is also important to note that there are no changing facilities at this venue. Therefore, we recommend arriving in your swimwear or bringing 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 is managed by Love Open Water, and they offer organised swim sessions that allow swimmers to choose from different distances. To participate in these sessions, you must book in advance on the ACTIO app and have membership with NOWCA, which provides the required wristband.

These swim sessions are supervised by lifeguards and are available throughout the year. During the summer months, swimmers do not need to undergo an induction to swim in the lake. However, if you plan to swim between October and March, you must participate in a cold water induction.

Facilities at this venue are limited. There are toilets available in the club that swimmers can use, but they are not permitted to use them for changing. Hot drinks are provided after the swimming sessions, but you must bring your own mug.

River Trent

The River Trent, which originates in Staffordshire and flows into the Humber Estuary, is the third-largest river in the United Kingdom. The river flows through the southern part of Nottingham, providing some picturesque locations for open water swimming. However, due to the fast-moving water, there are no supervised swim areas along the Nottingham stretch of the Trent. As a result, only strong and experienced swimmers should consider swimming in this area, with a good understanding of the river and its conditions prior to entering the water.

To reduce the risks associated with swimming in the River Trent, it is strongly advised to have someone on the riverbank watching over you while you swim, so that they can call for assistance if needed. Additionally, it is recommended to wear a tow float or dry bag to further decrease the hazards.

For those who still choose to swim in the River Trent, some of the best locations include Victoria Embankment, the Ferry Boat Inn Pub in Burton Joyce, the river adjacent to Attenborough Nature Reserve, and where the river passes through Holme Pierrepont.

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