Outdoor Swimming

Outdoor Swimming at Gildenburgh Water

Gildenburgh Water has been owned and operated by Ian & Pauline Forster, and their family for 32 years. You can call Ian 24/7 on 07928 562916 if you have any queries. You’ll enjoy the friendly family atmosphere that has made this attractive, and important, national swimming venue so popular. A former blue clay brick pit flooded by London Brick in 1934, the site is naturally filtered, and consistently recommended by swimmers for its clear, clean, pure, deep water.

No Swimmer’s Itch!

Unlike many shallow man-made lakes and former gravel workings that harbor freshwater snails, and parasites that infect swimmers, local residents and swimmers from many areas of the UK have enjoyed their sport free of the dreaded “swimmer’s itch” for more than 80 years. In fact, visiting swimmers who do have “the itch” often get better in this mineral-rich, therapeutic lake.

Healthy Outdoor Training Centre

All abilities and ages are welcome, including costume-only and wetsuit swimmers (see our safety policy below). Whether you’re trying open water swimming for the first time, a child wanting to enjoy some splash time, or a member of the English Channel relay team you’ll get fitter and healthier at this amazing venue. Triathletes, in particular, can benefit from the variable terrain of this 32 acre training centre and surrounding area, which includes the 2000 Millennium Green Wheel Cycle Route, by adding bike and run phases to their swim session. Or anyone just looking to get fitter, or lose weight, can benefit from the healthy outdoor environment.

Resident Swim-Bike-Run & Fitness Coach

ASA Swimming Teacher, Middle Distance Coach and former British team member, Ian Forster, lives on the site, and is available for training tips and schedules.

Open 3300 Hours A Year

We love helping our swimmers achieve their goals whether you do one 400m lap or a 40 lap/10000 metre swim. And the clear water enables swimmers of any level to quickly improve their technique by being able to see the rotation and inclination of their hands during each stroke. Open 64 hours every week (except Christmas Day & Boxing Day), on 363 days in 2017-2018, that’s more than 3300 hours a year for you to get fitter, quicker and more efficiently.

Opening times                                                                      Venue facilities

All Year including 5 bank Holidays                                           80 seat clubhouse adjacent to the lake        Changing rooms 

Monday-Thursday 08:00-16:30                                                  Free parking        Toilets        Rescue boat        Accommodation

Friday             08:00-21:00                                                              Resident swim-bike-run & fitness coach        Video coaching

Saturday        08:00-16:30                                                              Hot & cold drinks        Home-cooked snacks and meals

Sunday           08:00-16:30                                                              Equipment hire        Well-stocked, competitively-priced shop

Prices

FREE online registration (below). £20 Club saver membership. £7 per swimmer per outdoor swimming session. £6 per person per night accommodation in our budget caravans with top sheet, pillow and pillowcase supplied. You bring your favourite duvet or sleeping bag. £4 shortie wetsuit hire. £6 full wetsuit hire. £3 tow float hire. £10 NOWCA annual swim band. Training schedules & coaching from £5 per 10 min session priced according to need and whether personal, group or video.

Information on Outdoor Swimming

Safety Policy. Whether you wear a costume only or a wetsuit, you are welcome. But to protect you in the deep water, you need adequate buoyancy. Wearing a wetsuit is the preferred way to prevent you sinking (and keep you warm), but many of our swimmers, particularly the Channel relay team at our sister centre, Dosthill Quarry, nr Birmingham, don’t wear a wetsuit so tow a swim float summer & winter alike! If you don’t have one you can hire one or buy your own on site.

Course. The above outdoor swimming course has been carefully planned and set out to provide a single 400 metre lap with eight 50 metre legs for split times. Four laps (1600 metres) is 5 metres short of a mile. 1000 metres would be 2.5 laps. The course has been positioned away from the shoreline, and away from the diver training areas to avoid underwater divers. So, please ensure you stay close to the outdoor swimming course buoys and on the course line.

Divers. Your swim may coincide with times when scuba divers are using the quarry. You can see where they are in relation to you by bubbles breaking the surface of the water. One of the safe practices all divers should follow when surfacing is to extend their arm, look up and around and surface slowly. Should you see bubbles on the surface in front of you, during your swim be prepared to avoid the bubbles. However, by the time you get close to where you first saw the bubbles, normally the divers have moved well away.

Footwear. We recommend bringing suitable footwear, such as flip-flops, crocs, or some old trainers, for the outdoor swimming transition in and out of the water to avoid any discomfort or injury to your feet.

Outdoor Swimming Declaration. The ASA require a declaration to be made on an individual’s ability to complete a planned outdoor swimming activity. “It should be quite clear to the swimmer that they are declaring that they are not only fit enough and have the stamina to complete the distance, but also that the swimmer is medically fit to do so”. Any pre-existing medical condition including medication and/or sensitivity to particular drugs should be included on the form. Our registration below includes this declaration.

Safe Outdoor Swimming Always

Complete our FREE registration for outdoor swimming

Email is our preferred way of contacting our registered swimmers.
If you don’t have an email address, call Ian Forster 24/7 on 07928 562916.

After you press the submit button you will receive confirmation that “Your registration for outdoor swimming was sent successfully to ian@gildenburgh.com” and you will receive a confirmation email.

Print off the email and bring it with you on your first visit. Sign and date it at that time and we’ll retain it on file.

Contact

Required Email

Required First name

Required Last name

Required Gender MaleFemale

Required Date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)

Required City or town

Required Post code

Required Mobile Phone

Home Phone

Swimming status

Required I am a strong and confident swimmer in open water

Required I can swim the following metres

Required Swimming Club (or enter None)

Required National Swimming Association (or enter None)

Required Pre-existing medical condition including medication and/or sensitivity to particular drugs (or enter None)

Terms and conditions

  • The above information can be stored and used to contact me.
  • I will print off, and sign, date and hand in my confirmation email on my next visit to the lake.
  • I will always check in at reception or the gate on arrival.
  • I swim at my own risk.
  • I swim in accordance with the safe practices of my swimming club and national association.
  • I will regularly read, stay current with, and abide by the notices, regulations, recommendations and procedures as published from time to time at the lake and on this website, particularly those relating to emergency action.
  • In the event of an injured swimmer emergency, site staff may ask for swimmers and divers to assist with the rescue. I will be willing to assist.
  • I am aware that the use of a wetsuit is preferred at Gildenburgh Water to provide thermal protection and buoyancy. However, if I feel the weather, my exposure experience and my swim goals are such that I do not need a wetsuit, then I agree to swim towing a buoyancy float to support me in the event of experiencing cramp or other problem, until rescue assistance arrives.
  • Liability Release and Express Assumption of Risk

    This liability release may be used as evidence in a court of law if you decide to sue any released party or person. Please read this document.

    I, the above-named swimmer, hereby agree that I have been fully advised and completely informed of the inherent risks and hazards associated with open water swimming.

    I, further, completely understand that open water swimming involves certain inherent risks and hazards to include: hypoxia, asphyxia, hypothermia and drowning. These maladies may result in permanent injury or even death. By signing this document I evidence that I am fully appraised of the risks and hazards associated with the type of activity that I am contemplating and I expressly assume these risks. I, further fully understand that my swimming activity may be conducted in point of time and distance in a remote location not readily accessible to first aid and rescue facilities. Nevertheless, I still choose to proceed with the activity despite the possible lack of medical facilities to assist me should I become injured.

    I fully understand and agree that the Gildenburgh Water centre through which I participate in the activity, nor the owner of Gildenburgh Water, Ian Forster, nor any of his respective employees, officers, agents or assigns, may be held liable or responsible in any fashion for any injury, death or damages to me or my family, heirs or assigns that may occur as a result of my participation in this open water swimming activity or as a result of active or passive negligence of any party including the released parties named in this document.

    In exchange for me being allowed to enrol and participate in this activity I hereby personally assume all risks in conjunction or connection with this activity or any harm or injury or damages that may befall me, my heirs or assigns while participating in this activity. I specifically assume all risks associated with my participation in this activity whether foreseen or unforeseen.

    In consideration for my participation in this activity I save and hold harmless and agree to indemnify the Gildenburgh Water centre at which I am participating in an open water swimming activity, and the owner of Gildenburgh Water, Ian Forster, of any claim or lawsuit brought by me, my family, my estate, my heirs or assigns arising out of or in connection or in conjunction with participation in this activity including both claims arising during or after the activity, and it is my express intention to release the parties cited from all liability and responsibility whatsoever for personal injury, property damage or wrongful death however caused.

    I also understand fully that open water swimming activities are physically strenuous, and that they require specialized training. I also understand that I will be physically exerting myself during this activity and that should I become injured as a result of a heart attack, failure to control my panic, failure to control my breathing or hyperventilation, I specifically assume the risk of any resulting injuries and in exchange for my participation in this activity I expressly agree that I will not hold the released individuals in this document responsible.

    By submitting this document online, and by signing it on my first subsequent visit to the lake, I evidence that I have fully read, contemplated, and understand the contents of this liability release and express assumption of risk, and release my right to sue. I agree to the terms and conditions of this document in exchange for my participation in this activity. I further state that I am of lawful age and legally competent to sign this release or that I have acquired the specific written consent of my parent or guardian.

    I understand that this document constitutes a contract between myself and the released parties cited.

    Under 18?

    Your parent or guardian must enter their name and relationship below
    and tick the agreement box for you

    Applicable? Name

    Applicable? Relationship

    Required I am 18 or older andI accept and agree to all terms

    After you hit the 'Send' button below

    You'll receive confirmation that ...
    "Your registration for outdoor swimming was sent successfully to ian@gildenburgh.com"
    and we’ll send you a confirmation email

    captcha