Open water swimming

2024 Season:

Please Follow Our Swim Facebook Page For Opening Hours and Updates

Open Water Swimming is provided by Ellingham Water Ski & Wakeboard Club. If you are looking for amazingly clean water to swim in – then this is the lake to come to. We have the following distance loops marked out by yellow swim buoys: 400m, 750m and 1200m.

We hold sessions on Saturday mornings 6:30am – 8:30am, Monday evenings 17:30pm – 19:30pm and some Wednesday mornings 6:15am – 8:30am (check on Facebook or Actio app for this).

The wednesday sessions will open towards the end of May.

You don’t have to be a triathlete or a channel swimmer to enjoy the lake, we have a huge range of abilities here. It doesn’t matter if you get in for a few minutes then get straight back out again, or whether you stay in for the whole session – everyone is welcome!

You must pre-book to swim with us. This can be done via the NOWCA booking system called “Actio“. You will need to join NOWCA at a cost of £15 to be able to access the bookings page. For more information, please visit our NOWCA page and choose the app download menu. Alternatively there is a computer browser version here.

If you are already a member of Nowca you can download the Actio app on your mobile phone and search for Ellingham Lake.  In the app the dates that swim sessions are being held are displayed.  NOTE: Sessions are posted 1 week in advance on MONDAY's from 12:30pm.

Yes, we offer you the chance to come down as a visitor for a couple of sessions to see if you like open water swimming.

You don't have to book but pop an email to to let us know and you can turn up any time during the session.

NOTE: You will have to pay cash to check-in person for visitor sessions, this is £9.50 per session.

After that we encourage you to become a member of Nowca, book sessions and get your swim band at the lake so you can be checked in and out during a session.

The person checking you in at the start of your session can supply you with a band.

NOTE: If you lose the band there is a charge for a replacement.

We offer 3 sessions typically each week:

Monday Evening - 17:30pm - 19:30pm  (This includes Bank Holidays)

Wednesday Morning (not every week so keep an eye on Facebook page for updates) 06:15am - 08:30am

Saturday Morning - 06:30am - 08:30am.

Please note the times vary depending if it's early or late season as lake is colder.

The slots are guides to when you can turn up to swim, also a way for us to gauge how busy the lake will be at certain times through out the session.

You may find all the early slots are taken, we have some flexibilty around this, so if you do need to swim at an earlier time then email the swim manager.

We do have a large car park that is free.

We ask you to follow these rules as sessions can be busy and we would like everyone to be able to park.

  1. Park in orderly rows as much as you can and not leave large gaps between vehicles as this restricts the number of cars that can park.
  2. Do not park on the road/track leading to carpark or on side of track inside the gate as this needs to be clear in case of emergency vehicles needing access.
  3. Do not leave you vehicle in the car park after your swim session unless with express permission of the check in person or life guard. - We close the gates in the evening without return until the next day.  Your vehicle will be stuck!!! You have been warned 🙂

For safety we request that you bring a BRIGHT coloured swim hat so our lifeguards can see you around the whole lake even on the cloudy dull days.

You don't have to wear a wetsuit, although it is recommended obviously to keep you warm and also for extra bouyancy.

If you don't wear a wetsuit then we request you use a tow-float, just for added safety.

NOTE: We can sell you a bright coloured hat and tow-floats.  Ask the check in person when you are the lake. They will need to paid for in cash.

Our swim coach Steve hosts coaching sessions each week for beginnners and intermediates.

These can be for anyone who is just getting into openwater swimming and might want to improve their front crawl or to get used to being in the "open water", or someone who is looking to hone everything for a tri-athlon.

These sessions are booked via emailing Candice on a first come first served basis -

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Review for Ellingham Open Water Swim

“I am a newbie to open water swimming but had a fantastic initial lesson from Tim and all the staff are so friendly and reassuring. So well run and you feel safe and looked after. All the swimmers are also really friendly and helpful. Beautiful place.

I’ve swum at Ellingham for a few years now and I haven’t found a clearer lake! I love training there and always encourage people to go. Friendly people and brilliant triathlon training!

Great place to swim, suitable for open water beginners and advanced alike.”

NOWCA open water swimming