Ocean Walker Academy – WINTER CLUB Open Water Swimming Sessions
General Information and Venue Rules
THE OPEN WATER SWIM SESSIONS ARE FOR CONFIDENT OPEN WATER SWIMMERS WHO HAVE ATTENDED AN INDUCTION COURSE AT THE OCEAN WALKER ACADEMY
Confident pool swimmers, who haven't had experience swimming open water - but would like to start now are welcome. Please remember that you are starting your open water swim experience at the most extreme time of year as we go into the Winter months, but practiced in a controlled and safe environment this can be just as enjoyable as the Summer. All Winter Club members must participate in our Winter Club Induction course. This is for all abilities.
BOXING DAY AND NEW YEARS DAY SWIM
The only time we accept anyone who hasn't attended a Winter Induction at Ocean Walker Academy onto a Winter Club swim session is on a specially arranged New Years Day swim. The below terms and conditions apply to all, and those attending the NYD swim will be required to swim at the advice of the lifeguard on duty. NYD swim must be booked as usual online (Single session for those who are not part of the Winter Club).
By booking onto any Winter Swim session you are agreeing to our terms and conditions and are taking responsibility for yourself in that you are a confident open water swimmer, you understand your own health and own limits. Winter swimming is considered an extreme sport, as well as the many health benefits and rewards for participating, it is important that you are aware of the risks.
You must arrive for your swim slot START TIME. If you are late, you risk not being able to access the venue, as we will close the gates shortly after the start time.
All swimmers will start at the same time, and you may then swim for as long as you wish within your 1 hour time slot.
TIME SPENT ON SITE
You have a 1 hour slot for your swim, plus an additional 30 mins to allow for changing, recovery and enjoying refreshments in the Wellbeing Barn.
The venue will close exactly 1 hour 30mins after your start time (all cars must have left the car park by this time).
ENTERING AND EXITING THE WATER
You will only be able to enter the water at your exact start time.
You can complete your session and exit the water anytime within your 1 hour swim slot.
Please exit the water before your 1 hour slot is over.
Our OWA team will call you in when the 1 hour time slot is over.
Your 1 hour slot is fixed, we cannot allow additional time if you are late due to traffic/other reasons.
Please sign out on your way out at reception.
AGE & ABILITY FOR WINTER CLUB OPEN WATER SWIM SESSIONS
To book one of the open water swim sessions, you must be a competent open water swimmer.
You will only swim a time and distance capable of your ability.
You will have your own swim kit.
Swimmers must be 18 years and over for this type of swim session. Younger swimmers will be considered - but must be accompanied by a participating parent/guardian. Please contact to discuss further.
Toilets are available for use.
We have 4 wooden changing cubicles, with the largest on the end used as the BAG DROP.
We also have a disabled toilet and changing cubicle in the toilet block.
Wellbeing Barn - for refreshments and a warm dry place to recover and socialise after your swim.
Free onsite car parking for those who have booked - please note that your cars and any valuables are left at your own risk.
Please arrive swim ready (swimming costume/trunks on under clothes, any additional wear can be put on lakeside).
Please ensure you have suitable equipment to allow you to change following your swim.
Bring your usual winter open water swim kit - brightly coloured swim cap, goggles, swimwear, wetsuit (if you wear one), towel and changing robe.
Ensure you have warm clothing.
You are not permitted to bring your own refreshments onto site.
Hot drinks and freshly home baked cakes are available to purchase from the Wellbeing Barn.
Cash preferred, card payments accepted.
This is a DRY ZONE - you must have dried off and changed into dry clothing before entry.
Shoes, wet coats and kit bags to be left at the designated area.
The barn will open once everyone has signed in for their swim.
COVID AND COLDS
Winter brings with it colds, flu and Covid, so we do ask that if you do attend a session, but are not feeling 100% that you think of others and wear a face covering when indoors and keep your distance from others outdoors.
Don't attend if you feel unwell / have cold or flu symptoms or think you may have Covid. Not only would swimming in cold water make you feel worse if your immune system is struggling, but you would be putting others at risk by socialising.
Swimmers may be accompanied by up to 3 non-swimming friend/partner/family arriving together in the same car/vehicle.
Non-swimmers must pay their admission in cash on arrival at reception.
Non-swimmers fee is £3 per person (of any age/size).
Non-swimmers can enjoy a walk around the lake or sit and enjoy a hot drink and slice of cake in the Wellbeing Barn (sorry we don’t allow food to be brought onto site) while you swim.
Non-swimmers are not permitted to enter/swim/paddle in the lake.
At least one non-swimmer must be 18 years and over (you can’t leave anyone under the age of 18 unaccompanied on site while you swim).
Children must be kept under close supervision at all times.
Non-swimmers must abide by our rules during their time on site.
DOGS DURING WINTER CLUB SWIM SESSIONS
Dogs are not permitted on site for this session type.
ISLANDS, TREES AND GENERAL AREAS
Swimmers are not permitted to climb onto the islands (except in an emergency).
Visitors are not permitted to pick plants.
Visitors must not throw grass, sticks, stones or any other item into the lake at any time – anyone caught throwing will be immediately removed from the site.
Visitors may not climb, hang from or carve any tree, rock or item at the venue.
Visitors are not permitted to lift or remove any display items from their position.
Visitors are not permitted to picnic in the car park.
We are a no smoking/vaping venue, this includes the car park.
EVERYONE is required to abide by our venue rules this is for your safety and your enjoyment. If we feel that someone is not following our guidance during their visit, they will be asked to leave the venue. If this is a non-swimmer, the swimmer will be required to finish their swim so that they can leave site.
WINTER CLUB BOOKINGS
All bookings to be made online.
You can book upto 1 hour prior to the session start time (if you miss the booking deadline, please call us prior).
Bookings can be cancelled or rescheduled with 72hrs notice via your email confirmation or just login to Acuity scheduling (if you have created an account).
We cannot transfer bookings for open water swim sessions/slots/packages to alternative courses.
You must only book for yourself.
A great way to save money when you plan to come regularly.
Buy your package first then using your code, book your swims. You can book on any available date as shown on our Winter Club booking calendar. You can make all your bookings right away or you can book when you are ready.
Please note that once you start using your package there is no option for a refund.
Please note that packages are for the currect Winter Season, and the valid date range will be clearly advised on your package. We cannot transfer to alternative/future/different events etc.
In the event of adverse weather conditions, Ocean Walker Academy reserve the right to cancel a session - giving as much notice as possible to the club members. If this occurs then the session will run on an alternative date (you will not lose your booking).
Where the lake is frozen, we will do our best to provide an immersion experience, which may mean the route is smaller than usual.
Please do not call/email with concerns over the weather. This is Winter after all and we will only cancel a session should the gods throw everything they have at us or the lake is literally frozen over and swimming deemed...not possible 😉
If you decide that the weather is not for you, and our session runs as usual, then our usual t&c's apply.