Anna Thompson, Education and Activities Manager

Picture the scene…a blue summer sky with the sun just dipping towards the horizon, crystal clear water and swallows flitting through the air above your head.  Sounds idyllic doesn’t it?  Okay so maybe not all my open water swimming sessions at Nene Outdoors have been quite this perfect, but come rain or shine, I never regret getting into the water for a lap or two after work. 

Swimming has always been a popular sport, accessible to all and with minimal equipment costs. And open water swimming has been steadily increasing in popularity over the past decade as people discover the freedom of being able to swim in large expanses of water, without the restrictions of “fast” and “slow” lanes, or the chemicals found in public swimming pools.  In 2019, Nene Outdoors Watersports and Activity Centre responded to the demand for local opportunities for safe, accessible open water swimming and at the same time I discovered a new hobby. Since then I have barely missed a session and look forward with eagerness each May to a report that the water temperature has reached 11° and swimming can start again.

The weekly sessions at Nene Outdoors are really fun and attract a true cross section of ages and abilities. Chatting to other swimmers in the changing rooms, I discover people training for a triathlon sharing tips with first time swimmers and when it comes to the tricky task of zipping up your wetsuit, there is no shortage of friendly faces to lend a hand.  There is no sense of hierarchy or competitiveness in the water either.  The course is a 400m loop so there is plenty of space for everyone, whether swimming a head-down front crawl to get a personal best, or head-up breast stroke while chatting to a friend.

During my swim I am secure in the knowledge that the fantastic team based at Nene Outdoors are watching out for everyone’s safety, ready to step in with help if needed. And after my swim I can look forward to a warm shower in the heated changing rooms.

If you have never been open water swimming I urge you to give it a try.  You will not find a friendlier venue with better facilities for your first dip. If you are already a regular, I look forward to seeing you in the water again soon!

Our 2023 open water swimming season starts on Thursday 4th May, continuing every Thursday from 5.30pm until 7pm until the end of September. To find out more, and to book your place, please click here.