DO3 OPEN WATER 2021
After a fantastic (albeit short) first season in 2020, Do3 Open Water returns to Compton Verney on Sunday 2nd May 2021. This season we are pleased to announce that you will be able to swim three times per week on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings.
Bookings were hugely popular last season with all sessions selling out completely (with healthy waiting lists too). For this reason we advise you to book ahead early. Bookings for 2021 are now open! Similar to last year, we offer single swim passes for £10 and five swim passes for £40. There is also a requirement for all swimmers to pay an annual admin fee of £10. We would like you to reuse your membership card from 2020 but you will still be required to pay the £10 administration fee.
Covid - At this stage we are unsure about how the sessions will be affected by Covid restrictions, but either way, we will continue to run in such a way that you are safe, secure and have fun.
To stay up to date with the latest Do3 Open Water swimming news please join the Facebook group
Please see the bottom of the page for any Frequently Asked Questions.
Volunteers needed - If you are interested in getting involved with Do3 Open Water as a lifeguard, safety kayak, safety spotter or general volunteer please get in touch. Lifeguards and safety kayakers are qualified and paid positions. Other volunteers earn swims for every hour they assist. Drop us an email to email@example.com for more info.
What are you looking for?
Open Water Swimming
Latest Water Temp. 31/08/21
We are very pleased to be able to offer open water swimming in the beautiful lake at Compton Verney, Warwickshire from May to the end of September. Compton Verney is a grade 1 listed mansion house that was built in 1714. It is set within its landscaped grounds designed by none other than the famous Lancelot "Capability' Brown who was responsible for creating the lake you will be swimming in. The lake is stream-fed and has been tested and given 'excellent" status during the latest set of water quality tests (April 2021).
The lake has two loops available with the largest being approximately 600m and the smaller one being around 250m. Sessions are booked on a first-come-first-served basis* with limited slots available per hour to ensure everyone has plenty of space and to allow for social distancing. Swimmers will be asked to sign for having read the swimmers' rules prior to entering the water and will go through a check-in and check-out procedure for safety reasons (see the details below). All swimmers will also be required to undergo a quick competency swim prior to setting off on the bigger laps.
All sessions are fully covered with safety kayaks, spotters and lifeguards.
*Sessions must be pre-booked prior to attendance (click here for more)
Compton Verney Lake. Compton Verney, Warwickshire CV35 9HZ
Finding the Venue
Compton Verney is very well located in the heart of rural Warwickshire. The main road routes to the venue would be along the 'Fosse Way' B4455 or the B4086 from the direction of Stratford-upon-Avon or from Junction 12 of the M40 via Kineton.
The entrance to the swim venue is off the B4086. Look for the signs directing you into the carpark.
Upon arrival at the car park (area 2 on the map) please find a space (no payment is required) and make your way towards the Welcome Centre.
Toilets are available at the Welcome Centre. Please note there are only two toilets (one with disabled access), so they should not be used as changing rooms
Enter the grounds via the pedestrian gate to the left of the Centre as you look at it from the car park. Please then follow the green signs to the lake.
The booking in zone and lake entrance/exit is located beside Upper Bridge (area 1 on the map).
Swim session dates and times
Tuesday 6pm - 9pm (3 x 60min sessions)
Thursday 6pm - 9pm (3 x 60min sessions)
Sunday 6:30am - 9:30am (3 x 60min sessions)
Swimming is permitted only during these times and must be pre-booked.
Depending on demand additional sessions may be added in the future. Our open water swim season runs from Sunday 2nd May through until the Thursday 30 September
Important information for swimmers (please read)
We take the safety and security of swimmers very seriously. We have been lucky enough to be granted access to this beautiful venue (and would like to keep it this way for your use for many years to come!). For this reason we have a number of swimmers' rules which we ask all swimmers to agree to and abide by. They are as follows:
Access and belongings
SOCIAL DISTANCING - At all times when on site you must adhere to the current social distancing guidelines of staying 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household bubble. This includes when queuing for check-in/out, toilets and to enter the water.
Please stick to the routes to/from the lake as described above and follow signage. The area of the grounds on the other side of the Upper Bridge are private and out of bounds - Please see the notes below about running and cycling pre/post swim.
Please arrive at the booking in zone no earlier than 20 mins before your swim time. This is in order to reduce congestion and help aid social distancing.
There are NO changing facilities at the venue at present so please arrive changed and ready to swim.
You are responsible for your own belongings and Do3 do not take any responsibility for lost property (we will of course hold anything accidentally left behind). We suggest leaving all property locked in your car. You can walk to the booking in area and leave footwear/small bags in the marked location near the start.
Booking in and out procedure
ALL SESSIONS MUST BE PRE-BOOKED PRIOR TO ATTENDANCE. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE (SEE "HOW TO BOOK AND SECURE YOUR SWIM SLOT" BELOW.
NO SWIMMERS ARE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE WATER UNTIL THEY HAVE BEEN CHECKED IN BY A MEMBER OF DO3 STAFF.
SOCIAL DISTANCING - At all times when on site you must adhere to the current social distancing guidelines of staying 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household bubble.
In the booking in zone you will see the booking in desk. This is where you will be issued your membership card (on your first visit). If you already have a membership card, on the first visit of 2021 a sticker will be applied to your card to indicate that you have paid the £10 admin fee for 2021. This card will be scanned to mark you as 'arrived'. At this point you are allowed to enter the water and start your swim.
You must exit the lake before the end of your 1 hour slot. Kayakers will prevent anyone starting long laps 10 minutes before the end of the session, but you can use the short lap after this time. If you book consecutive sessions you must return to the start point at the end of each hour and staff will allow you to continue from there.
When you finish your swim you MUST get checked out of the water by a member of staff.
Due to current social distancing measures you are unfortunately not able to wait around after your swim so please gather your belongings and return to your car.
The full swim loop at Compton Verney is approximately 600m. Please only attempt to swim full laps if you are confident to do so. There will be a shorter 250m loop available too for those who want/need it.
The lake is regularly tested for water quality and blue-green algae. In the most recent tests the water quality results came back as 'excellent' and the blue-green algae tests showed 'no-trace'. We monitor these items on a regular basis.
The water temperature is monitored permanently and this will be displayed in the booking-in area.
Getting in-out of the lake. Please be careful and take your time getting in and out. There will be matting on the floor at the entry/exit point to protect swimmers' feet in the lake. There are lots of fresh water mussels (a sign of a healthy lake). These can be sharp so be cautious when putting your feet down and try to swim up to the matting if you can. The edges of the matting will be marked with flags on the bank so you know where to aim for.
Unless there is an emergency you must only enter and leave the lake at the designated start/finish point.
Every session will be covered by safety staff in the form of kayakers, spotters and lifeguards. There will always be a first aider on site. All staff have been trained to deal with and respond to incidents as they occur. Please be courteous to the safety staff at all times as they are there to protect and look after you.
If the lake needs to be evacuated due to weather conditions or incident, you will hear one long blast on a whistle. On hearing this warning, please proceed immediately to the normal swim exit point.
Abusive language or behaviour towards staff or other swimmers will not be tolerated and may result in a ban.
All swimmers will be asked to do a competency test at the start of their first swim. This will simply involve a simple out and back swim across the narrow section of the lake near to the entry point, rolling onto your back and giving the coach a thumbs up. If you get into difficulty when swimming, rolling onto your back and raising your hand signals to safety crew that you need help, so we need to know you can do that.
SOCIAL DISTANCING - When overtaking slower swimmers in the lake please try to give space and breathe away from the swimmer you are overtaking.
Coached Open Water
At Do3 we think that improving your open water skills should be a key part of your swim training. Whether you are someone who is looking to swim open water for the first time or an experienced athlete who wants to fine tune their open water skills then we have courses to suit you.
First Timers and Novices
Swimming in the open water can be a daunting experience to those who are new to it. "It's cold", "it's deep", "you can’t see where you are going", are just a few of the things we hear people saying. Some of these things may be true but it is purely a matter of getting used to it and becoming familiar and comfortable with things. Once you are over that bit, you then get to understand just how rewarding open water swimming can be.
Our 'Introduction to Open Water Swimming' sessions are suitable for those who are either brand new to swimming open water or those who are fairly new to it but want to learn some key skills. Some of the key elements that would be covered during this session are:
Open water swimming - the kit you need
Concerns, fears and dealing with anxiety
Safety when open water swimming
Entries and Exits (basic)
Swimming in a straight line (sighting)
More Advanced Skills
If you are experienced at open water swimming and are looking for ways to further improve your open water swim ability or race times, then our 'Advanced Open Water Skills' sessions would be ideal for you. These sessions spend more time focusing on the elements that will make you even quicker through the water and help make you a more rounded, skilled open water swimmer. Some of the key elements covered during this session are:
Open water stroke technique work
Open water stroke - adapting to different swim environments
Turns (various types and angles)
Starts (land and deep water)
Entries and Exits
ALL SESSIONS MUST BE PRE-BOOKED PRIOR TO ATTENDANCE. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS RULE
Swim slots are allocated on a per-hour basis and numbers are strictly limited. Prices are as follows:
Single/trial swims - £10
5 swim block (recommended) - £8 per swim
In addition to this there is also a one-off (annual) fee of £10 to be paid on your first visit. You will be given a swim card with a barcode and this card will be scanned to check you into the water each time you swim. The swim card will be valid for the full swim season. The annual administration fee needs to be paid for with CASH on your first visit. Membership cards from 2020 can be kept and reused but the administration fee still needs to be paid.
By far the easiest way to register, book and pay for swim sessions (and other services) is by using the Do3 App! Once you have the app on your phone or tablet, simply navigate to 'Open Water'.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any age limits to your open water swimming sessions?
Children between 10 and 12 may swim subject to parent or legal guardian permission. They must complete a competency assessment and will be required to wear a wetsuit and use a tow float (which we will provide). They must be closely accompanied in the water by a responsible adult.
13 and above may swim subject to parent or legal guardian permission. They must complete a competency assessment and will be required to wear a wetsuit and use a tow float (which we will provide). They must be accompanied by a responsible adult who may be required to swim with them.
Competent under 10s may swim with a parent or guardian at the discretion of Do3 staff. Please contact us before booking.
We're sorry but one adult can only swim with one child, ie a single adult cannot swim with two or more children.
Do I have to wear a wetsuit?
Wearing a wetsuit is optional and entirely up to you. Everyone’s reaction to the cold water is different and if you’ve not done open water swimming before you will find it very cold. Should you wish to wear one, a wetsuit will offer you warmth and buoyancy. Under 16 degrees wearing a wetsuit is compulsory unless you’re very experienced because you could get cold water shock.
Can you recommend a wetsuit?
Whilst we can’t recommend a wetsuit specific to your needs, we have created an informative video which should cover off most of the popular questions we get asked. We would recommend a swim specific wetsuit rather than a surfing wetsuit. It can be found on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8a-fKW2mQM&t=23s.
Can I swim any stroke?
It’s fine to swim front crawl and breaststroke. Backstroke is not allowed because it can look like the swimmer is summoning help.
Can I turn up half way through the session?
For the early part of the season two safety briefings will be provided. This will allow new swimmers the opportunity to arrive a bit later to the session and have plenty of time to ask any questions. Swimmers must receive a safety briefing before entering the water. Swimmers must also be checked in by the staff on the check in desks.
We are adding these as the questions as they come in! Please check back later or submit a question below. We will aim to answer your question within one working day.