DO3 OPEN WATER
It's a wrap! What an exhilarating 7 weeks! It’s hard to believe that in such a short space of time we have met and helped bring together such an amazing community of swimmers. Nearly 500 individuals came and swam with us!
Compton Verney provided achingly beautiful surroundings that made the early, and sometimes damp, starts pleasurable. The opportunity to experience all the benefits of open water swimming whilst enjoying the nature around the lake is what kept people coming back week after week, and pretty much every session fully booked.
From those that chatted their way around one lap of the short course, to those that swam full pelt for 2 hours or more, we loved seeing you all getting what you wanted out of your swims, and especially the smiles of the anxious first timers who got out having loved it.
It couldn’t have been done without the help of the brilliant and dedicated team - from the lifeguards, to the spotters, to the kayakers, paddleboarders and not forgetting the check in staff and ‘man with the pole’! Each one of them braving the cold conditions to ensure that the swimmers felt safe and secure in what was, for some, a completely new experience.
The night swim was awesome - seeing the moon rise above all the fairy lights won’t ever be forgotten! Everyone entered into the glow stick spirit and had a ball!
The feedback about all of the sessions has been amazing and has confirmed that we were right to pursue the challenge of opening up outdoor swimming at this venue. We are passionate about what we do and what we can offer swimmers and it has been encouraging to read that you’ve loved every minute. You can read the feedback here:
Finally, who can forget the cake and hot drinks provided each week for enjoyment and refuelling! Who knew that cake could contain so many vegetables yet taste to good!
We look forward to returning to Compton Verney next year to continue and build on the experiences that we’ve all enjoyed this year.
See you then!
What are you looking for?
Open Water Swimming
Latest Water Temp. 30/09/20
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 (September 2020).
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 0JH
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 (2) 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 carpark. 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 - 8pm (2 x 60min sessions) *
Sunday 6:30am - 9:30am (3 x 60min sessions)
*extended until 9pm when daylight allows
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 1st May through until the 30th September
Important Information for swimmers (please read)
We take the safety and security of swimmers very seriously. We also 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). 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 re-attend the booking in desk and get checked out 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.
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 for your registration 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. Registration needs to be paid for with CASH on your first visit.
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'.
No Smart Phone? No problem, simply book in via the form at the bottom of this page or click here.
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. "Its cold", "its 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)
Swimming close to others
Basic introduction to drafting
Basic introduction to turning
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
At this moment in time we are not offering coached open water sessions. We will be offering a full opening water coaching programme from May 2021 so please check back nearer the time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are there any age limits to your open water swimming sessions?
Children over 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 accompanied by a responsible adult on site (they don't need to swim).
Competent under 12s may swim with a parent or guardian at the discretion of Do3 staff. Please contact us before booking.
We are adding these as the questions as they come in! Please check back later or submit a question below. We will aim to asnswer your question within one working day.