Frequently Asked Questions

Where are you based?

All coaching is at Cliff Lakes, B78 2DL unless otherwise stated. For more information about Cliff Lakes, please visit: https://www.clifflakes.co.uk/

Where do I park?

There is parking onsite at Cliff Lakes and the parking charge is included in the price of the coaching session. Please go to the Aqua Village reception and provide your registration details to validate your parking. If you are not a customer and visit Cliff Lakes, parking charges will apply.

For any other adventures that are not at Cliff Lakes, information will be provided on a case by case basis.

How cold is the water?

This totally depends on the time of the year! In April-May the water is typically between 12-16 degrees and in the peak summer months the water can be in excess of 20 degrees. In the winter, we regularly have temperatures below 5 degrees. You will get a bit cold but that is part of the experience. There are hot drinks available on-site, please do bring your own if you prefer.

Do I need to be a really strong swimmer?

No you don’t, but it is helpful if you can swim a little bit and are confident in water out of your depth. We do have both options at Cliff Lakes, but you will not be able to stand up in most of the lake. Unless there is specific guidance in the booking notes, sessions are open to all abilities.

Do I need a wetsuit?

Wetsuits are optional and I encourage swimmers to try to swim without. I personally am a skins swimmer (non wetsuit), and for me there is nothing better than swimming in my costume in the lake. It gives me more enjoyment without one. Please wear what you feel most comfortable in.

For our winter swims, I recommend swimming without one and we go into more detail on this within the course.

However, if you are training for a wetsuit specific event, I recommend that you wear a wetsuit. Please only wear a proper swimming wetsuit: it is difficult to swim in an all-purpose wetsuit as it is less flexible and more restrictive.

Do I need a swimming hat?

Yes, because you are more visible, and the hat will keep your head warm. The brighter the better and a silicone swimming hat is best. If you are swimming heads up breast stroke and you don’t plan on putting your face in the water, then a bobble or woolly hat is fine.

I am really nervous; can you help me?

Of course. I specialise in assisting nervous swimmers and have an excellent success rate in helping people get over their fears.

Is it safe?

Cliff Lakes has qualified lifeguards on-site and I am a qualified open water swimming coach with an up to date lifeguarding qualification. We have safety plans in place.

What kit do I need?

Swimwear, goggles, hat, tow float, sensible footwear, lots of layers to warm up afterwards including a woolly hat, gloves and socks even in the summer. Please bring a large towel or changing robe as you may need to get changed with other people around to protect your modesty. We cannot ensure that changing rooms will be open.

What if the weather is bad?

We are open come rain or shine. There are a few covered areas onsite, and we will still go ahead with the courses but may have to modify the format if the weather is particularly bad.

I only swim heads up breaststroke, is that okay?

This is completely fine for the beginners’ course, private group bookings and 121s. The open water skills course is tailored towards intermediate swimmers who do swim front crawl.

Can you teach me front crawl?

Of course, but you would be better booking I private session or a group session with a friend.

Do you cater for people with disabilities?

Yes, we welcome all swimmers but please do contact me before booking and we can discuss the best way of accommodating your needs. 

What is your cancellation policy?

Sessions are non-refundable but they can be rescheduled with 72 hours’ notice. If you have to cancel a session, please let me know at least 72 hours beforehand so that I can offer the slot to other customers. You will be offered the opportunity to transfer onto a different session.

I will only cancel if there are issues with water quality, in the cases of extreme weather or if I need to deal with an emergency. These sessions will be rescheduled. Occasionally, I may need to cancel / rearrange the session if there are not enough people to make up a course or session. I will contact you directly if there is an issue.