West Reservoir Wild swimming
The Hackney Citizen reports: “The reservoir is tucked away behind the Castle Climbing Centre on Green Lanes and is flanked by the New River.”
“Once you’ve slipped on a wetsuit (wearing one is mandatory for safety reasons) you are given an induction and enter the Victorian reservoir. You are rewarded with views that are breathtaking, and so much more exciting than anything you can see from the inside of a swimming pool.”
“This new swimming venue has been launched in response to what the council says has been a phenomenal rise in the popularity of open water swimming.”
" ‘It had been on the agenda for some considerable time,’ says Stoke Newington West Reservoir Centre manager Mark Owens. ‘It was just a case of finding the right time to do it and making sure all the legalities are in place with health and safety etcetera.’ "
“Interest from residents has been ‘overwhelming,’ according to Mr Owens, who adds: “We’ve had all sorts of people – men and women, and people of all abilities. Some are part of a Triathlon club, for some it’s their first time. It’s not been monopolised by clubs and professionals.”
“ ‘We had over 350 inductions completed, and that’s in the space of three weeks since we’ve opened, so it’s getting more and more popular.’ ”
Regular open water swimming sessions currently run every Thursday (5.30pm to 8.30pm) and Saturday (7.30am to 9.30am) and Sunday (7.30am to 9.30am), although the Thursday afternoon sessions may be dropped as winter draws in, and there will be no swimming allowed once the water becomes too cold.
From April 2014 the centre is hoping to run four sessions per week.
Prices for regular open water swimming sessions are £5 for Better swim members, and £10 for non-members.
Booking is advisable by calling 020 8442 8116.