Open Water Swimming

St Andrews Lakes is proud to be accredited as a NOWCA open water swim venue. Bringing you a year-round open water water swimming experience like no other in this part of the world.

The water here at St Andrews Lakes is the most beautiful turquoise in colour and incredibly clean, being spring fed, originating from the Chilterns. You won't be battling with mud and reeds or swimming through a cloud of green water with us!

During the summer months the lake surface water warms up to 20c bringing many indoor pool swimmers outside to enjoy the fresh air, cooling down to around 6c in the latter winter months, making you feel truly alive!


From April through to October we have three lengths of course available for you to swim. It's up to you to swim whichever you wish when you get in the water! 

  • 200 metre Novice Swimmer

  • 300 metre Intermediate Swimmer

  • 600 metre Experienced Swimmer

During the colder months, the course is bought closer to our lake beach and reduced down to 250m for increased safety whilst swimming in cold water.


To swim at St Andrews Lakes you must be a current member of NOWCA (£12yr) and have successfully completed an induction with us at the lake.


Inductions and swim sessions are booked through our easy to use online booking platform;


Your safety is our number 1 priority, so we do have some simple rules that have to be followed;

  • All swimmers must be current members of NOWCA and using the NOWCA safety wristband.

  • All swimmers must have successfully completed an induction with one of our swim staff prior to booking a swim session.

  • All swimmers are required to wear a brightly coloured swim cap and be equipped with a safety tow float. 

  • All our sessions are supervised by a safety kayaker on the water as well as lifeguard cover lakeside. You're always being looked after.

  • Unless part of a swim class or organised group, commercial activity insurance requires all swimmers to be aged 16yrs and over.

Vital advice for your cold water swims.

Manage Your Regular Bookings

If you are one of our regular swimmers, you can manage your bookings via our online booking system by creating a customer profile/account.

This can be done when making your first booking or sign up at a later date.

Please note: the system will not allow you to change your booking within 3days of your booked session, it will also not allow you to process a refund for yourself. Please contact our office to process any refund due.

Latest Water Temperature

All devices will generally read differently by +/-1 degree.

Latest Lake Water Quality Test Results

Lake water sampling is done on a monthly basis throughout the year

Sampling date: 05/02/21

Comments: Outstanding. Far exceeds bathing water quality.

Understanding the results - 

Colony Counts 

Colony counts (microbiology of drinking water) are to be determined at 22°C, the Water Supply (Water Quality) Regulations require water companies to carry out two Colony Count tests: one at 22°C with incubation for three days and the other 37°C with incubation for two days. In summary; As the water at St Andrews Lakes will not reach this temperature, level of the Colony Counts should always remain at or below the levels on the test result certificate. 


Coliforms & E.coli

Escherichia coli or E. coli is a type of fecal coliform bacteria that is commonly found in the intestines of animals and humans. E. coli in water is a strong indicator of sewage or animal waste contamination.

Maximum Acceptable Concentration for drinking water = none detectable per 100ml. This means that in order to conform to the guideline; for every 100ml of drinking water tested, no total coliforms or E. coli should be detected. However, E. coli levels at designated swimming beaches should not exceed 88 per 100ml in any one sample, or exceed a three-sample average over a 60-day period if rising levels are indicated. 


Faecal Streptococci & Clostridium Perfringens

Faecal streptococci and Clostridium perfringens are applied as indicators for water pollution. The presence of Faecal streptococci and Clostridium perfringens indicates the presence of faecal pathogens in water. Faecal coli bacteria, Faecal streptococci and Clostridium perfringens are both parameters for the indication of clean swimming water conditions.

Swim Coaches and Groups

Swim coaches and groups are most welcome to swim at St Andrews Lakes. All swim coaches must be registered with us and comply with the following conditions;

  • Coaching qualifications must be submitted to Aqueous Leisure Ltd to be kept on file.

  • Coaching insurances must be submitted to Aqueous Leisure Ltd to be kept on file.

  • All participants must be individually inducted to St Andrews Lakes. This is not open for discussion as a requirement of our commercial OWS insurance.

  • All participants must be aged 16 years and over. This is not open for discussion as a requirement of our commercial OWS insurance.

  • All participants are required to be booked in to a swim session via our online booking system.

  • Each participant is at the current set price of £7.50

  • Each participant has to be a member of NOWCA to comply with St Andrews Lake swim safety system.

  • Each participant must swim with a tow float and wear a brightly coloured swim cap.

Shallows: 7°C

Main lake: 7°C

Colony Count

3days 22c

Result: 141 cfu/100ml

E. coli


Result: 0 cfu/100ml

Colony Count

2days 37c

Result: 4 cfu/100ml




Result: cfu/100ml



Result: 0 cfu/100ml

Clostridium perfringens

Result: 0 cfu/100ml

Opening times

November to April

Saturday & Sunday 0900hrs to 1200hrs (off water by 1200hrs)


March 29th to 31st May

 1000hrs to 1700hrs.


1st June to 30th September

Everyday 0800hrs to 2000hrs.



Friday, Saturday & Sunday 1000hrs to 1600hrs

Open Water Swim Reviews


Opening Hours:

29th March - 31st May 1000-1700hrs

1st June - 31st August 0800-2000hrs

Autumn hrs TBC

01634 926 204

Watersport activities are managed by Aqueous Leisure Ltd..

©2021 by Aqueous Leisure Ltd.