Open Water Swimming

St Andrews Lakes is proud to be accredited as a NOWCA open water swim venue. Bringing you 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 two 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 triangle

  • 600 metre  triangle

During the colder months, the course is bought closer to our lake beach and reduced down to 200m for increased safety whilst swimming in cold water.

Youth Open Water Swimming

Open water swimmers aged 10-16yrs old fall under our banner of 'Youth Open Water Swimming' which has been risk assessed and insured separately to our adult open water swim sessions.

Youth swimming is only permitted when the water temperature is 14°C or above.

Each youth swimmer must be inducted and accompanied by a competent inducted adult open water swimmer or under the supervision of an approved swim coach session.

Youth swimmers must be current members of NOWCA. Their swim must  booked in through our online booking platform, the same way as any adult. 

For safety's sake, we do enforce the rule of no youth swimming allowed without a nominated competent and inducted adult swimmer.

NOWCA Membership

Your safety is taken extremely seriously. We have therefore partnered with the National Open Water Coaching Association (NOWCA), adopting the NOWCA safety system and bringing to you many benefits of being NOWCA members, in the way of various courses and partner discounts.

To swim with us at St Andrews Lakes you must be a current member of NOWCA (£15yr) and have successfully completed a 1:1 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 lifeguard supervised; You're always being looked after!

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 3 days 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: 07/08/21

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 either by joining one of our daily swim sessions or booking the entire swim course to have privately to yourselves.


Private hourly hire for up to 20 swimmers - £150

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.

Main lake: 17°C

Colony Count

3days 22c

Result: 18 cfu/100ml

E. coli


Result: 0 cfu/100ml

Colony Count

2days 37c

Result: 9 cfu/100ml




Result: 5 cfu/100ml



Result: 16 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 31st August

Everyday 0800hrs to 2000hrs.


Everyday 1000 to 1800hrs.



Friday, Saturday & Sunday 1000hrs to 1600hrs

Open Water Swim Reviews