No matter your ability, experience or desire, there are a wide range of swimming courses and lessons to make the most of in London. Culture Trip guides you through some of the best on offer.
With a fairly holistic approach, Swimming Nature is based on the premise that everything is rooted in a unique and passionate teaching method. All their instructors train their pupils in the water, so you learn the correct mechanics of the four recognised strokes from the offset. You learn how, why and what you should be doing – which means no doggy-paddle or armbands. Pick from more than 30 pools across London.
Beginners start by learning the basics of floating in the water, and incorporate strokes while being supported by foam floating tools. At the end of the course, you’ll be able to do all four basic strokes.
In addition, there is a CoursePro app which instructors will update during and after each lesson with a performance review. Your instructor rates your most recent performance and will track improvement over time to focus on what you’ll need to improve for the lessons ahead. And all in arguably London’s most beautiful pool.
Great for adults, the lessons offered by Turner Swim are suitable whatever your current ability, all in Le Méridien Piccadilly, a spectacular five-star hotel in central London with a chlorine–free pool. Their main philosophy is to encourage people to progress at their own pace, and they strive to make swimming enjoyable by using modern teaching techniques. Instructors also explain the science behind swimming to enhance understanding of the practice and to match your style of learning. If desired, intensive swimming lessons to maximise muscle memory are also available.
Situated in London’s Hyde Park, the Serpentine Swimming Club is an open air swimming club open all year round, affiliated to the Amateur Swimming Association. The main activities club revolve around the morning handicap races, held every Saturday throughout the year. Wet suits are not permitted for the races so you’ll have to brave the chill. If you are a prospective new member, the best thing to do is to go along on a Saturday morning to meet and chat with the other swimmers.
The SLSC is a members’ club located in Tooting Bec Lido. Measuring 100 yards long, it is the largest freshwater pool in England and is run by volunteers who work closely with Wandsworth Council to ensure it remains a viable and valued resource for the community. The Lido is open every single day of the year despite not being heated, and as wet suits are allowed, it can be a great spot for triathlon training.
Divided into fitness or skill sessions, this company offers lessons in two locations – Upminster and Hyde Park. Within the different types of lessons available, swimmers can select between one-on-one training, weekend workshops and courses to improve fitness or stroke technique.
With four pools across London, in Knightsbridge, Fulham, City of London and Tower Bridge, Strictly Swimming offer private one-to-one lessons that are suitable for adults of all levels, from new beginners to triathletes and competitive swimmers. During each private swimming lesson, you will have use of one lane at any venue with your coach, making it a fantastic learning environment. Novice swimmers should know that the depth of the pool at all venues is 1.2 metres – usually around waist height.
With indoor pools and open water venues, swimmers can take their pick of sessions offered by RG Active depending on their personal requirements. Locations include Hampstead Heath, Stoke Newington, Walthamstow and Hampton. If, however, you want a bigger commitment, then the company also offers full swim workshops in Majorca. You can train as hard or as long as you want, knowing that after the session you can go back to your hotel room, relax and let your body prepare itself for the next session.
As well as their pools in Barbican and Farringdon, this company offers home lessons. So, if you’re lucky enough to have your own pool, or have access to a private pool somewhere, instructors can come to you and offer one-on-one training.