Open water swim sessions

Ardingly Reservoir swim sessions are limited to members only and are pre-booked using the event booking page. Any swimmer who has not pre-booked and paid for their session will not be allowed in the water. 

Open water swimming (OWS) is extremely popular with club members and takes place at Ardingly Reservoir. We swim a 300 to 450m course depending on the water temperature. Minimum age is 18 years.

OWS safety is very important to us and to take part you must:

  • Be a current member of the club
  • Read the risk assessments and club policies
  • Accept the indemnity waiver during registration
  • Wear a wetsuit and visible swim cap
  • Take a turn as Safety Spotter on the pontoon

Open Water Swim Documents REQUIRED READING

If you are attending the swim sessions or doing a Spotter duty you will need check out our safety video before coming to the reservoir. 


There is a one-off registration fee of £10 paid to South East Water. 

The cost per swim is £4, down from £6 last year.  You can buy credits on the website on your details page.

You can book any session up to the session time itself. If you need to cancel then this must be done at least 24 hours in advance to get a refund. If you have any issues with this please contact


Social distance must be maintained at all times and we need to keep the slipway clear for other users. There will be a pre-swim Bag Drop Area on the picnic lawn in front of the white gazebo. From there swimmers will go directly to the slipway where they will sign in with Spotter before entering the water. After exiting the water and signing out with the Spotter, swimmers should collect their bags and go to the Post Swim Change Area where there is more space to change. A map and further details are in the Briefing for Open Water Swimming at Ardingly

The activity centre is closed and there are no toilet facilities currently available. The cafe is open for take aways only.

Times and Dates

The 2021 season will run from 1st May to 2nd October, water temperature and quality permitting. Sessions times are as follows:

  • Saturday mornings 08:15-9:45
  • Tuesday evenings 18:00-19:30 

The water temperature is starts around 12C in May, rising to (hopefully!) low 20s in July/August and then cools quickly in September.


For safety we have a Spotter on the jetty and kayakers on the water (provided by the Ardingly Activity Centre). We operate a rota system and everyone that swims is expected to do a Spotter duty at some point. These slots are for 45mins and so swimming is still possible on that day. Please do not sign up unless you are prepared to do this duty.

Duties are allocated by our Dutyman software (watch out for an email) and can be swapped if allocated times are inconvenient - the system is flexible and duties can generally be easily swapped. If you have any particular date requests then contact before the start of the season. Failure to turn up for your duty means that someone else has to cover this role and we reserve the right to bar members from swimming for duty no-shows.

  • Please either confirm your duties or arrange to swap with another member
  • You can also login directly to Dutyman here Dutyman MSTC Rota 
  • Please use the reminder feature on dutyman if you forgot your password.
  • If you do not receive any emails there are some tips to help  dutyman email tips

Taster Sessions

We offer a taster session for those who would like to try OWS before they commit to joining the club. We require you to be able swim at least 400m continuously (front crawl or breast stroke). A club member will accompany you round the first lap for safety and encouragement. Don’t forget that you’ll need to be wearing a wetsuit and swim cap. Contact to book a slot.


Open Water Swimming is also available at: 

Weirwood reservoir, Forest Row RH18 5HT.

  • Tuesday evening 4pm to 7:30pm
  • Thursday evening 4pm to 7:30pm
  • Saturday morning 8am to 11:30am

Please refer to the Weirwood website for details.

Please note that the sessions are not organised by the club and members swim at their own risk. 

Sea Swimming

We may also meet for sea swimming but this is arranged on an individual basis. See Facebook for details of any forthcoming swims.