Open Water Swimming at Bray Lake
In 1979 the gates were opened to Bray Lake, a 60 acre stretch of water which first opened as a windsurfing school under a variety of different names, the London Windsurfing Centre, London Sailboards and finally Activ. It remained that way until 1994 when it became home of Bray Lake Watersports, at which time a further 6 sports were adopted and numerous children and adults were introduce to the world of water sports.
In 2012, limited open water swimming started after requests from local triathlon club Berkshire Triathlon Squad (BTS). This was followed by demand from other triathlon clubs including Evo and Eton plus our own water sports club members and other local wild swimmer enthusiasts, making it clear that there was the demand to open more regularly. Initially the swimming was just a summer activity but by 2014 we were opening to swimmers all year round.
We now run six sessions a week during the main season from 06:00 - 09:00 on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday mornings and from 18:00 till 20:30 on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. In the winter we reduce down to 2-4 sessions and gradually down to just a Saturday and Sunday morning at the coldest part of the year. In the height of the summer there can be over 200 swimmers per session coming through the Centre and a smaller dedicated group of around 30 that keep our weekend morning sessions going throughout the winter. Once you have registered as a friend of Bray Lake we aim to get you into the water as quickly as possible but if you want to chill out first there's no rush to get in. Once you are registered we issue you with a swim card which allows us to get you into the water with a minimum of fuss and allows you to access multi swim discounts. We have inside changing rooms with hot showers but if you prefer we have covered outside changing areas too.
Our largest user group is the Bray Lake Bathers a group of regular swimmers who just enjoy open water swimming and in particular swimming at Bray Lake, mostly locals but several coming from much further too.
We also have various Triathlon clubs that use us as a training base including Evo, Evo Jnr and BTS.
The Triathlon Training Centre are our on site Swim and Training partners who run swim and Triathlon training for all abilities.
We have also been involved in some great Swim events, over the years including the Boulters to Bray Swim, with in excess of 20 Bray Lake bathers regularly attending. Our in house swim professionals the TTC, Triathlon Training Centre also run regular swim events, aquathlons and moonlight swims on the Lake and we have also organised some of our own events including night SUP and swims and our now infamous Christmas inflatable animal swim challenge.
We welcome everyone from those who are just getting into swimming to lovers of wild swimming, channel swimmers, Ironman athletes, triathletes, distance swimmers and everyone in between. We have distances for everyone from 250m up to 1km, all marked out with buoys and a great team to watch out for your safety and to answer any questions you have. Our safety team always have a power boat and a paddle board on hand ready to assist swimmers in case they get into trouble.
After your swim we have a great cafe for you to relax in and enjoy tea’s, barista coffee and brunch options. In the summer our decking becomes full of swimmers basking in the morning sun and in the winter everyone gets cosy in the club house in their dry robes whilst huddling around tea, crumpets and warm porridge.