Open water swimming venue set for opening at Compton Verney near Kineton
Compton Verney, located near Kineton, is a grade 1 listed mansion house that was built in 1714.
It is set within its landscaped grounds designed by the famous Lancelot 'Capability' Brown who was responsible for creating the lake on the grounds. The lake is stream-fed, has been tested and given 'excellent" status during the latest set of water quality tests (July 2020).
Do3 Coaching brings open water swimming to Compton and plans to launch the first sessions this weekend on Sunday August 9.
David Knight, the owner and head coach at Do3 Coaching who are running the open swimming venue, is professional and full-time triathlon and swimming coach.
David said: "We've been keeping an eye on Compton Verney for the last couple of years, and we've finally got it up and going.
"We've sold out the first two sessions. They're filling up rapidly further afterwards. We're summer only so we finish at the end of September."
"We're getting responses from recreational swimmers and families too."
Several highly trained staff members will be on hand during the open water swimming sessions, including Corinne Moss, who is also a coach with Do3 Coaching and the current double British Triathlon Champion.
Corinne said: "Open water swimming is a completely different feel than a swimming pool. It's really relaxing. It's a pretty special place to swim."
The other closest open water swimming facilities are in Evesham and Tamworth.
David added: "The area has always needed an open water swimming venue. Compton Verney is beautiful. It's got a good sized lake, and the area is crying out for it."
They held a test training session for staff on Tuesday August 4 in preparation for the launch to the public this weekend.
People can book 60 minute swimming sessions.
Swim sessions are available on two days of the week, on Tuesdays from 6 to 8pm (two separate 60 minutes sessions) and Sundays from 6.30 to 9.30am (three separate 60 minute sessions). Depending on demand additional sessions may be added in the future. The open water swim season runs from May until September 30.
David said: "What's really important is we have to tell people you can only swim during authorised hours managed by us."
People can not just show up at Compton Verney and ask to go open swimming. It must be pre-booked beforehand.
Corinne added: "We're not going to have swimming there when Compton Verney is open to the public."
Swim slots are allocated on a per-hour basis and numbers are strictly limited. Prices are £10 for a single swim session and a five block swim (recommended) works out to £8 per swim.
There is also a one-off (annual) fee of £10 to be paid for the membership card, which will be issued on the first visit. The membership card needs to be paid for with cash on your first visit.
What to know about open water swimming at Compton Verney:
- Please arrive at the booking in zone no earlier than 20 mins before your swim time. This is in order to reduce congestion and help aid social distancing.
- There are no changing facilities at the venue at present so please arrive changed and ready to swim.
- All sessions must be pre-booked
- When you finish your swim you must re-attend the booking in desk and get checked out by a member of staff. You should return the band and you will be given your membership card and car keys.
- The full swim loop at Compton Verney is approximately 650m. There will be a shorter 400m loop available too.
- The lake is regularly tested for water quality and blue-green algae. In the most recent tests the water quality results came back as 'excellent' and the blue-green algae tests showed 'no-trace'.
- The water in the lake at Compton Verney is between 6 and 8 feet deep.
- Every session will be covered by safety staff in the form of kayakers, spotters and lifeguards. There will always be a first aider on site.
- All swimmers will be asked to do a competency test at the start of their first swim. This will simply involve a simple out and back swim across the narrow section of the lake near to the entry point.
- Prior to attending everyone must complete the Do3 Open Water COVID-19 health survey and declaration online.