Outdoor Swimming in Vale of White Horse
We are extremely lucky to have several areas across the district to enjoy riverside fun and wild swimming, and many of our residents make the most of it every year. There are many fantastic walking routes, leisure facilities and picnic spots to enjoy by the riverside and wild swimming is becoming an increasingly popular hobby.
If you are planning a trip to the riverside or anywhere you can swim outdoors, please take a moment to look at our River Safety Top Tips before you don the swimming goggles:
- Research or ask around for the best swimming spot
- Pay attention to hazard signs and life buoys
- Think about rainfall and temperature – Assess the risks
- Always swim with others
- Avoid weirs, locks, pipes and sluices
- Know where you are going to exit the water#
- Take your rubbish home with you if no bins are available.
- Wade in, don’t jump. River depth is always changing, and you never know what is below the surface – trees, rocks, even trolleys…
- Always accompany children and ensure they know where is safe to swim
- Know your limits and be aware of changes in depth and current
- Be boat aware – Consider wearing a bright tow-float
- Swim Sober – drugs and alcohol can limit the ability of even the most experienced swimmers and increase the risk of drowning
- Be respectful of other people using the waterways and riverbanks.
Don’t be a hero
- If you see someone in trouble in the water dial 999 or 112
- Look for a flotation device nearby and throw it to them
- Shout instructions to help them stay afloat
- Do not attempt a rescue without the correct training, experience or equipment.
For more information on swimming outdoors please visit:
- www.wildswimming.co.uk – An online community of wild swimmers who are committed to safe outdoor swimming
- Oxfordshire Fire and Rescue – Online water safety learning for children
If you have children or haven’t had much experience with swimming, consider making a splash at your local pool – the water’s warm and clear, and you’ll have lifeguards on hand to keep you safe.