When it’s this hot, all you want to do is find a way to cool off- and whilst air-conditioned restaurants and frozen cocktails offer some respite, don’t forget that nature has a few tricks up its sleeve too.
Of course, safety is important, and if you are planning to swim in open water in hot weather there are a few things you always need to bear in mind.
The risk of shock from cold water and strong currents are both serious, and these need considering before you embark on a wild swim.
With that in mind, Swim England has released advice to help keep people safe whilst swimming in open water here.
Fortunately for us, there are a number of guided open water swimming sessions available in and around Manchester with open water markers, safety instructors, and qualified coaches on hand to help you get the most out of your swim.
With that in mind, let’s get into the good stuff – namely, where to go for your next (safe) dip.
We’ve picked a handful of spots in and around Manchester suited to varying levels of experience to give you some inspiration.
The Farm Club at Pickmere
This family-run venue sits within 300 acres of Cheshire countryside, with plenty of safe open swimming opportunities for beginners. Here, you can get into the sport of open water swimming with help from safety instructors and experienced coaches on SUP boards. Pre-booked sessions take place between May and September.
Boundary Water Park, Cheshire
The warm, shallow lake at Boundary Water Park is perfect for novices and families, with the added benefit of having sessions overseen by qualified coaches to keep you safe. These run on Thursdays from 5.30-7.30pm and on Sundays from 10-1pm.
Between May and September, Open Swim UK run four weekly sessions at Sale Water Park to encourage people to experience the joys of wild swimming in a safe environment where they can perfect their technique. What’s more, there are indoor changing rooms, lockers, showers and even wetsuit hire available. Priced at £7 or £4 for juniors, no membership is required.
Salford Watersports Centre, Salford Quays
Salford’s Water Sports Centre offers open water swims on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays in the Ontario basin. Priced at £5 for adults and £4.50 for juniors, there are changing rooms and hot showers available, as well as free parking on site.
Uswim at Dock 9, Salford Quays
Uswim host guided open swimming sessions at Salford Quays every Saturday between 8-11am and on Wednesday evenings from 5.30-7.30pm. Water safety is guaranteed, with water quality-tested before sessions. Uswim provides full safety covered with measured 400m, 750m and 1km swim courses available.
Elton Reservoir, Bolton
Managed and run by Bolton Triathlon Club, you can typically join in with guided open water swimming sessions at Elton Reservoir in Bolton every Tuesday from 5-8pm from May through to late August/ early September. However, this summer the algae has made swimming here unsafe leading organisers to close the reservoir until 2023.
Looking for “loads of spooktacular fun” now that the spooky season is right around the corner? Can you lend a helping hand to banish ghosts, ghouls, and monsters? And do you have the guts to ride on a haunted steam engine through the heart of Greater Manchester with the heritage railway’s scream team this Halloween?
Then you can join ELR’s horrible heroes, Count Brian the vampire, Veronica the witch, and Zombie Bob for the train ride of a lifetime.
They will help brave passengers avoid terrible curses and scary surprises along the way.
That’s not all either, as there’s also going to be a raft of ghoulish ghosts singing some of the most spine-chilling songs and creating magic spells to set the spooky scene.
They may also trick you into joining in scares with them too, if you don’t keep an eye out.
East Lancashire Railway has also said that fancy dress is “definitely encouraged” onboard the Halloween Ghost Trains – “the scarier the better”.
And if you’re still hungry for hunting, then more frightful fun is on offer across the road at the Bury Transport Museum, where there will be a brand-new ‘Carn-Evil’ that’s home to a haunted cottage and a whole host of rides – including the Dragon Coaster, the Spooky Sizzler Twist, and many more family-friendly rides.
The Halloween Ghost Trains are happening on Thursday 27, Friday 28 & Saturday 29 October, and you can find out more and grab tickets here.
Featured Image – ELR
Kids & Family
Massive spooky ice rink to return to Manchester city centre this Halloween
Monsters are set to descend on Manchester once again this year, as the city’s largest outdoor ice rink returns this Halloween.
As the cold air begins to draw in and with the spooky season right around the corner, a whole host of ghoulish monsters will soon begin to take over the city centre just in time for Halloween – and just as it has many years before, Cathedral Gardens will become home to one of the colourful creatures at its large outdoor ice rink.
Scare Skate will see Halloween fans and fear-loving families take to the ice for some “frightfully good fun” this October half term from Friday 21 – Monday 31 October.
Gearing up to be “a frightful experience to remember”, not only will the spooktacular rink see one of the iconic MCR Monsters take centre stage as part of the annual Halloween in the City event, but it will also be complete with Halloween-themed music and lighting.
Fancy dress is also massively encouraged and all part of the experience, with plenty of themed props for those all-important “Instagrammable moments” too.
“Halloween is always a spectacular time in Manchester,” said Rob Derry – Managing Director, Ice & Special Events at Skate Manchester.
“We’re thrilled to be part of the iconic monsters trail for another year, and in the beautiful setting of Cathedral Gardens, Scare Skate offers an exciting and unique activity that will bring all of the family together.”
Tickets for Scare Skate are available to book now here.
Prices start at £14.50 for adults and £12.50 for children, with discounted family, group bookings and season tickets also available, and students and key workers able to get themselves a dedicated discounted ticket too.
Is it too early to mention the big C word?
Well, we’re going to – because in the true magic of Christmas, Cathedral Gardens will then transform into a winter wonderland following its Halloween-themed opening week, with a dazzling seven-metre tall Christmas tree in middle of a custom-made ice path taking the spot occupied by the MCR Monster.
Skate Manchester will then be open daily from 2 November 2022 – 2 January 2023, except for Christmas Day.