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.
A spooky new Halloween trail is coming to Chester Zoo next month – and it’s FREE
There’s a spooky new Halloween trail coming to Chester Zoo next month, and you can learn all about some “magical” endangered species.
With a new month beginning at the end of this week, and that meaning the spooky season is right around the corner, the UK’s biggest charity zoo has announced the ideal educational event for all the family to get stuck into, and the new “spellbinding experience” will be here throughout the whole of October.
Kicking off this Sunday 1 October, and running right up until Halloween itself, Luna’s Legendary Creature Halloween Trail gives visitors the chance to get up close to five of the zoo’s most magical species.
The rhinoceros hornbill, Sulawesi-crested macaque, and huge Sunda gharial crocodile are just some of the species you’ll get to learn all about as you make your way around the interactive trail.
All the creatures on the trail shed light on the devastation that’s sadly caused by deforestation, and the importance of protecting the rainforest.
You’ll be sent on a 90-minute quest around the Chester Zoo site to collect key words about the unique qualities of each animal, all before helping Luna the witch discover a legendary creature living deep inside the zoo’s Monsoon Forest habitat – which is the UK’s biggest indoor zoological building.
Those who successfully complete Luna’s trail will be rewarded with a selection of spooky treats and goodies to take away.
Oh, and the best bit? The trail is completely FREE within your entry to the zoo.
Organisers are urging visitors to lend Luna a hand in finding the legendary creature that holds the secret to protecting the rainforest.
“Halloween provides us with a great opportunity to highlight some of the world’s rarest animals, especially those that can sometimes be a little misunderstood or which often fly under the radar,” explained Ellie Trigg, who is the Customer Development Manager at Chester Zoo, ahead of the trail opening this weekend.
“This new trail will also show visitors how small actions, such as swapping a few items in their weekly shop to sustainable alternatives, can help the species found on the trail to thrive in the wild.”
Luna’s Legendary Creature Halloween Trail is running from Sunday 1 – Tuesday 31 October, and is free to all zoo visitors who purchase normal zoo tickets, with no time slot booking needed.
After the team at home security experts ADT decided to do some research into the best places in the country for those looking to raise a family, Trafford has made it into the top 10.
The Greater Manchester borough has earned seventh place on the list after a number of factors were analysed for the research – including the quality of the local schools, the general safety of the area, and the number of parks within walking distance.
The top 10 most family-friendly areas in the UK
Crime Rate Per 1,000 People, Year ending March 2023
Burglary Rate Per 1,000 People, Year ending March 2023
Average number of Parks, Public Gardens, or Playing Fields within a 1,000 m radius
Percentage of Oustanding and Good Rated Schools and Colleges
Median House Price, Year Ending Dec 2022
Cost of a single bus fare, adult
Family Safety Score /10
Waltham Forest in London takes the top spot for the most family-friendly area in the UK, according to the research, as it ranked within the top 15 for both the lowest crime and burglary rates, and also ranked seventh for schools – with 82.8% having a “good” or higher rating from OFSTED.
Kirkless in West Yorkshire took second place, followed by Havering, Bexley, and Bromley all rounding out the top five.
As well as Kirklees placing second and Trafford being in the seventh spot, the Wirral and Newcastle-upon-Tyne are also fellow northern representatives within the top 10.
Sadly, on the other end of the spectrum, the least family-friendly area in the UK was found to be Birmingham, according to ADT’s research, as despite the average house price being £221,000, with a crime rate of 141 per 1,000 people, and a family safety score of just 2.5/10, the Midlands city takes the bottom spot.
On a more positive note though, when it comes the postcode area with the lowest crime rate in the UK, the North West is representing once again, as this has come out as CW12 3 in Cheshire East.