In a piece of crazy-cool timing, Canary Wharf has launched its first open water swimming venue – as the estate prepares to swelter in temperatures up to 40C (104F).
Visitors, residents and workers will be able to cast off their clothes and their cares and throw themselves leisurely into the waters of the Middle Dock.
Back strokers will gorge on views of One Canada Square, Newfoundland and the exotic refurbishment of 30 South Colonnade.
Open until the end of September, the initiative has launched in partnership with established swimming operator, Love Open Water, and the Canal & River Trust. With a 600-metre course to explore, the new spot is expected to be used by swimmers of all levels, from triathlon trainers to those just starting to dip their toes into the world of open water swimming.
OK, so you ask but dock water? Hasn’t there been, like, 220 years of gunk pumped in there?
Well, supported by the National Open Water Coaching Association (Now), Love Open Water ensure that the water at Canary Wharf undergoes testing twice a month to meet an ‘Excellent’ rating level according to EU Bathing Standards criteria. This means it is clean and safe to swim in.
Plus, every session is lifeguarded and can be enjoyed by all abilities and skill levels over the age of 10.
How open water swimming works
To enjoy the new spot, swimmers just need to purchase a Nowca membership for £15 per year – granting them access to over 40 NOWCA affiliated UK locations – with sessions running throughout the week. Open water swimming sessions are charged at £8 per three- four-hour session, or you can take part in the free Nowca Swim event.
Members also benefit from the ACTiO open water app which allows swimmers to book and pay online, check their swim stats and update emergency contacts and medical information.
To access the Middle Dock, would-be swimmers should access the pontoon across from Humble Grape on Mackenzie Walk, where they will find changing huts.
What they say
Canal & River Trust regional director Ros Daniels, said: “We are pleased to be working in partnership with Canary Wharf Group to licence an area of London Docklands where people can experience open water swimming safely under the supervision of lifeguards and where the water quality will be routinely tested.”
CEO Canary Wharf Group Shobi Khan said: “Canary Wharf has over 20 acres of parks, gardens and squares and a key objective is to open up the water for our residents, visitors and business customers to reconnect with nature. We launched electric GoBoat London here last year and we are hosting the paddleboard APP World Tour in August.”
Rick Kiddle, founder and CEO of Nowca said: “We are really excited to be part of this fantastic new venue at Canary Wharf as it will open more swimming possibilities in the east London area.”