Outdoor Swimming




Outdoor Swimming at Dosthill Quarry

How we will support you and your family
during the Coronavirus crisis

Government Supports Outdoor Leisure Amenities!

With socialising & attendance still restricted by the Government to pubs, clubs, gyms, restaurants, schools & indoor leisure centres, but not outdoor exercise amenities such as Dosthill Quarry, you and your family will be feeling the pressure.


The water is currently 13 degrees & getting warmer, so Dosthill Quarry will remain open for the rest of this year, subject to Government recommendations or restrictions. It is a healthy open air environment with lots of space for you to maintain 2 metres physical distancing from non-household members, where you and your family can keep fit, de-stress & relax.

By swimming, paddling, running, walking, & biking.

With schools closed it is even more important that you manage the additional pressure of keeping your youngsters (and perhaps your furloughed partner) occupied without them becoming TV couch slouches, and that you maintain your health (and sanity) and theirs.

Provided you are not in a high-risk group, the Government agree that staying indoors is not the answer, and generally recommend that …

Families should continue to frequent
outdoor facilities
with physical distancing

The Prime Minister relaxed restrictions on Sunday 10/05/2020 to allow you to take unlimited exercise, and to travel by car, bike or on foot (but preferably not by public transport) to remote destinations to exercise provided you maintain social distancing. Several weeks ago we developed a robust Covid-Secure Risk Assessment for Outdoor Swimming at Dosthill Quarry, and for our staff, and updated it in line with the Government’s new recommendations & restrictions.

The number of swimmers allowed on site at any time will initially be limited, but as demand grows we will increase the days Dosthill Quarry is open from 4 days & 34 hours to 7 days & possibly 98 hours to keep the numbers manageable & maintain social distancing. This policy also enables us to meet another major recommendation that employees go back to work, particularly in outdoor locations, if the nature of that work cannot be conducted from home. We will be bringing our staff off furlough to meet demand, and thereby reducing the cost to the Government.

But you will need to assist us by adopting & cooperating with the following “Safe Seven” swim guidelines.

  1. Stay at home if you, or someone you live with, have either a high temperature where you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature), a new, continuous cough where you experience coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual), or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal, which are the main symptoms of coronavirus, as declared by NHS.UK.

  2. Check current availability, pre-book a 1 or 2 hour swim slot at https://dosthillquarry.com/swimres/, & call 01733 351288 to pay by card rather than cash, and get your payment receipt code. These steps provide us, and the health authorities, with “track & trace” information if required.

  3. Consider car-sharing ONLY with registered swimmers in your household. Do not bring spectators or invite them to come separately.

  4. Check this page and our home page at https://dosthillquarry.com/ before every visit to stay updated with current fast-changing conditions, and special arrangements.

  5. Maintain a physical distance of 2 metres or more between your car boot and the boot of adjacent cars in the car park, so you can kit up & dekit before and after your swim from your car boot. Maintain a physical distance of 2 metres or more between yourself, our staff & other non-household swimmers, in the water, as well as on land. Waving to friends meets this recommendation, whereas handshakes, hugs or elbow bumps don’t. Pass others on the left while onsite.

  6. Don’t chat with non-household swimmers for longer than 5 minutes, which is less risky than 15 mins.

  7. Wear swim gloves or disposable gloves in the water and on land, and ensure you don’t touch your hands or face after touching communal surfaces.

If you have any queries, please email ian@dosthillquarry.com or call Ian on 07928 562916.

Stay safe & CV-free!!

Opening Times (excluding Bank Holidays)
Thurs & Fri 1-9pm, Sat & Sun 7am-4pm!!

But always check our times below before you come, particularly between
October and April.
If there are no divers or swimmers on site
by the last check-in time, the staff will close early.

Stressed with work &/or the kids? Lose that stress at Dosthill Quarry from Thursday to Sunday and enjoy a relaxing swim!

Our pure, magnesium-packed water and picturesque location are so calming, your tensions will float away!
With the opportunity of a floodlit night swim on Full Moon Fridays, it is the ultimate relaxation activity.

That’s 4 days a week, including 2 days after work and after school!!

But all swimmers must register (for FREE)
by completing the online form on the adjacent Swim Registration menu item.  

Surface water temp at 30/05/2020
17 degrees & rising

It’s easily the warmest lake in the region from October to March because of its depth, which retains the summer heat longer, compared to most local lakes which are much shallower, and lose their heat quickly.  e.g. as ambient temperatures hit their low-point, shallow lakes can dip under 2 degrees, while Dosthill Quarry is comfortably at 7 degrees. So the lake will be warmer than the region’s shallow lakes until around April each year.

If you already have a full wetsuit with arms & legs, consider wearing a shortie wetsuit over the top to keep the body core warm. You’ll get more water time, and get more cardio-respiratory benefit from the longer swim, with very little affect on the crawl stroke. Ian has been an ASA Swim Teacher for 52 years, so he knows the shortie technique really works.

So prepare for swimming again when Covid restrictions are relaxed to allow Dosthill Quarry to re-open, and continue to enjoy your swimming for longer than you might think!

Dosthill Quarry has been owned and operated
by Ian Forster for 30 years.

You’ll enjoy the friendly family atmosphere that has made this incredibly attractive, and important, national swimming venue so popular. A former granite quarry flooded by a fresh water spring from 150 feet underground in 1934, the site is consistently recommended by swimmers for its clear, clean, pure, & healthy deep water.

Since Dosthill Quarry’s spring water is 5000 times more pure than the UK standards for tap water,
you’ll be missing out if you swim anywhere else!!

Not only have recent water tests confirmed the purity and clarity of the spring-fed lake, but also the presence of the spa mineral magnesium, considered to be the most important health mineral in the world. Read about the many health benefits here Magnesium – the most important mineral we all overlook.

No Swimmer’s Itch!

Unlike many shallow man-made lakes and former gravel pits that harbor freshwater snails, and parasites that infect swimmers, local residents and swimmers from many areas of the UK have enjoyed their sport free of the dreaded “swimmer’s itch” for more than 80 years. In fact, visiting swimmers who do have “the itch” often get better in this magnesium-rich, therapeutic spa lake.

Healthy Outdoor Training Centre

All abilities and ages are welcome, including costume-only and wetsuit swimmers (see our safety policy below). Whether you’re trying open water swimming for the first time, a child wanting to enjoy some splash time, or a member of our English Channel relay team you’ll get fitter and healthier at this amazing venue. Triathletes, in particular, can benefit from the variable rugged terrain of this 32 acre training centre by adding bike and run phases to their swim session. Or anyone just looking to get fitter, or lose weight, can benefit from the healthy outdoor environment.

Resident Swim-Bike-Run & Fitness Coach

ASA Swimming Teacher, Middle Distance Coach and former British team member, Ian Forster, is available for training tips and schedules.

Open 34 Hours A Week

We love helping our swimmers achieve their goals whether you do one 400m lap, a 40 lap/10000 metre swim, or a scenic swim around the lake, the clear water enables swimmers of any level to quickly improve their technique by being able to see the rotation and inclination of their hands during each stroke. Open 34 hours every week for you to get fitter, improve your swimming, and recover in our magnesium-packed ultra pure spring & spa lake.

Normal opening times

See Our Current Covid Opening Times on the Swim Reservation Page

Dosthill Quarry is OPEN ALL THE YEAR (+ 5 bank Holidays by special arrangement and advance notice). Plan your swim to arrive within 3 hours of the closing time. If no swimmers or divers have checked in by this time the staff may well close early. If you intend to arrive late, or are running late, please call 01827 281304 to check if we will be open.

Thursday     1pm-9pm. Last check-in at 7:30pm. Exit from the water by 8:30pm.                   

Friday     1pm-9pm. Last check-in at 7:30pm. Exit from the water by 8:30pm.                      

Saturday     7am-4pm. Last check-in at 2:30pm. Exit from the water by 3:30pm.                    

Sunday     7am-4pm. Last check-in at 2:30pm. Exit from the water by 3:30pm.

Festive opening times 2020-2021

Plan your swim to arrive within 3 hours of the closing time. If no swimmers or divers have checked in by this time the staff may well close early. If you intend to arrive late, or are running late, please call 01827 281304 or 07928 562916 to check if we will be open.

Thursday 24/12 & Friday 25/12      CLOSED                      

Saturday 26/12 & Sunday 27/12    7am-4pm. Last check-in at 2:30pm. Exit from the water by 3:30pm.

Thursday 31/12 & Friday 01/01      CLOSED                      

Saturday 02/01 & Sunday 03/01    7am-4pm. Last check-in at 2:30pm. Exit from the water by 3:30pm.

Venue facilities

Until the Government further relax the Covid-19 restrictions, the Changing Rooms & Shop will not be open, Swimmer Check-in and Check-out will be outdoors, Snacks and Meals will not be available, and take-away Hot & Cold Drinks may be limited. 

Free parking        Changing rooms       Toilets        Rescue boat

Resident swim-bike-run & fitness coach       Video coaching

Hot & cold drinks        Home-cooked snacks and meals

Equipment hire     Well-stocked, competitively-priced shop

2020 Prices

£8 per casual swimmer per outdoor swimming session, half price 5-14’s and dogs. But save 25% from April to September with a 10 swim pass for £60.

£2 tow float hire£6 shortie wetsuit hire. £8 full wetsuit hire. Training schedules & coaching from £5 per 10 min session priced according to need and whether personal, group or video.

How to Find Us

Dosthill Quarry National Dive site
Church Road
Tamworth, nr Birmingham
B77 1LL (postal only)
B77 1LU (best for satnav)

Use your satnav or Google Maps to locate postcode B77 1LU – Church Road, Dosthill.

We are at 52o59’64.10″N, 1o68’78.00″W. So better still, copy and paste the following Geographic coordinates into Google Maps or your satnav to find our exact location on earth!


This should bring you into Church Road from the A51.
Please turn off car radios at this point to minimise noise disturbance to local residents.
Continue past the Church on your left, and turn left through green metal gates, into our site car park.

outdoor swimming

Information on Outdoor Swimming

Safety Policy. Whether you wear a costume only or a wetsuit, you are welcome. But to protect you in the deep water, you need adequate buoyancy. Wearing a wetsuit is the preferred way to prevent you sinking in the event of cramp (and keep you warm), and to increase your confidence if you are new to open water swimming. Many of our strong & confident swimmers tow a swim float summer & winter alike! If you don’t have a wet suit or tow float you can hire one for £2 tow float, £6 shortie wetsuit, £8 full wetsuit, or buy your own on site at heavily discounted prices.

Course. If you prefer to swim around the 500 metre scenic route, swim anti-clockwise around the lake staying approximately 3 metres in from the granite cliffs. Alternatively, the above outdoor swimming course has been carefully planned to provide a single anti-clockwise 400 metre lap with 2 x 100 metre, and 4 x 50 metre legs for split times, and to help you practice the important open water skills of spotting & swimming in a straight line towards a buoy. Four laps (1600 metres) is 5 metres short of a mile. 1000 metres would be 2.5 laps. The course has been positioned away from the quarry walls, particularly at the southern end of the lap (bottom of photo) where occasional loose rockfalls can occur, and away from the diver training areas where diver ascents are more frequent. Other than when avoiding a diver, please ensure you stay close to the outdoor swimming course buoys and on the course line.

Divers. Your swim may coincide with times when scuba divers are using the quarry. You can see where they are in relation to you by bubbles breaking the surface of the water. One of the safe practices all divers should follow when surfacing is to extend their arm, look up and around and surface slowly. Should you see bubbles on the surface in front of you, during your swim be prepared to avoid the bubbles. However, by the time you get close to where you first saw the bubbles, normally the divers have moved well away.

Footwear. We recommend bringing suitable footwear, such as flip-flops, crocs, or some old trainers, for the outdoor swimming transition in and out of the water to avoid any discomfort or injury to your feet.

Outdoor Swimming Declaration. The ASA require a declaration to be made on an individual’s ability to complete a planned outdoor swimming activity. “It should be quite clear to the swimmer that they are declaring that they are not only fit enough and have the stamina to complete the distance, but also that the swimmer is medically fit to do so”. Any pre-existing medical condition including medication and/or sensitivity to particular drugs should be included on the form. Our registration below includes this declaration.

Safe Outdoor Swimming Always