Guide to reopening on 29 March 2021

Dear members,

Please find below a summary of the key points raised during the webinar dated 24 March 2021 on reopening the Serpentine after the early 2021 lockdown.

If you missed the webinar, you can watch it here:

Opening day and opening hours

The Serpentine Swimming Club will reopen on 29 March 2021 to members who have signed up or renewed in 2021. Members will be permitted to swim in the lake from 29 March 2021 onwards in the mornings from 05:00 to 09:30. Note that at the beginning, all members will need to check the alphabetical order (see below) to know which alternate days they can swim.

Note that access to the changing room is not possible and that all changing will take place outside, as it has since the first lockdown in 2020.

Alternate days

For the first days of opening we have introduced an alphabetical separation of the members

  • Surnames beginning with letters A to K can swim on Even dates of the calendar
  • Surnames beginning with letters L to Z can swim on Odd dates of the calendar


1)    on the 13th of April people with surnames beginning with the letter O can swim but people with surnames beginning with the letter B can not

2)    on the 16th  of April people with surnames beginning with the letter B can swim but people with surnames beginning with the letter O can not

If you have a swimming partner with a surname in the opposite end of the alphabet you can “buddy up” with them – please don’t try to abuse this privilege by switching every day.

Wardening - Updated process

You are not Life Guards or Police, please do not put yourself in any danger.

Before starting the Wardening shift please get the equipment from the changing room.

  1. First Aid kit
  2. Defibrillator

Check that the life buoy / ring is in place (if not contact the Royal Parks)

Ensure that one warden is consistently scanning the swimming area checking that swimmers are following the rules and that swimmers are safe. 

Bikes locked up outside to avoid congestion,

Dogs are allowed in the area but keep them on a lead.

Digital membership cards

Starting this season 2021, club membership cards are now digital. Check your emails for your new Serpentine Swimming Club membership card.

To use the card:

  • On iPhone: please use the link you receive to scan the QR code and upload your membership card to the wallet. Here is a short video tutorial:
  • On Android: you can either click on the first link for your card or the second link for the pass locker where the card is stored. Some people have a card locker already so may not need this.

If you do not have an smartphone or a way to download your card digitally, please contact Andrew Deeley at so we can plan alternate arrangements for you.

For new swimmers to the Serpentine Swimming Club

1)    Be considerate to other swimmers

2)    Swim Clockwise when inside or outside the buoys

3)    Do not swim beyond the outer limits of red buoy or white buoys.

4)    Swim area is 200m long – you are not able to swim to Isis or the bridge.

5)    Do not swim beyond the midway point of the lake.

6)    One-way system for entering and exiting the lake.

7)    Do not hang around after swimming. “Splash and Dash”

8)    Swimming finishes promptly at 9.30.

9)    Swimmers under the age of 18 remain the responsibility of the adult member who signed their application form

Swimmers do so at their own risk. As agreed to when members signed up to the club.

You are responsible for your own safety and the safety of others. You cannot negatively impact the safety of others


Enjoy swimming!