The Local Swimming Lesson Saga

I’ve been trying to book Ed into swimming lessons but have been hitting obstacles: waiting lists, high prices and perhaps my own hesitation. Swimming lessons are high up on most parents’ priorities but many wonder when the best time is to start them. Do we now start these things too early just because everyone else is? If you internet search, ‘when should my child start learning to swim’ you’ll see that there are many different opinions. So, I guess there is no right or wrong. I’m sure I didn’t start learning to swim until I was five. I have a vague memory of swimming in a freezing cold, leaf strewn outdoor pool at my primary school (in my day!) So, why should I worry about booking my 3-year-old into swimming lessons? Talking to other parents, I know they have mixed opinions: some think three is a good age, others take their kids swimming themselves, some not at all.

Many swim teachers and websites for swim schools obviously promote, ‘the sooner the better’ Many classes, mainly quite expensive ones at around £127 per term, are available for children from four months aiming to instil a love for swimming and confidence in the water. We took Ed to a few lessons at Cheltenham Boys College when he was a baby and they were great at a quite reasonable price (around £55 per term.) These websites also suggest that the sooner you get your child in the water the better so that their learn-to-swim journey will be easier.

Ed and I often go swimming, especially in the summer at the wonderful Cheltenham Lido but my search for a swim class hasn’t been plain sailing. Some classes are too expensive, some are on days when I work and many of the reasonably priced ones are booked up with waiting lists. I’ve contacted a number of these and been made to feel like I’m lucky if I get on the waiting list! Ed is starting a class after Easter with the Big Waves Swim School at Dean Close..or at least I think he is..I haven’t had any confirmation back yet! I’ll update when he starts going. In the meantime, it would be great to hear about the experiences, opinions of other parents…

Leisure at Cheltenham:

GL1 Gloucester:

Big Waves Swim School:

swim lessons


3 thoughts on “The Local Swimming Lesson Saga

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  1. I started Erin’s lessons at six weeks old and it was the best thing I did. My son didnt swim until he was 10 and it was hard learning so I went to the other extreme with Erin! Luckily Erin was a natural which was even more of a godsend when she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia. Swimming has always been such great physio for her. Now she swims like a fish and is very capable.

  2. I am sure I learnt to swim in an inshore pool (a big dip in the sand which fills with sea water) when I was around 5 or more. I have always felt half fish so that must have worked. I don’t recall regular swimming lessons when I was young. Just summer visits to the sea, and then at secondary school got noticed and joined a local swimming club. After that I raced and then did my surf and beach lifeguard until 60. I still swim 50 lengths crawl straight off in a 25 metre pool aged 72 (nearly). Early classes why not? … if you can afford them… but probably not necessary to ensure a lifetime love of swimming.

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