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important notice: 

From the 31st of March summer swimming season begins. This means LRDOWS will resume the day-to-day running of the Royal Docks swimming venue, from then please refer to their website for session times and queries


'Their object is to promote general proficiency rather than
exceptional excellence–to teach the art to the many, not to
deck the breasts of a few experts alone.' 

– Penny Illustrated Paper, 14 August 1869

The London Swimming Club (LSC) provides a welcoming club environment for open water swimmers. Over a century ago, the club's original founders created an inclusive community of swimmers who seamlessly combined the art of swimming with core moralistic purpose. The revival of the club aims to pick up where they left off; promoting the positive effects of swimming on both the body and mind and most importantly to have fun whilst doing it. 

We swim in a variety of venues across London, and get together for swim events such as the Dart 10k. 

We're a small bunch (around ten) but friendly and always looking to welcome more people into the group.

LSC paid members recieve discounts on swims with the London Royal Docks Open Water Swimming (LRDOWS) venue. 



We meet in a variety of locations – We're working on an events page for details. Check back soon.

paid member discounts at:

London Royal Docks Open Water Swimming
27 Western Gateway
London E16 1FA

(£7 per swim)



The London Swimming Club (LSC) is one of London’s oldest swimming clubs on record. First established in 1859, LSC was a central hub of London’s Victorian swimmers. They were the first club to formalise the rules of Water Polo and their founding member, Ernst Ravenstein, was a prominent member of the National Olympian Association.

The club was known for its lively, social atmosphere and was a regular host of race events. Most notably perhaps was the summer fete, held in the East and West India Dock, where swimmers would chase a ‘duck’ (a fellow swimmer in a silly outfit) around in the water.

LSC placed huge importance on swimming as a fundamental skill and life-saving provision. Drownings were unfortunately common in the late nineteenth century, as many sailors and dock workers had never received formal lessons. As such, the club’s Hon. Sec from 1869, Mr. J. G. Elliott, offered regular and free tuition to children in the City of London Baths.

Unfortunately, like many Victorian swimming clubs, LSC eventually disbanded in the early twentieth century and faded from common memory. We’re here to revive the club and continue its important mission for the twenty-first century swimmers of London.


We have two types of membership: paid and free. Please see details below. 

Club Membership (paid)
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NOTICE: paid membership is currently being put on hiatus whilst LSC undergoes restructuring. Existing paid members will still receive their LRDOWS dicounts and welcome packs

Club membership is covered by a one-off joining fee and enables swimmers from all over the world to be part of a growing community of like-minded open water swimmers. As well as playing a key part in the historic revival of The London Swimming Club, club members enjoy a host of further benefits: 

- Discounted individual swimming sessions at LRDOWS
- LSC club pin badge and membership card
- LSC club swimming cap
- Re-printed copy of original club rules and history booklet
- Club newsletter (via email)

Free membership is for those who would like to join the club but don't swim regularly at LRDOWS but would like to join us on swims at other venues. This membership includes

- Updates via email about the month's club swim locations
- Digital copy of original club rules and history booklet
- Club newsletter (via email)


As LSC does not operate solely from one venue, we keep our members updated on where others are training, so that they can train together if they wish. If you are interested in joining our swimmers during one of their training sessions, please ensure you've signed up to one of our membership options and then email to let us know when to expect you. Please note that swimmers will not provide you with coaching – it is a purely social activity.

We currently have members training at: The London Royal Docks Open Water Swimming, Kenwood Ladies Pond and Tooting Bec Lido


Sundays 6.30am - Tooting Bec Lido email

Sundays 6.30am - Tooting Bec Lido email



Sundays 6.30am - Tooting Bec Lido email

EVENT: Brownsea Swim 6.5k



Sundays 6.30am - Tooting Bec Lido email

EVENT: Great Scottish Swim (variety of distances)


Sundays 6.30am - Tooting Bec Lido email

EVENT: Dart 10k


Where does your club swim?
LSC's main goal is to encourage outdoor swimming, so members swim wherever they prefer. We co-ordinate so that members swimming at the same venue are aware, and can arrange to swim together if they wish


Do you run the swimming venue at the London Royal Docks?
We helped run it over winter of 2016/17, however London Royal Docks Open Water Swimming have resumed the day-to-day running now. For all enquiries relating to their venue, please contact them.


Can I use your swimming buddy scheme?
We're currently hugely over-subscribed with requests for swimmers to find a buddy, so regretfully are not able to match people right now. If you're interested in being a buddy, please get in touch!


Why should I join LSC if you don't compete or train in one place?

LSC aims to provide a welcoming atmosphere to both seasoned and beginner outdoor swimmers alike. That said, the modern iteration of our club is very new, so we're currently concentrating on promoting outdoor swimming through taking part in events and group training sessions at members' own paces and according to their schedules. As we grow we will allow our members to take an active role in deciding the club's activities – if you're a member/prospective member and wish to get involved in the running of our club, please get in touch.


Can you provide coaching?
We cannot currently provide you with formal outdoor swimming coaching. However we can provide you with a social supportive network of people to ask questions to and meet with. ge



Contact Us

Have questions about outdoor swimming? We're happy to help! Sign up for one of our membership options and get in touch. 


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