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  • How do I book a session?
    You can book a session by going to our booking pages. A link can be found at the top of every page. You can also follow this link; In the booking section we have three categories. Swimming, Paddle sports and courses and river trips.
  • Do you do concessions?
    If you are 60+ you can now select a concession ticket from the drop down menu on the bookings page. If you are in receipt of benefits. please do send us an email with evidence and we will issue you a personalised discount code. You can also buy a pre pay 10 block at a consession price. If you volunteer for Lewisham and have a free Lewisham local card. Please email us with a letter from the establishment you volunteer for and we will email you a swim voucher for you to use on Wednesdays and Saturdays. To ensure our records are up to date, we will need evidence that you are still volunteering every 6months (when your free swim allowance runs out). We do not do student discount at this time.
  • How can I get to Beckenham Place park?
    By Bus: The 54 bus route from Lewisham and Elmers End stops on Beckenham Hill outside the main gate or at the park entrance near Braeside (top of Beckenham Hill) . Any buses passing through Downham will get to within a quarter mile of the Old Bromley Road entrance. Many buses stop on Bromley Road near the Green Man – this is a 10-minute walk to the Southend Lodge gate or a 10-minute walk to the Old Bromley Road entrance (for the BMX track). The routes include: 320, 208, 181, 136. Route 354 stops at Ravensbourne Station for entry into the south or eastern sides of the park, or Foxgrove Road for entry via Beckenham Place Park gate. Numerous buses stop at Beckenham Junction, which is a 10–15-minute walk to the park. By Rail: Beckenham Hill station is served by regular trains (on the London Bridge line via Peckham Rye, Catford, Shortlands, Bromley South). It is less than a five-minute walk from the station to the park entrance. Ravensbourne station (on the far side of the woodland) is also on this line if you wish to enter the park from the southern side or eastern side. Beckenham Junction station is a 10–15-minute walk to the park (entering via Beckenham Place Park gate). This station has trams as well as trains to/from London Bridge, Victoria, Orpington, Lewisham and all the calling points in between. By Car: You can enter the car park via Beckenham Hill Road. The car park is pay and display. The car park has: 108 spaces and six disabled bays reserved for blue badge holders. Parking on double yellow lines is not permitted at any time. The traffic management order is enforced by NSL. Parking outside the Mansion is not permitted, except by prior arrangement for events associated with the Mansion. There are parking restrictions in place on Beckenham Hill Road and surrounding areas. Please be considerate of local residents if you park in the area surrounding the park. Pay and display The pay and display operates everyday, 8am–5pm. The car park costs £2 an hour. The car park is free to valid blue badge holders for four hours. By Cycle Beckenham Place park is easily accessible to most of the Borough. there are lots of cycle routes through the park with bike racks up at the mansion or outside the lake. We also welcome bikes inside of the lake area. Lewisham Council - Getting to Beckenham Place Park
  • How long is the swimming course at the lake?
    A full lap of Beckenham lake is approx 450m. When we have other activities running in the lake we have to shorten the course with a rope which reduces a lap to approx 350m. In winter the course is Approximately 350m, it may be shorter in extreme cold conditions. A full lap at Birchmere Lake is approximately 400m.
  • How deep is the lake?
    The lake at Beckenham is 3.5meters at its deepest point. You enter via a beached area which gets gradually deeper, it drops off around waist height. It is possible to stand up around the edge of the lake. The lake at Birchmere is about 3m at its deepest point. You enter from the pontoon where it is around 1.2m deep, it is deeper in places and shallower in others. The lake at Southmere is around 2m deep at its deeper point. You enter from the slipway at the boat house. Its shallower near the edges and deeper towards the middle. The lake at Bewl is roughly 16 double decker buses deep in the middle however it is much shallower towards the edges.
  • Does the Christmas and and new years day brief count as an induction
    NO. This is a specific event safety brief. We put on more staff to ensure you are safe and give you the points that you need to be immediately aware of to be safe. due to a larger amount of staff in, we can also keep a closer eye on each individual swimming. To continue swimming with us when the water is 15°c or below, you need to complete a full cold water induction. These are an hour long with a swim after, we not only time your entry and exit but have a brief with you after your swim to find out how you are feeling and answer any further questions you have.
  • Can I cancel or reschedule my booking?
    Yes. You can cancel or rebook your session through the 'My Account' section as long it is not within 24 hours of the session. If you haven't already registered for an account then sign up now. It only takes 2 minutes. Once you have logged onto your account, click on the icon of a person at the top of the page to see your account options. You can see more details about this subject by looking at our cancellation policy.
  • Can I book multiple sessions in one booking?
    Yes, just like a shop you can add sessions to your cart.
  • What can I/My child wear for SUP/Canoeing
    We reccomend you dress in light weather appropriate clothing, such as shorts, leggings track suit bottoms. In warmer weather waterproof Sunscreen and a sun hat is advised. Shoes also become optional in warmer weather, you gain a better feeling of the board when barefoot. (Shoes must be worn in a canoe still) In particulary wet or windy weather, waterproof trousers and a rain coat are reccomended to keep the wind and rain off. If the weather is cold, a warm hat and gloves are advised. Please wear footwear on the SUP board. This can be old trainers or wetshoes. Jeans are not reccomended as these do not have the movement required and get very heavy when wet. We do not have wetsuits to hire. A bouyancy aid is manditory but provided in the cost of the session.
  • Do you provide wetsuits?
    No. Unfortuently we do not have the storage facilities needed to have wetsuits to hire. If you are new to outdoor swimming and wish to purchase a wetsuit, we reccomend you get a suit that is suited to swimming or triathlons as opposed to a general purpose wetsuit. This will help with the movement you need. For smaller budgets, Decathlon and Two bare feet have a couple available. for the larger budgets wiggle have a great wetsuit selection and buying guides on picking the one that is right for you. There are also companies such as Tri Wetsuit Hire.
  • What facilities are at the lake?
    At Beckenham they are pretty limited at the moment. The closest toilets are at the mansion approx 3-4 minute walk away. Running water is not available at the lake at the moment. We are woking hard to get more in place. If you'd like to know more about what is at the park please visit At Bewl Lake, we have toilets and showers in the block next-door to the boat launch as well as a small cafe open during the summer months. see more at At Birchmere, they are limited facilities due to it being on ongoing development. They are changing gazebos available for those who wish to change in some privacy. We do have toilets available on request. At Southmere, there are currently limited facilities however we hope the boat house will be open in the future.
  • What else is at the park
    Please visit to find out more about what else is available in Beckenham Place Park. Birchmere park, is the thriving home to the local football clubs, a weekend boot sale and Thamesmead Town Angling Club. Southmere Lake is very close to Abbey wood and its brand new Elizabeth Line. There is also the Thamesmead Festival every year in August. Bewl Water has lots to offer from its 13mile cycle path around the reservoir, to its playgrounds and soft play! it even has an Aqua Park!
  • What are the swim rules for under 18s
    You must be an experienced swimmer and able to swim 25m confidently Those Aged 8-11 must complete a competency test consisting of; 25m swim on front, 25m swim on back, star float front and back (held for 3-5 seconds). Those Aged 12-14 must complete a competency test consisting of; 50m swim (any stroke)and star float on back (held for 3-5 seconds). No persons under 8 years old are permitted to swim. One adult can supervise TWO aged 8-11 in the water. One adult can supervise up to five Aged 12- 14 (Adult can be on the bank). Those aged 15+ can book a swim on their own.
  • How old do I have to be to join in Paddlesports?
    simple answer is 2 years + Hire Sessions - 2 years - 8 years must be accompanied by an adult. 8 years+ can go on their own board but an adult must be with in communicable reach to ascertain their attention. Activity Club, Home School, Uniformed groups - 7 years + Mini Paddlers - 2 years to 6 years accompanied by an adult Family session - 7 years to 16 years accompanied by an adult.
  • Does Beckenham Lake have Duck Mites (swimmers itch)
    Yes. When the water is about 18°c and over, we do find that some people get bitten, leaving a rash type bite(s) behind. This can be known as 'swimmers itch'. Much like a mosquito bite, not everyone is tasty enough. Some steps you can take which we have found to have positive effects are; Before Antihistamine helps give a build up to the bites, you need to take this often. This can also help with the bites after. Tiger balm on wrists and ankles (the white one) or coconut oil Swim in the deeper parts and stay away from the edges Avoid the hottest part of the day. After Bring a bottle of water for a wash down and a loofah or use a rough towel to rub down with (we think they bite when they think the water is disappearing so the rub down gets them off). Post bite Antihistamine again Sudocrem or tiger balm can help with the bite itch A mix of Bicarb of soda, Coconut oil and tiger balm to make a cream (level dinner spoon of coconut oil, melted, two level dinner spoons of bicarb and half a teaspoon of tiger balm) mixed together to form a paste You can also put some bicarb of soda in the bath to help ease the itch. Please patch test all avenues first.
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