Welcome to Goslings Swimmers
end June 2021 update : swimming resumed as Oasis outdoor pool reopened after lockdown but still with restrictions
The Oasis outdoor pool reopened from 29th March 2021 . The arrangements are still the same as in the autumn - limited numbers, individual advance booking of time slots (only) via the Better app ; change pre-swim at poolside, change post-swim in changing room. With the long warm summer evenings the outdoor pool is pretty popular. Goslings book slots to swim from around 7.10 to 7.50 on Thursday evenings. The best chance of getting the desired slot is to book as soon as the slots are released - five days ahead : so for Thursday, try to book as soon as possible after 6 pm the preceding Saturday.
We expect further developments after 19 July, and are slowly negotiating with Oasis to recover our private hire arrangement in due course, but no immediate prospect of this. We will take stock again as and when the current restrictions are lifted.
For latest Oasis info, check their website :
Goslings - rise like a phoenix as the pool reopens !
August 2020 update
The Oasis leisure centre and pool is now reopening, but Goslings have not yet been able to resume our private hire. So, for the time being, swimming sessions are resuming on the basis of individual bookings only, as close as practicable to the normal Goslings time on Thursday evening. Instructions on how to book and attend these sessions below. At the first two sessions, Goslings (by dint of early booking) gradually took over the pool from 7.30 pm. So do book and come along.
Individual timed slots must be booked in advance, using the Better App, which does work quite well. 4 people can book for each slot, to be let in every ten minutes, for about an hour : cost £ 6.15, and non-refundable.
The last bookable slot is 7.50 pm but if they try to close early, you may not get a full hour. 7.30 or 7.40 pm may be ideal. Make sure you book the OUTDOOR pool - the indoor pool is less popular now ( summer ) so more slots available there.
Each Thursday evening's swimming slots open for booking five days ahead, so aim to make the booking on Saturday evening or soon after.
Oasis have a one way system, so you need to come "pool ready", shed outer clothes by poolside (no lockers), and swim. Afterwards, you should be able to use the changing room / toilet to shower and change.
Latest Oasis info on their webpage - https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/london/camden/oasis-sports-centre/news/outdoor-swimming-at-oasis-sports-centre or through the App.
Go Goslings !
General Information and previous private hire arrangements (currently suspended)
The London gay swimming group Goslings, which has been operating a weekly swim at the Oasis heated outdoor pool, Covent Garden, for over 30 years, has been fully integrated as a Specialist Group within GOC since April 2012. (In fact, this is a homecoming to GOC as Goslings originally grew out of GOC back in the 1980s.)
Details of our weekly Thursday evening swim are below, and also listed in the Regular Events page in OUTdoors.
Come to the Oasis (corner of Endell St and High Holborn - WC2H 9AG - entrance on High Holborn side) from 8.00 pm to get ready and change- a Gosling will usually be there at the reception desk to take the money, from soon after 8.00 pm till about 8.45 pm, so don't arrive too late ! Swimming is from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm, and many of the Goslings also adjourn to the pub afterwards.
To see how nice the Oasis pool is (and pending any more exciting photos taken by the Goslings ) - see the official picture on the Oasis website, or you can use their virtual tour to look round the whole centre.
Answers below to some other questions we're often asked :
We are non-competitive, and all levels of swimming ability are welcome, but Goslings does not provide swimming lessons. There is no need to book in advance, you can just turn up
The regular Goslings are (like GOC as a whole) predominantly gay male but women are equally welcome. Goslings have (for the time being) private hire of the pool for our session. Non-members of GOC can swim with us occasionally but must pay a higher rate, and after three swims should consider joining GOC. We quite often have straight visitors who didn't realise that the pool closes to the public early that evening - we're happy to let them swim (at the higher rate) if they're relaxed about a gay swimming club.We often have two or three such visitors.
The pool has fast, medium and slow lanes - take your pick. In each lane people are swimming up and down, and there's often a chatty gathering at the shallow end (where the warmer water comes in). But the session is really for lane swimming, so unless there are very few people it's not practical just to splash around.
We do operate through almost all the year, though numbers dip in winter (and we close for a few weeks over Xmas and New Year as well as the Thursday before Easter) and rise in summer. The pool really is outdoors, but is reasonably heated. In spring, summer and early autumn it's far better than an indoor pool. Even in winter, it can be agreeable as the steam rises into the cold air, and you can feel tough and butch.
Details of 2019 prices
Individual swim sessions will still cost £6.00 for GOC members, £7.00 for non-member guests - these prices are held steady from last year. For the GOC members' rate, remember to bring your GOC membership certificate. Quarterly subscriptions available for regular swimmers - ask.
We have experienced very substantial recent price hikes for our private hire of the Oasis pool, so there's some uncertainty how long the private hire model is sustainable without more swimmers using it.