Welcome to Goslings Swimmers !
We are a relaxed leisure swimming group using the outdoor pool at the Oasis in Covent Garden for a weekly social swim. Goslings are the London specialist swimming group within GOC, and have been operating for around 40 years. The Oasis is on the corner of Endell St and High Holborn (entrance from High Holborn).
More details here : https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/london/camden/oasis-sports-centre including a virtual tour.
For a good view of the outdoor pool, go to : https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/london/camden/oasis-sports-centre/swimming
(Competitive swimmers should approach instead Out to Swim -www.outtoswim.org)
April 2023 update
Current arrangements at the Oasis are as follows. The outdoor pool continues to operate under the individual advance booking system (see below). (The indoor pool is temporarily out of action for repairs.) The cost of an individual swim has gone up again for 2023/24 and is now £7.20. Oasis has also changed the lockers so instead of taking a 20p coin, they now require a special token, costing 30p and obtained from a cashless vending machine near the entry turnstiles.
December 2021 update
Although the Oasis facilities have largely returned to normal after lockdown, the Oasis management have so far declined to reinstate Goslings long-standing exclusive private hire session on Thursday evenings. Accordingly, we have no alternative for the time being, but to continue with the new system of individual advance bookings within the public session on Thursday evening, slightly earlier than before. (We will continue to request eventual reinstatement of the private hire, but there is no prospect of this in the near future. Even our proposal to block book under the current system was declined.)
Goslings Weekly Swim - Thursday evening
Practicalities of swimming with the Goslings are now as follows. Each individual books their own swimming slot each week using the GLL Better App, which has recently been upgraded. https://www.better.org.uk/booking
Most Goslings aim for slots starting between 7.10 pm and 7.50 pm. Slots are released for booking by the general public 5 days in advance, so bookings for Thursday evening can be made from 6:00 PM the previous Saturday. The individual full price for a swimming slot in 2023/24 is £7.20. There are other possibilities which may prove cheaper depending on usage, through various categories of Better membership. For instance, the annual “pay and play” membership reduces the cost of a swim. You also need to buy a non-returnable token to work the lockers : these cost 30p each and are dispensed from a cashless vending machine near the front desk.
Particularly over the winter months, the popularity of the outdoor pool reduces, so Goslings usually predominate from around 7.45 pm onwards. Not the same by any means as a private hire, but a reasonable second best.
Goslings gravitate after their swim to the nearby Bloomsbury Tavern (for drinks).
New Goslings are welcome on any Thursday but will need to make their own individual bookings in advance. Goslings can usually be identified in the pool by their social demeanour.
For latest Oasis info, including any future restrictions, always check their website :
Goslings - rise like a phoenix !
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.
The regular Goslings are (like GOC as a whole) predominantly gay male but women are equally welcome. Goslings no longer have private hire of the pool for our session, so the pool will also have non-Goslings public, many of whom are also regulars.
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 (especially for a few weeks over Xmas and New Year ) 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. There is also a poolside sauna, for brief warming up before or after.