Learn to Swim

Learn to Swim – whatever your age

As many people learn when they make the decision to learn to swim, almost all of the lessons available cater for children.

If you are lucky, you will find a learn-to-swim program at your local pool but it’s likely you will have to wait a long time for a place and in our experience it is unlikely you will have learned to swim a year after starting, that’s if you manage to learn at all!  Read what we have to say about public pools and learn-to-swim classes under our private lessons page.

Many people would like to learn to swim but fear they are the only ones with the sort of problems they have.  Frankly men are the worst for this (sorry for being sexist).  Trust me, you’re far from being alone and not learning to swim because you don’t want to feel a fool while you are learning or because you think you are too old is a real shame and so unnecessary.

We have taught so many people to swim that started out being embarrassed, fearful or simply disbelieving that we almost know what you are going to say when you walk through the door.  Just trust us when we say that whatever is going through your mind, others have gone before you thinking exactly the same and they DID learn to swim.

If you’ve made the decision to learn to swim, or even if you are simply just thinking about it, drop us a line and tells your fears or concerns, or what you would like to achieve, and let us tell you how we can help you learn to swim.

Learn to Swim for Adults

Do you feel that only children can learn to swim?  Do the adult swimming lessons at your local pool leave you cold?  Maybe you been there – done that – still can’t swim.  Maybe you can’t even pluck up the courage to think about it?

Let me tell you my story.

Above is me behind the camera, so sad watching hubby swim when I’m too frightened to even go close.  At 45 I got ME (chronic fatigue syndrome).  At 48, having been so terrified of water all my life – I wouldn’t use the shower in case water went in my face – I decided I was fed up of being a victim and I would learn to swim.

Below is me, age 54, in Egypt the day I qualified as an Open Water Scuba diver.  In between I learned to swim, qualified as an instructor, took a life guarding qualification, taught many many people to get over their own phobias and learn to swim, and finally I learn to dive.

I tried to learn to swim at my local pool and frankly was horrified.  For almost 3 months I went and steadfastly refused to put my face in the water or take my feet off the bottom.  I scoured the net looking for ‘learn to swim’ books that would teach me how to swim without putting my face in the water.  Needless to say – there aren’t any.  It was a long time before I made any progress during which time I saw the vast majority of adult swimmers give up along the way.  Eventually I met Irene who shared my fears and phobias and also had decided to learn (she’s even older than me <grin>).  Together we found TI swimming which teaches balance in the water and altogether different techniques to ASA swimming.

Long story short, Irene and I qualified as ASA instructors then took the best of all we had learned to put together our own ‘Learn to Swim’ methods. These we adapt for each and every student to suit their needs and swimming phobias.  We also address the fact that adult swimming/learning is or should be, very different to the way children learn to swim and also that every adult learns in a different way and has different challenges in life.

Finally, this is me below, diving in the Red Sea.  Take heart – you CAN learn to swim as an adult.



Residential Swimming Lessons

Our private pool is small and inviting and everyone that comes to us for residential swimming mainlessons tells us they wish they hadn’t wasted so much time, in some cases many years, trying to learn to swim the hard way!

Being residential means that once you have arrived, unpacked and settled in, you can concentrate totally on the task ahead, learning to swim, without worrying about travelling back and forth or forgetting what you learned last lesson because there has been a week or more in between.

When we say residential we mean just that.  We don’t put you up in a local B&B as many do, expecting you to drive back and forth.  Nor do we expect you to share with anyone unless you bring your partner.  The residential accommodation is private, self contained and next to the private pool.

You can cook for yourself or just chill with a glass of wine and order a takeaway, maybe visit the local pub – whatever you style, you will never regret taking residential swimming lessons with us.

Private Swimming Lessons

Why are private swimming lessons better than public pool lessons?

Let’s just look at the cost element to begin with.  You pay £4 per lesson and get 7 lessons per half term. That’s 42 swimming lessons per year costing £126.  You probably spend the same amount again practicing in between plus the cost of getting to and from the pool every week.  So you’ve spent maybe close on £200.  Can you swim a length at the end of that year?  Not one person at our local swimming pool moved up to the intermediate class in less a years lessons.  In the intermediate class the deep end was an terrifying experience with the instructor standing poolside with a long pole for those who got into difficulty which many did.

Is being in a public pool with other people and your instructor on the poolside a good way to learn?  What do you think?

Suppose you paid that amount for private lessons, learning to swim in the comfort of a private pool with your instructor in the water with you?  What would you achieve?  For most people this would get you almost there.  For some, these supportive individually tailored private swimming lessons will be all that’s needed, if you are really water phobic, then you will obviously want more support but you will be amazed at what you can achieve in a small private pool with the right instructor.

Contrast the 2 years at your local swimming pool taking lessons in a class against booking your private lessons today and knowing you can go on your next holiday and be confident in the pool or the sea.

But couldn’t I just have a private swimming lesson at my local pool?

A private lesson at your local pool is always an option but having been there ourselves and spoken to many many people who have found this wasn’t the answer for them, we feel confident in saying this is a somewhat pointless exercise.  You will simply get exactly the same for your private lesson as you did for a lesson shared with other people and it will cost you about 4 times the price for half the time.  Your swimming instructor will still be poolside shouting her instructions to you and usually your so-called ‘private swimming lesson’ will be in a pool full of other people.  Just because you have the instructions undivided attention for half an hour, in our opinion doesn’t justify calling it a ‘private lesson’.  What you gain from being the only student, you can lose by being fearful of other swimmers splashing and making noise during your ‘private swimming lesson’.  Not so private after all?

What proportion of adults fail to learn to swim because they don’t have private lessons?

Irene and Gay speak from personal experience.  We continued to go to our local pool for ‘lessons’ for about 3 years after we learned to swim simply because we enjoyed swimming.  Most of our skills came from taking swimming courses with TI and studying other methods such as Shaw and Alexander.  We also researched a great deal about fear and phobias and spent a lot of our free time in the pool helping each other correct our technique.

We didn’t learn a lot at the local classes and the ‘advanced’ class wasn’t all that advanced!  What we did learn was that the vast majority of people fell by the wayside.  Some had private swimming lessons, paying £22 an hour to be coached from the poolside in a public pool full of other swimmers.  As I mentioned above, not my idea of a private swimming lesson.

So how many succeeded without having private lessons in a private pool?  VERY VERY FEW!!! and that includes those that had some individual lessons in the public pool.


Private swimming lessons in a private pool with your instructor in the pool with you (and only you!) is the way forward.  Of course, just because an instructor offers private lessons, doesn’t necessarily mean they have what it takes to teach you, but we like to think we stand out above most others and our testimonials prove that.

So what are you waiting for?  Contact us now to chat about your fears and phobias and how we can tailor YOUR private swimming lessons.



Adult Swimming Lessons

Learn to Swim for Adults

Do you feel that only children can learn to swim?  Do the adult swimming lessons at your local pool leave you cold?  Maybe you been there – done that – still can’t swim.  Maybe you can’t even pluck up the courage to think about it?  My journey as an adult learning to swim.

Almost all adults reading this page will have failed to learned to swim as a child and will broadly fall into 2 categories:

  • Adults who never had the opportunity at school

  • Adults who never got the hang of it at school

If you are reading this now I am assuming you are considering taking adult swimming lessons, and like most other adults reading this page you will have concerns.  Let me just list a few of the comments we get from would-be adult swimmers over and over and over again.

  • I’m the odd one out.  Everyone else can swim.

  • My legs sink.  Swimming lessons just don’t work for me.

  • I just can’t put my face in the water.

  • If I take adult swimming lessons, will I have to go in the deep end?  Panic!!!

  • I’m not just an adult – I’m way too old.

  • Adult swimming lessons for men are embarrassing.

The list is endless but largely there are many many reasons why people manage to talk themselves out of taking adult swimming lessons.  As of today, we haven’t met one single person that can’t learn to swim as an adult no matter what their age or perceived problems.

So if you found this page searching for adult swimming lessons and you’ve read this far, why not contact us and have a chat about you adult lessons.

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Finally an apology for the excessive use of the words adult swimming lessons but that’s what the net likes and we do want to find us every time you search for ‘ADULT SWIMMING LESSONS‘.

Babies and Swimming Pools

Learn to Swim at Swimming Lessons 4All


Babies and Swimming Pools      Children’s swimming pools    Swimming lessons for babies Babies and Swimming Pools

The following information will help parents make an informed choice about taking their baby to a swimming pool

Do babies need their immunisations before swimming? No. The advice to wait until  baby has had some or all of their immunisations before taking them to the pool, goes back to the days when polio was much more common and we were worried about its spread in swimming pools. This is no longer a concern.

Picture Courtesy of www.waterbaby.co.uk

The vaccines given to young babies protect against:

  • Diphtheria, Pertussis, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae type b) and Men C (Meningococcal group C). These organisms are in the air. Swimming pools do not carry a greater risk of infection
  • Tetanus. Tiny spores from this organism exist in the soil and manure, NOT swimming pool water
  • Polio. It is extremely unlikely that water will be the means by which this infection gets passed on. It is more likely to be from hands soiled by stools containing the organism. It does get excreted in the stools of babies who have recently had the vaccine but this will not be a threat to others (including babies who have not had the vaccine). The important thing is to take care when using shared facilities to change a nappy and make sure to dispose of soiled nappies carefully.

The above infections are not contracted in the chlorinated water environment of a well-run swimming pool.

What about feeding? You should wait one hour after your babies feed before swimming.


Should baby swim if they are ill? NO! The temperature of the pool, changing rooms and outside are really important, as a baby cannot control their body temperature. Pool water should be at least 30oC. A child who is ill should not be exposed to big swings in temperatures. Take note of the following:

  • If your baby has suffered a tummy bug, it is important to wait two days after the first solid movement before going swimming
  • Babies with ear infections should not swim
  • Don’t go swimming with your baby if they have an infectious disease. This includes diarrhoea and a heavy cold


What should my baby wear in the pool? It is more hygienic to put your baby in a swim nappy such as kooshies or aquanappy. It is somewhat essential. It is important remember that stomach and bowel upsets can result if a pool is heavily contaminated with faeces. The following advice should be followed;

  • Avoid changing the nappy by the side of the pool
  • Dress toddlers in close-fitting swimsuits to better contain faeces
  • Occasionally check in their bathers for soiling
  • Reduce the risk of accidents by taking children for frequent trips to the toilet
  • Don’t rinse hands in the pool water after a trip to the toilet or after changing a child’s nappy. Use warm water and soap.


Are the chemicals in the water harmful to my baby? A baby’s skin is more delicate than an adult’s and the chemicals used to sterilise swimming pool water can irritate the skin and eyes of some babies. Your health visitor will be able to advise you on skin care products.

Where can I get further information about protection for babies?

  • Health Visitor or GP


Swimming Glossary

Swimming Lessons 4 All

Water phobias, fears, strugglers, improvers – we tailor to meet your needs.

Contact Swimming Lessons 4 All

Learn to Swim at Swimming Lessons 4All



Swimming Glossary

Please use our swimming glossary to help you interpret some of the terms we use in swimming.


Diving Lessons   Teach Baby to Swim