Leisure > Chelmsford City Sports > Riverside > Swimming at Riverside

Internet and phone lines will be down between 9am and 1pm Sunday 20 June at our leisure centres. You must have a pre-booked session to attend the centre during this time. You will not be able to book or pay for any session in centre. Bookings will still be available through the website and app.

Swimming Icon

Swimming at Riverside

Tone the body and relax the mind with swimming in our 25m x 10 lane main pool or having fun in our 10m learning pool at Riverside Leisure Centre. 

Swimming at Riverside

What to expect when you visit

To keep staff and customers safe, there are some changes to how we operate:



  • Sessions will be timed.
  • We will restrict the number of people allowed in the pool at any time.
  • The main pool will be open for public lane swimming. This means you will need to be able to swim multiple lengths unaided while following lane etiquette rules at all times. This will not be a family session. 
  • Families will be able to use our 'Family Session' in the main pool. Due to social distancing, and the set up of the pool, only four families (6 people per family) will be allowed in the pool at one time. 
  • The learner pool will be limited to a maximum of two families (6 people per family, including children). You will have to comply with adult to child swim ratios.
  • You will not be able to spectate as there will no access to the seating area.
  • You will not be able to hire Pull Buoys, Kick floats or other equipment.
  • Splash area will be closed. The flume is available as part of Family Fun sessions only.
  • You must make sure you observe lane etiquette displayed at the ends of each lane.
  • You will only be allowed entry up to 30 minutes after your session start time. After this you will not be able to join the session.

  • Social distancing should be observed at all times where possible.

Face coverings

  • You will need to wear a face covering inside our leisure centres whenever you aren't exercising, unless you have an exemption. Find out more about face coverings.
  • You should leave your face mask in your locker while you are swimming. 

Showers and changing rooms

  • You must arrive with your swimming costume under your clothes. You will not be able to use the changing cubicles on your way in due to the one way system.
  • You will be able to use the single changing cubicles at the end of your session only. Please clean the cubicle down after you have finished.
  • There will be a reduced amount of showers, you will not be able to shower before entering the pool.
  • We will have a one-way system in place around the changing area, and to enter and exit the pool area.
  • You will be able to use a limited number of lockers. You can use any open locker of your choice. All lockers will be cleaned between sessions.
  • You will not be able to use the hairdryers.
  • There is a Changing Places unit for those with accessible needs.


  • We will be cleaning in between sessions.
  • We will provide hand sanitiser and cleaning stations around the centre.
  • There will be cleaning stations in the changing room for customers to wipe down cubicles and lockers after they have used them.

When you arrive and leave

  • Before you arrive, you can download the NHS COVID-19 app. You can open the app and scan the QR code displayed at the entrance to the centre on arrival.
  • You will enter via the river entrance only. You will queue on the cafe terrace and wait to be called in.
  • If you have a buggy or accessible needs, you will be able to make your way straight in and through the wide barrier next to reception.
  • If you are using the learner pool you will be able to make your way straight in and through the wide barrier next to reception.  
  • If you are using the creche, please read the  specific instructions for the creche.
  • You should only arrive 15  minutes before your session time to avoid queuing congestion.
  • You must exit the centre promptly once you have finished your swim and get changed.
  • You will exit the centre via the car park entrance only.
  • When you exit, you will go through the barriers by the green stairs and out via the car park exit.

Monthly Members

  • You will need to book a session in advance.
  • You will need to check in for your session at the turnstiles by reception.
  • If you do not check-in, we will charge you the full amount for the session.
  • Please make sure that you have registered your email address with us in order to book online. 

Resident swim scheme

  • You will still be able to use the pool with the resident swim scheme.
  • You will need to book a session between 9am and 2pm Monday to Friday.
  • You will need to cancel at least 2 hours in advance if you wish to cancel a session otherwise you will be charged.
  • You can find out about the over 65s resident swim scheme.

 You can read the latest guidance from Swim England on returning to swimming.


Prices for public swimming

Peak times

Monday to Friday, open to 9am and 5pm to close

Saturday and Sunday, open to 12pm 

Off peak times

Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

Saturday and Sunday, 12pm to close


ourChelmsford Lite card prices

Peak prices

Standard: £6.20

Discounted (under 21s): £5.60

Under 5: £1.60

Family: £18 (one adult and three children

or two adults and two children).

Off peak prices

Standard: £5.20

All discounted: £4.70

Under 5: £1.60

Family: £15.10 (one adult and three children or

two adults and two children).

ourChelmsford Plus card prices

Peak prices

Standard: £5.20

Discounted (under 21s): £4.60

Under 5: free

Family: £15  (one adult and three children

or two adults and two children). 

Off peak prices

Standard: £4.20 

All discounted: £3.70

Under 5: free

Family: £12.10  (one adult and three children or two adults and two children).

Spectators £1.70

Save money by upgrading to an ourChelmsford Plus or monthly Premium membership. 

Monthly memberships

Family sessions

£12: for 6 people (including children)

  • charge is for pay as you go and monthly members. 
  • This is a temporary charge specific to these sessions, due to the way the pool is set up for social distancing. 

Things you need to know

Fun sessions, flume and swimming lessons

  • Due to social distancing measures, we will not be opening the splash pool or adult swimming lessons at the moment. The flume is only open as part of the booked family fun sessions.


  • If you can't attend a session that you have booked onto, you must cancel at least two hours before it starts.
  • You can  cancel online or via the app, or by phone.
  • We will charge you the full amount for the session if you do not cancel in time, or if you do not  attend. This includes monthly members.


  • If you are a monthly member, you can book up to 10 days in advance.

  • If you are an  ourChelmsford Plus cardholder, you can book 7 days in advance.

  • If you are an  ourChelmsford Lite cardholder, you can book 2 days in advance.

Entry to the pool

  • You will need to tap your ourChelmsford card, wristband or token on the barrier to enter the pool.
  • If you have forgotten your card you will need to collect a barcode from reception to get through the barriers.


  • The pools complex, including the changing area is a shoe-free zone, this includes the removal of flip flops.
  • You will also need to leave buggies in the buggy park, however there will be limited space to do so.

Swimming with children


To keep everyone safe, we operate adult to child ratios and maximum capacity at our swimming pools.

Children that are seven years and under can’t use the pool by themselves.

A person 16 years or over can accompany: 

  • one child that is under four years 
  • two children that are under four years if they are wearing buoyancy aids, such as armbands or a float suit 
  • two children that are between four and seven years
Swim nappies
  • Children who usually wear nappies, must wear a swim nappy in the pool. These can be purchased at reception.

Lockers and changing rooms

  • There is a Changing Places area and accessible changing facilities.
  • If you want to use a locker, you will need a £1 coin to release the key. You will get the £1 back when you return the key. 

What to bring

Sports black swimwear icon
Sports black towel icon

Centre opening times

Monday to Friday, 6am to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday, 6am to 7pm
Bank holidays: see facility opening timetables


  • State of the art gym
  • 2 exercise studios
  • Spin studio
  • 25m x 10 lane main pool
  • 10m x 10m learner pool
  • Ice rink
  • Creche
  • 2 Changing Places
  • Accessible changing
  • Accessible parking

All prices are correct to 31 March 2022.

All information correct at time of publishing. Please check before each visit.


Contact form

Riverside Leisure Centre
Victoria Road

You can also give us your feedback about the new centre.

We are a breastfeeding friendly centre.

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