Visitor Information

Things you need to know for the day

What do I need to bring with me?

On the water:

  • Footwear - soft soled trainers that can get wet. No wellies, walking boots, sandals or crocs.
  • Trousers/shorts - thin cotton that will dry easily when wet. Thin wind and waterproof trousers. No jeans.
  • Body - layers of tops (t-shirts, thin tops etc). Thin wind and waterproof top (cagoule).
  • Wetsuits - these are provided when the weather is cold. Swimwear must be worn under wetsuits, with an optional t-shirt.
  • Head & hands - warm hat, baseball cap or beanie. Long hair must be tied back/plaited for safety. Helmets are provided. Gloves with grip - not slippery wool.
  • Skin - high factor sun cream 
  • Glasses - if you wear them, make sure you bring a piece of string or a strap.

Other kit:

  • A packed lunch and drink if you're here for a full day
  • At least 1 COMPLETE change of clothes and footwear - a full set to go home in.
  • A towel & shower gel/soap
  • A plastic bag to put your wet clothes in

If you have water activity clothing, e.g. wetsuit, waterproofs, sailing boots, gloves, etc, you're welcome to bring them with you.

It is recommended that you don't take any items of value on the water. To avoid risk of loss or damage please leave valuables at home.

Session Times

Arrive 15 minutes prior to the session for sign in and to get ready for the session.

Activity and taster session times are:

Half day 10.00 - 12.30 or 1.30 - 4.00

Full day 10.00-4.00

After school sessions 6.00 - 8.00

Evening sessions 6.00 - 8.30

RYA course times will be: 

9:30 - 5:30

Session Times

We sell hot & cold drinks and sweets & crisps at reasonable prices.

Information about the centre


  • Buoyancy aids must be worn when near and on the water.

  • Helmets must be worn by under 18s and adult beginners in sailing, kayaking, traditional rafting and wobble boarding.

  • Safety Boats and qualified drivers are on the water for all activities.

  • For the safety and comfort of all users, ESSA is a No Smoking and No Alcohol site.

  • Assistance dogs are allowed but we do not have buoyancy aids for them so they cannot go on the water.

  • Full copies of our policies are available on request.


A main building with

  • a large teaching area

  • kitchen

  • changing rooms (with showers)

  • toilets

An outdoor area with

  • a picnic and BBQ area overlooking the water

  • water fountain and bottle filler

  • space for camping

For activities we provide

  • buoyancy aids

  • wetsuits (for when it is a bit chilly)

  • spray jackets

  • helmets

Opening hours

We do our best to cater for your needs so open most days during the months of March to October, and at weekends from November to February.

During the winter ESSA is still active with land based courses and regular maintenance sessions. During this time, we also run courses such as Safety Boat, First Aid, Assistant Instructor, Dinghy Instructor and Crew Development days, in order to have more trained volunteers available to keep participants safe on the water.

Car parking

We have sufficient space for approximately 30 cars. On busy occasions our car park is very busy so if you’re taking part in a group activity, try to car share where possible.

There is also the option of parking at the top of the lake and taking the short walk down to us.