Pinkston paddlesports

Whitewater park and play is back

White water park and play is back!

And it looks a little different.  Paddlers will now require competency sign off to participate in these sessions.  This can take the form of relevant personal performance award or by an in house sign off by a member of the Pinkston team.  Sign offs available this Sunday, future dates TBC

Limited spaces this Sunday can be booked on our website -

Park and play will then return to a Saturday, with an evening day TBC at a later date.

Timeslots must be pre-booked

Info from booking system:

Park & Play at Pinkston Watersports is a great chance to get on the water, improve your skills and enjoy Scotland’s only whitewater centre!

White-water Park and play is available at a rate of £10 for 1 hour. It will run on 3 pumps.

There are staggered start times to reduce contact at access and egress points.

Unfortunately no changing rooms are currently available due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic

Please be respectful of social distancing, current travel restrictions, and other current guidance.

Park and play is open to competent paddlers - you will either require to show evidence of competency (e.g. 3* or equivalent), or be signed off as competent by a member of the Pinkston team.

Please contact us if you require sign off as there may not be staff available at every session to do this.

By Pinkston

Swimming FAQs

Its great to see so many people interested in swimming - thank you to everyone who has come along and supported our charity

However, due to the level of interest combined with reduced capacity we have found it difficult to keep on top of enquiries as they come in.

We will do our best to get round to responding to your emails and messages, but in the meantime hopefully the following will help:


I can't see Swim times on the website. Are you going to be releasing any more?We have released regular swim times up until the end of September. Most of these have sold out. However, we are doing what we can to release more when we find capacity.  These may be at relatively short notice, so it is worth checking back in to the website if you are looking for a space.  It is not possible for us to say when these extra sessions will be released.  It will vary depending on the other demands on the centre.  

First and foremost we are a paddlesports venue so while we have been able to create sessions for more than 300 swimmers a week we need to ensure that we are 
retaining our ability to do what we were originally here for.  
Please can you add my name to a cancellation list?Unfortunately due to limited capacity we aren't able to maintain a cancellation list. 
I would like to cancel my session or change my time.  Can you help?Due to the nature of the way that we work and the limited numbers on each session we aren't able to offer a refund if we get less than a weeks notice of cancellation (50% refund will be given to sessions cancelled with 1-2 weeks notice).  We do what we can to help and support our users who have to change plans within this time, but we can't guarantee our ability to do so.
Can you recommend where to get a wetsuit or what size I should buy?We aren't currently able to hire out wetsuits so you would need to source your own.  We find Lomo to be great value, but there are many other online and in store retailers.

A wetsuit retailer would also be able to provide the best advice on what size you should order.
Do I need to wear a wetsuit?In the summer months the water temperature ranges from approximately 14-20 degrees Celsius.  This feels cold, especially if you aren't used to it.  Westuits aren't compulsory, but we very much recommend them, especially if you aren't acclimatised to swimming in cold water. 
Why is there a lane rope up in the water?In order for us to maximise the number of swim sessions available we have divided the space available.  This means that we can provide swimming at the same time as running our popular kayak and stand-up paddle-boarding sessions.
I heard that you sell a swim pass - is this still available?We introduced a swim pass, but unfortunately had to withdraw it soon after.  The reason for this was that the level of demand for timeslots meant that people were buying a pass but were then unable to book a time to get in the water.  To prevent this we have gone back to a system of requiring swimmers to individually book each time they want to come.
Where can I get changed?Due to current government guidelines we aren't able to open changing facilities.  We recommend coming changed, using a changing robe and/or changing at your vehicle.  There is also space on the decking next to the water that you are welcome to use.  Please ensure that you leave the spaces in front of shipping containers clear to allow access.  We recommend leaving your belongings in your vehicle and carrying your keys with you in a secure watertight case or tow float.  Items can be left on the decking at your own risk, but we regret that we can't take any responsibility for any loss or damage.

Please do not use the toilets for changing as this increases the risk of Covid-19 infection (due to greater footfall) and prevents others from using them for their intended purpose

By Pinkston

July Phase 2 Update - Open for Business

Now more than a month since we tentatively reopened for business, we have been overwhelmed with the interest in getting on and in the water.  It has been a real joy to see the happiness it has brought out in so many people to get back out doing the activities that are so important to their physical and mental health.  

To quote one Pinkston regular "I feel like a kid at Christmas"

We are still very much limiting the numbers on the water in order to ensure that social distancing is possible.  We want to maintain this in a relaxed manner that suits the way we enjoy our sport.  However, we have seen a very strong upturn in interest for all kinds of activities.  We are doing what we can to meet this while always operating under the current guidance.  We remain grateful for the ongoing support of our core paddling community and are looking forward to welcoming those of you back we haven't yet seen.  We are safeguarding the regular time-slots for clubs and community organisations who aren't yet able to restart activity.   These will be there for you when you are ready to get back to regular activities. However, we may need a bit of notice as these times will be released for other activities at relatively short notice (potentially up to 2 week) if it appears unlikely that they will be taken up.  This is only a short term measure until we can make the "new normal" look a bit more like the "old normal"


We have been open for:

We are accepting bookings from anyone who is able to operate under the current guidance, subject to some additional conversations and criteria to ensure that Pinkston remains a safe venue for all.  The skedda booking system has been disabled for all users, although you will still be able to view your bookings.  Please contact to make a booking. 

We will want to know how many people will be attending and will require a copy of your Covid-19 risk assessment.  This is so that we are able to balance the requirements of all groups.

Please see our Covid-19 risk assessment for details of how we are currently working, although please bear in mind that this is a dynamic situation and we remain responsive to changes as they occur. 


Pinkston opening for swimming has been a lifeline to many as pools remain closed, and swimmers have been a lifeline to Pinkston. They have offered an income stream at a time when things were looking extremely challenging for our sustainability and future. We have thoroughly enjoyed the relationships we have been building over this time and are committed to supporting the swimming community as best as we can.  This income stream complements generous support from the Andy Jackson Fund, Monklands Canoe Club, Edinburgh Kayak Club, and so very many many others which sees us being able to look positively towards the future.

We feel so very privileged to welcome so may new people into our existing community of outdoor sports enthusiasts who hold Pinkston dear. We are also conscious that this presents a further increase to the diversity of activity onsite and will do everything we can to balance the differing needs of our ever expanding user group.

Toilets and Changing

Toilets and Changing have been closed in line with previous guidance, although we are now working to a reopening of the toilets by this weekend. This has been slightly slower than we would like due to balancing the additional cleaning requirements and limited staff while we are operating well beyond current capacity.  

Financial procedures

We have during lockdown reviewed many of our procedures, and decided that it is time to tighten up on our credit agreements.  If you would like to be invoiced in arrears for your sessions then please get in touch to request a credit agreement.  Otherwise we will require payment upfront for sessions booked.  Existing cancellation terms will continue to apply (> 2 weeks = full credit, 1-2 weeks = 50% credit, <1 week no refund given).  We will contact regular users about this as bookings return to the calendar.


You will see some new faces at Pinkston who have hit the ground running.  Katie, Jamie, and Grant have joined Hannah and Errin to help meet increasing demands.  Caretaker Jamie returned from furlough this week and has started to get us all back into shape and the centre back up to scratch.  Helen continues to work hard behind the scenes keeping us right with the finances.  Due to health and new baby respectively it will be a while before Fraser and Mhairi are able to rejoin us, but both are doing well and no doubt looking forward to seeing everyone when they can.  


As this has been a time of learning for us all, we continue to welcome feedback from all users about anything that needs addressed.  Please get in touch -

By Pinkston

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