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10th Birthday Memories

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Puddle Ducks Bristol & Bath is one of the most established swim schools in the local area.  We're marking our 10th birthday by telling the stories from our longest-standing pool partners, below. If you click the link on the right, you can read memories from our lovely teachers too!

  • Our founder, Sarah, had been teaching baby and toddler swimming lessons in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, since October 2011 and was keen to expand our classes in the area. We were delighted to find Diana who lives in Wiltshire and trained up to be a Puddle Ducks teacher. 

    Diana told Sarah how she’d love to teach at the gorgeous Woolley Grange Hotel spa pool, so Sarah approached them about starting classes there.  The hotel is incredibly family friendly, so they were keen to meet with us, and we were beyond excited when they told us they’d like us to teach at their beautiful pool. 

    Lots of our Woolley Grange customers are spa members and we are also very proud to deliver the swimming lessons for hotel guests enjoying their “Baby’s First Stay Away” break.  If you haven’t visited, you should!   It’s a great place to take the family at the weekend for food and a play, or a longer stay of course. Needless to say, apart from the pool, our favourite element is the ducks who run around in the walled garden...oh and Rex the dog! 

    Thank you to Clare, Caroline and Rachael for supporting our business these past three years.  We feel very lucky and grateful that we are part of the idyllic sanctuary that is Woolley Grange.  

  • When our founder, Sarah, wanted to expand Puddle Ducks Bristol & Bath at the end of its first year, theclubandspa was the number one pool on her list! Here she tells us all about her long partnership with this amazing pool.

    “I first met Jason, the Club General Manager, in summer 2009.  I’d just recruited and trained four new teachers for Puddle Ducks and was ready to expand;  I so wanted to teach classes at theclub, I knew it would be the perfect venue.  I was overjoyed when Jason said yes, and so in the September we began teaching our baby and toddler classes on Monday afternoons.  Over the years we have slowly increased our lessons at theclub and now teach Swim Academy classes three evenings a week, and our baby and toddler classes on Friday afternoons. 

    Thank you so much, Jason, for giving us the opportunity to work with you at theclub.  You’ve always supported Puddle Ducks and have given me so much useful advice.  Thank you from me, from our swimming teachers Tina, Wendy, Annette and Laura, and from all our Puddle Ducks customers who love to swim at theclub.”

  • Puddle Ducks Bristol & Bath had been running for a few years when we heard a rumour that some local farmers were thinking about building a new pool on their land in Wrington, Somerset.  After a bit of detective work, we tracked them down and went to visit. 

    Freddie and Debs gave our founder, Sarah, a tour of the pig sties and told her about their plans to convert them into a swimming pool and office buildings.  She says “I remember being invited into their lovely home, having a cuppa tea and playing with their little girl and the cat!  Over the coming months we chatted over the phone about the pool specification and then suddenly the project started to speed up.  Planning was given, and the build was underway.  Freddie and Debs invited me to come back to pitch for the pool time.  There were understandably lots of swimming companies who wanted to teach at their lovely new pool, so it was just the best feeling when we found out they’d chosen Puddle Ducks!”

    We started teaching at Our Pool in 2013 and happily we are still teaching our baby and toddler swimming classes and Swim Academy lessons five days a week.  Thank you so much Freddie Debs for choosing Puddle Ducks.   We love coming to see you at the farm and always feel right at home.  Sarah says “Thank you so, so much for all your support the past five years.  Our customers and teachers love the pool and the children love coming to visit the chickens!!” 

  • In the very first week of Puddle Ducks Bristol & Bath, we launched Friday morning swimming classes at what was then The Plush Hotel in Redhill. We now teach our baby and toddler swimming classes at Redhill every Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and our customers love swimming there - some families have been swimming with us there since 2008! 

    The current owners, Jeff and Sharron (Jeff is pictured with Sarah above), bought the North Somerset boutique hotel back in 2011 and chose to return the gorgeous old building to its original name “Redhill House”.  It’s incredible to think we’ve been teaching babies and children to swim at Redhill for 10 years now!  The pool was and still is so lovely and warm, and we have it all to ourselves, so it feels very relaxed and friendly.  Families can sit on the sun loungers around the pool to watch their children and grandchildren in the water.  It’s just lovely. 

    Sarah, our founder, says: “I remember the early days so, so well, and Jeff and Sharron have been so supportive and helpful since taking over.  They are always around for a catch up and nothing is ever too much trouble.  They really care about our customers and want them to have the best experience possible, so are always working on plans to improve the pool building.  Thank you, Jeff and Sharron for all the support you give us.”


    The Grand Hotel has been such an amazing swimming venue for Puddle Ducks Bristol & Bath.  It has a brilliant city-centre location, so customers come from all over Bristol, and the fact that the pool is so gorgeous has kept our classes super busy from day one.  We started teaching our Baby and Toddler swimming classes back in April 2010 on Wednesday and Thursday mornings.  We are still teaching those sessions eight years later - and we now teach on Monday morning, too! 

    The Grand Hotel has been managed by various hotel groups during the time we’ve taught our classes there.  It is now a Mercure Hotel run by the lovely Nicholas, who is as supportive as ever of Puddle Ducks, together with the super-helpful Leisure Club team, led by Tiago. Nothing is ever too much trouble.  Thank you everybody at The Grand for your ongoing support! You have played a huge part in our business and literally thousands of babies and toddlers have been taught to swim by our brilliant swimming teachers, currently the fabulous Polly and Jen. 

  • When our founder, Sarah, made the decision to launch Puddle Ducks Bristol & Bath back in the summer of 2008, that was the easy bit!  She knew that without a swimming pool, she had no business…

    That’s where Parson Street Primary School in Bedminster came in. Sarah’s very first meeting was with the then School Business Manager, Val, who was immediately supportive of her venture and happily agreed that we could teach our baby and toddler classes every Monday morning. 

    Sarah says: “I remember launching with full classes on Monday 8th September 2008 so clearly! I was nervous but excited, and it was brilliant!  The customers were great, and the pool was so toasty and warm.”

    Over the years we have increased our pool hire hours and we now teach every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at Parson Street School.  Throughout our 10 years the Business Managers and Head Teachers have always fully supported us, and the current Head Teacher, Jamie (with Sarah in the photo above) is no different.  He’s a great support to us and works hard keep the swimming pool open for our classes and all the children at Parson Street School.  Our customers travel from all over Bristol, but many are local families who walk to the pool, which is a common reason for choosing Parson Street.

    Thank you, Parson Street School for helping us teach thousands of children to swim over the past 10 years.   We really do appreciate it!