Wild Swimming

Once quite a common activity, enjoyed by many, swimming in lakes, rivers and the sea was enjoyed by people from all walks of life. With industry, pollution and worries about health, wild swimming decreased – but now it’s coming back stronger than ever.

Taking the plunge.

The water in rivers, lakes and beaches around the UK are cleaner than they have been in hundreds of years. ‘Wild swimming’ as it has now been named is taking off as a craze across the country (possibly even world-wide).

I hadn’t heard the term before and laughed when I read an article in The Guardian (online) by Tom Cox, who said:

I’d initially been a bit sceptical about wild swimming. I saw it as a slightly over-egged term – a bit like describing lawn mowing as “wild vacuuming” – that got dropped into the conversation by trendy people in Hackney who would never actually get around to doing it. However, a leap into the bracingly cold waves on the Suffolk coast can shove such reservations to the sidelines astonishingly quickly.

Many people have asked how they can network with local wild swimmers, to share places, arrange outings and generally organise for fun. There are numerous groups of Facebook. Just search for Wild Swimming. Whilst reading about the craze I discovered some useful places to get further information.

Wild Swimming: Site dedicated to all things involving outdoor swimming places.

The Outdoor Swimming Society:  The Outdoor Swimming Society believes that it’s time British swimmers had more fun. In the early 1900s there were river swimming clubs all over the country, but outdoor swimming died out as indoor pools came in.

Time to join in guys. Whip those clothes off and go for a wild swim of your own.

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6 thoughts on “Wild Swimming

  1. Swimming outdoors is amazing. I used to go up to the Hampstead ponds when I had a chance but never lived close enough to make it a regular thing.

    Best place I have ever swum is Tofino in British Columbia – perfectly cold water, gorgeous surroundings, no pollution and absolute peace and quiet. I got up every day at 6 to do it while I was there. Everyone else thought I was mad but it’s one of my best memories!

    • I went swimming in lakes near Kinderdijk when I was about 9. I don’t remember particularly liking it… That’s why I was so surprised that I enjoyed the lake swimming in France this summer. The peace and quiet of your swims do sound very nice. Memories like that are the best ones to keep hold of.

  2. I have been ‘wild swimming’ for years, but never knew it was called wild swimming. i was raised swimming in some beautiful natural springs and rivers with huge boulders dotting around. I learned to dive, not off a diving board, but off those boulders. OH the good old days. Now I just frequent the pool. Loved this post!

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