I’m not a fan of the term wild swimming as to most people round here going swimming in a lake is just going for a swim . However this morning on the way to Keswick we pulled off the a66 to look at the ice on bassenthwaite, a good third of the lake is frozen over . The wind was whipping across the ice like a scene from david attenbourgh . As we arrived two women were knee deep about to go for a swim . Only one of them was wearing a wetsuit . Chappeau .
Sea swimming - I have a friend in Orkney who swims spring to autumn in the sea with a wet suit. When he does go weekly, he partners for safety with a guy who swims more regularly and all year round without a wet suit.
A tv program a year or two back featured Shetland sea swimmers and they swam year round with wet suits.
I have a mate back home in Blyth who goes swimming in the north sea every single day of the year. Only ever wears neoprene shorts - he's mad as a hatter though. I went in this summer when I was down clearing my dad's house and lasted about 3 minutes.
Load of people here swim in the sea every day, sans wetsuit. They spend a lot of time telling anyone who will listen that it's good for your mental health but somehow the demographic who does this are all mad as a box of frogs, which reduces the impact of the message somewhat.
I have a rule that in winter, I wear a winter wetsuit, otherwise they wouldn't have called the season 'winter', would they.
Was in the river near us on Saturday. Temp was down to 1.2°c but actually didn't feel as sharp as i expected.
It is really good fun and feels good, but it's def not for everyone
People are in the sea every day here. One lot swim off a beach, the other in the island's tidal swimming pool. There will be hundreds in the pool on the annual xmas day swim, and over a thousand on the boxing day beach swim (which I normally do to remind myself why I mustn't fall in the sea when fishing). Sea temp is currently 9.7C.
There are a lot of extreme swimmers about, not just cold but summer events too. Have you ever looked into the Dart 10k? Serious respect to those people
I bumped into a running mate on the hill yesterday. It's a thing on those circles to earn your 'ice trophy', holding a plate of ice above your head you've had to break to get in. I get ice cream head swimming even in Autumn and Spring!
I went kayaking on saturday at lee valley. Lake was rather impressively frozen to the point couldnt use the normal launch spots and had to walk over to the course.
Definitely a day for skills maintenance/practicing the subtle controls rather than pushing it and heading for a swim.
> Sea temp is currently 9.7C.
That's pretty warm by lake standards, Bass Lake is that sort of temp in high summer, and cools rapidly when it rains. Biggest issue is the air temperature when you get out. (Or in the OP's photo location, the doggers after dark).
> That's pretty warm by lake standards, Bass Lake is that sort of temp in high summer, and cools rapidly when it rains. Biggest issue is the air temperature when you get out. (Or in the OP's photo location, the doggers after dark).
Oddly I’ve lived here on and off close on 30 years and only knew one of those things .
I know someone who immersed themselves in a partially frozen lake/pool a few days ago. I say immersed as I think it was for a couple of minutes and she didn't go for an actual swim. No wet suit.
Air temp: -6 C
Water temp: +1.5 C
Edit to add this was of course carefully planned with lots of previous experience and not alone.
Well, I've been skinny dipping just after midnight at New Year in Swanage and that was pretty chilly, but I'd be prepared to give it more of a go if I lived by the seaside. When my grandparents used to live in Rustington, there was a chap there they'd see nearly every day going for a swim in the sea.
I used to swim a bit with a local open water swim club and there was a chap there that never used a wetsuit and swam all year round.
These days, I wouldn't go near any of the local rivers, or even the sea, for fear of catching something nasty from the sewage being pumped into them!
> Oddly I’ve lived here on and off close on 30 years and only knew one of those things .
I won't ask which one…
I went for a quick dip in a partially frozen-over local river last week. I do it mid-run so I'm warm going in and warm up quickly afterwards. Only spend about 2 mins in the water but it's great fun.
I’ve been for a dip, not always a swim, but always fully in and at least for a couple of minutes, at least once every month of the year.
January was probably coldest in terms of air and water temperate, but April with fairly pleasant air temperature and cold water probably felt the worst.
June and November were in the Mediterranean and Pacific respectively, so that is probably cheating.
My partner is big into swimming and has been pushing her limits from sometimes struggling to swim in the sea in summer to full winter swimming. During the cold snap there was a really nice crisp, windless sunny day, so I just had to give it a go.
I was quite surprised how the cold water suddenly takes your breath away, even when I was just in up to my legs. Never felt that before. The water didn't feel as cold as expected, the hardest part was warming up my feet afterwards. Some boots with foot warmers would probably be a good investment.
My partner recorded my dip for posterity.
> I went for a quick dip in a partially frozen-over local river last week. I do it mid-run so I'm warm going in and warm up quickly afterwards. Only spend about 2 mins in the water but it's great fun.
Gosh, that's brave! Did you take all your running gear off first? Got to be fairly secluded if so
There’s an interesting video on YouTube that covers some of the science around swimming in cold water:
The most interesting stuff with Prof Mike Tipton starts at around the 25 minutes mark. There’s comparison of responses of a cold-adapted swimmer with a mountaineer at one point, and brief mention of cross-adaptation of cold water swimming to doing things at altitude.
There is mention of “open cold water swimming” rather than just “swimming” but hopefully that won’t be too upsetting 😉.
I swim regularly in the Øresund (the strait between Denmark and Sweden). This being Denmark I don't wear anything, let alone a wetsuit.
My 26 year old daughter goes for a few swims every week in the Hampstead Heath ponds in London, last week they were breaking the ice every morning and only 2 allowed in at a time.This was in the ladies pond. . Very invigorating, but not for me. She just wears a woolly hat and normal costume.Loves it.Catches a bus at about 7am and swims early hours and then to work at her flat or goes into the City.
Your body gets trained to it after a while and the secret is too build up over time.
I used to go in all the time in autumn/winter but Southern Water regular 'poo-nami' releases means I go less as Im waiting for an all clear (some people will go in even after a recent release but only up to their necks... I find that weird)
I went in skinnydipping on Sunday just after dawn. Its the only way for me and I have to get my head under otherwise I don't feel ive done it. I'm probably in for about 2 mins lol
But its magical early in the morning in winter with the beach so quiet
> Your body gets trained to it after a while and the secret is too build up over time.
Agree with this, the trick is to start swimming in summer and not stop. Would be brutal trying to start now