Open water swimming means something slightly different to everyone, it can be the thrill of finding a new spot, the challenges and freedom it gives or an great experience you can enjoy with friends. One thing we really enjoy is hearing the different stories from the person we meet in the open water community and that’s why we thought we would share a couple of stories of where we love to swim in the UK and why.
Simon, SwimTrek Founder -The Inner Hebrides
Yes it’s a tad cooler than further south but the the islands that make up the Inner Hebrides do benefit from the Gulf Stream which keeps water temperatures refreshingly mild! What I love about these islands is the great variety of swimming locations (sea and fresh water lochs, bays and inter-island crossings) that they offer and the associated wildlife that comes in the package. I always remember contemplating a crossing off the coast of Islay and seeing a deer casually step into the water and do it first, a distance of around 400m. He didn’t have tide tables, a swim hat goggles or anything else. It truly felt that this was the ultimate in “wild” swimming.
Laura, Operations Co-ordinator - River Derwent
When I lived in Sheffield I swam quite often (in the summer!) in the river Derwent at Froggatt – a really tiny and picturesque Peak District village. I would go with a group from my swimming club and we’d get in near one bridge, swim about 800m to the next bridge, then turn around and swim back, so not a long swim at all but a nice evening dip, and there’s always the option of repeating if there’s time. It’s a perfect stretch of river – deep and wide enough the whole way along, with a couple of gentle bends, always a little chilly as it’s flowing water but generally good water quality. It’s also so beautiful and quiet there – I always like to stop every now and again to look around and appreciate the setting – in the evenings the light looks so pretty coming through the trees and the only sound other than my splashing is the birdsong and the cows in the neighbouring field.
Carmen, Adventure Swimming Specialist - The Cornish Coast
As the saying goes there is no place like home, and when it comes to the swimming and coastlines of the UK, I couldn’t agree more. Perhaps I have a slightly bias view of Cornwall as all my happiest childhood memories consist of endless summer days off the beaches of Gwithian, Hayle and Marazion. On these Cornish beaches sand stretches for miles in each direction and the water quality is so beautiful that I would have wrinkly fingers long before I was ready to get out. Although we were asked to pick a favourite spot, that is simply not possible so I chose this coastline. I have always been more of a fan of peaceful, secluded swimming. Due to the high number of beaches I could always guarantee I would find a spot where it would be blissfully quiet and the only sound would be the water lapping on to the shoreline. Every swimmer, infact every person should visit the Cornish coastline at least once. No matter where I swim in the world this tranquil coastline will always feel like home.
Reuben, Customer Relations Manger - Brighton Sea
For me you can’t beat your local waters so I will always be wax lyrical about Brighton sea front to anyone who will listen. Whether it is an early morning swim watching the mist drift past the Georgian buildings or a quick lunch break dip with work mates the swim is unique every time. Having said this you can’t beat a summer evening swim with the sun setting behind the West Pier followed by a cool beer sitting with friends on the beach.