Wild swimming spots

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  • Been in a couple of times. It’s getting quite harsh now. Swimming is ok, but it’s the changing and riding home that’s getting to me. There are a couple of tough men and women wearing normal swimming suits still.

  • Im genuinely absolutely loving it, I usually run during lunch at work then hot -> cold shower which resets me mentally for the afternoon. I’m finding it great for my mental health, first few seconds are always breath taking though. On Weekends I do a longer run then cold bath for between 5 and 10 minutes, they tend to keep me cold for a while after but I quite like the feeling of being cold when wrapped up in a blanket with a cuppa.

    Really looking forward to Sunday, I imagine it’s going to be a nice little buzz. I’m doing a course for an hour where they take you through the basics which will hopefully give me some confidence to get out more.

  • Don't you only get the effect when you're really warm inside from exercise? That's what I do when I go wild swimming, e.g. at Dunwich, just get in the water as quickly as you can. If you're not warm enough, or only superficially warm, it won't be as amazing.

  • That was a rush, managed 10 minutes in a wetsuit. It was savagely cold on the hands and feet but you kind of got used to it after a minute or 2. It’s certainly a very effective hangover cure!

  • Talking of which: I have a spare pair of O'Neill wetsuit gloves for sale, still new in the box. Anyone interested?

  • What's the thickness? Mine got stealed (along with my bike) while I was swimming in Shadwell Lido last year...

  • 2mm


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  • Also, this year, did my first skinny dip since childhood, at a nudie beach after a long hot day ride. Was AWESOME.

    The Mrs and I took a long walk up and down a mostly deserted, appropriately signposted, Holkham beach in the buff with a swim in the middle during the summer. That was pretty surreal.
    I've always got in the sea when the opportunity arose before but I've taken to inland waters this year, risking the skinny dip if its early morning or deserted.


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  • As some of you may know, that ^ is one of the LVRPA lakes which is covered with the bylaw "No person without reasonable excuse shall swim or bathe in any waterway"
    Yadda Yadda £500 fine etc...
    Reckon I can contest "reasonable excuse" or if I'll even get the opportunity to challenge if ever caught? Does anyone know if LVRPA can use FPNs or will try and get me arrested and taken to magistrates?
    I'm on a inland access group on FB and a seperate LVRPA access group and it's pretty much agreed contesting the bylaw isn't helpful and it's the authorities mind that needs changing, leading to a slow diplomatic tiptoe that seems to go nowhere...

  • Couldn't find a thread for cold water therapy type stuff but see some have talked about it in here. Always liked the idea of a local wild swim but all my local waterways are either private banks (and closely controlled), shallow streams or canal. Never occurred to me I could lie down in relatively shallow water and wallow for a bit until recently. Yesterday I did just over 3 mins with only my head above water in a local chalk stream where kids play in the summer. Refreshing!

  • The Guardian posted an 'In Pictures...' article of people at the 'secret paradise' of the River Lea last summer, the Twitter replies claim otherwise

    https://twitter.com/guardian/status/1379­706760332771331

  • haha, yes not so 'secret' now. proper gross there on nice days, absolutely rammed with people, you can smell the stench of the sewage in the river from quite away away, and the litter they leave afterwards and the erosion to the bank (and disturbance of wildlife) is very sad.

  • There is a regular wildlife photographer that has appeared at my usual swim spot recently so I've been venturing elsewhere on my morning runs. There was a lake on Google Maps that has been taunting me for a while and I chanced upon a trail in the frost some wild campers had been using to get to it. The deer have left a perfect entry point into the water with the sun rising over the hill. -2° this morning but absolutely glorious!


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  • This is my neighbourhood just west of Reading. I’ve swum in most of the lakes and some bits of the river system but there’s still lots of exploring to be had. The closest to where I live (eastern end) is a 40 minute walk from home. My favourite lake is home to one the largest freshwater fish in the uk which adds a bit of spice to swims there.
    It’s about 90 acres of water in several bays with islands and the banks are all woodland so it feels really secluded.
    There also the bit of excitement in ignoring all the no swimming notices. I have no idea how anyone could ever deal with it!


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  • Ah I run around that area when I'm in the office! Always love seeing that house with the garden right on the edge of Hosehill lake. Ideal.

    My favourite lake is home to one the largest freshwater fish in the uk which adds a bit of spice to swims there

    The big gravel pit the sailing club use? Carp aren't much of a threat to swimmers, but don't let the fishing club see you disturbing their swims!

  • Ha, +50lb carp in those waters, heard they'll suck the toes clean off your feet, they will!
    Are there catfish at the bottom too? I used to lure/deadbait for pike and perch as a kid but didn't have the patience for carp... That's about the extent of my fishing knowledge.
    Looks like a lovely bunch of gravel pits, I'll look at popping over in the summer for a cheeky dip!

  • For those in SE, the Darent that goes through Eynsford is very pretty. I often used to pass by the ford and there would be kids with toy boats. Not very deep I think but maybe further upstream. By the looks of it, it's chalk bottomed so clear. The whole valley is quite pretty.

  • I had a lovely, if brief dip in the river Dart at totnes this morning.
    Locals were already in , 5 degrees they said , careful with cold water shock .
    Really friendly bunch , great feeling post swim .
    Two I spoke to were every day swimmers ... perfect entry points , wide and clean river


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  • I had a brief dip in the Avon just outside of Bath this afternoon. Felt warmer than my local streams but temp was measured lower. Think being able to swim helped and being in deeper water. Cold shock going in was ok but the after drop always gets me and hands and feet take ages to warm up.

  • Think being able to swim helped

    You don't say etc and so on

  • How long you staying in for, and are you skins or wetsuit? Might need to shorten your dips if the after drop is too bad. Get your sugary tea ready too if it's hitting hard.

  • In for about 10 mins, after drop not too bad tbh, it's the hands and feet that are most annoying. I have to get changed quickly before I lose the ability to use my fingers.

    A long time ago I saw Bear Grylls on TV saying burpees were good for warming you up after crossing an icy river but sweet tea sounds more pleasant!

  • Having decided a neoprene swim cap , gloves and boots were a necessity, most outlets seem to be out of stock .
    If anyone else is in the same boat I found most in stock at swimthelakes gloves at Sigms ( local) .. I have no association and only just ordered , but reviews are good
    There’s a lot from the EU which seem to get poor reviews ... pays your money etc

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Wild swimming spots

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