Open Water Swimming: A Guide To Wild Swimming All Year Round

February 29, 2024
5 min read

Love open water swimming during summer, but thinking about making it part of your year-round exercise routine? If you’re a lover of wild swimming, then our tips, tricks and recommendations for enjoying the exhilarating experience of wild swimming all year long are here to help. 

Whether you’re a seasoned wild swimmer or just starting, get ready to embrace the cold and discover more about the benefits of wild swimming all year long. 

Why choose wild swimming over indoor swimming?

When it comes to swimming, most people will tend to automatically think of indoor pools. With so many people prioritising wellness and spending time in nature, wild swimming has grown increasingly popular in recent years. 

Wondering why you should choose open-water swimming over the comfort and convenience of your local swimming pool? For starters, wild swimming allows you to connect with nature in a way that indoor swimming simply cannot replicate - and when you opt to swim year-round, you get to experience the beauty of each season from the open water. 

One of the biggest advantages of wild swimming is the physical and mental health benefits it offers. Unlike indoor pools, where the chlorine can leave your skin feeling dry and irritated, open-water swimming leaves you feeling refreshed and invigorated. 

The natural buoyancy of the water also helps to reduce the impact on your joints, making it a great option for those looking to get fit without causing further joint pain or injuries. Being in nature has a calming effect on the mind, reducing stress and improving overall mental well-being.

Can you swim all year round in the UK?

We get it - when temperatures drop, it’s pretty hard to believe that yes, you can wild swim year-round in the UK. Whilst you might find yourself cringing at the thought of stepping out of your cosy home and into icy waters, wild swimming in winter is a popular practice across Europe, due to the mental and physical health benefits of cold water exposure. 

Whilst wild swimming is safe year-round, we would recommend always going to a safe venue that has open water trained lifeguards on site, never swimming alone and always taking the proper precautions to warm up properly after your swim. 

If you’re looking for a safe open-water swimming venue in or around the Surrey area, why not come and join us for a swim at Divers Cove? Based in Godstone, we run wild swimming sessions in our lake, with open-water trained lifeguards at all sessions. 

Wild swimming in Winter 

Winter may not seem like the most inviting time to take a dip in the open water - but at Divers Cove, we find that it’s a very popular season for wild swimming. 

The benefits of wild swimming in Winter

Despite the chilly temperatures, there are numerous benefits to be enjoyed from open water swimming during the winter months. Whilst it may require a bit more preparation and courage to dive into icy waters, the rewards are worth it. Not only does wild swimming in winter provide a unique sense of adventure and thrill, but it also offers a range of health benefits.

One of the main advantages of wild swimming in winter is the boost it gives to your immune system. The cold water stimulates the body's natural defence mechanisms, increasing the production of white blood cells and improving overall immunity. This can help ward off common winter ailments such as colds and flu. Exposure to cold water can also improve circulation and increase metabolism, leading to a healthier cardiovascular system.

Another benefit of wild swimming in winter is the mental and emotional well-being it promotes. The adrenaline rush and sense of accomplishment that comes from braving the cold waters can have a positive impact on your mood and self-confidence. The serene environment of open water also offers a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life, providing a much-needed opportunity for relaxation and reflection.

Making the most of wild swimming in Winter 

Tempted to join us for a winter swim? We’d recommend first trying open water swimming in our summer season whilst the water is warmer, then carrying on through autumn and winter as the temperatures slowly drop. 

Whenever you decide to try wild swimming, it’s important to always know your limits and understand when the water is too cold for you. 

Want to make the most of your winter swim in Surrey? Why not treat yourself to a sauna session, perfect for warming up in between dips, making your swim session the ultimate wellness experience? 

Wild swimming in Spring 

After a long, cold winter, there’s something truly magical about wild swimming during spring. As the weather gets slightly warmer, nature seems to come back alive, transforming the world around us. What better way to immerse yourself in nature than through open water swimming in the picturesque setting of our Divers Cove in Surrey? 

Why try wild swimming during Springtime?

One of the most stunning aspects of wild swimming during Spring is spotting growing flowers, foliage and flowers of the new season. As you swim through the cool waters, you’ll be surrounded by the beautiful sights of new life. 

If you’re looking to escape the city and enjoy some well-earned springtime self-care, Divers Cove is around an hour away from central London, and our lake is the perfect place to experience nature at its finest. During our spring season, it’s not uncommon to encounter a friendly family of ducks during your swim. With their adorable ducklings in tow, spotting the wildlife that calls Divers Cove home is a truly special experience. 

Wild Swimming in Summer

Long, sunny days, blue skies and warmer water temperatures… It’s no wonder summer is our most popular season! 

Cool off in wild waters 

Here in Surrey, we’re really lucky to get some scorching summer days, and there’s no better way to cool off than by taking a dip in the refreshing waters of our lake. 

The benefits of wild swimming during summer are numerous. Firstly, it provides a much-needed escape from the sweltering heat. Instead of sweating it out indoors or battling the crowds at overcrowded public pools, you can enjoy the serenity of nature while taking a refreshing swim. Not only does this help to lower your body temperature, but it also allows you to connect with the natural world around you.

In addition to being a great way to beat the heat, wild swimming also offers several physical and mental health benefits. Swimming is a fantastic full-body workout that engages multiple muscle groups and improves cardiovascular fitness. The resistance of the water makes every stroke count, resulting in improved strength and endurance. Moreover, being in nature has a calming effect on the mind, reducing stress and promoting mental well-being.

So, rather than hitting the gym this summer, why not try a workout that walks on the wild side? 

Wild Swimming in Autumn

Last but not least, autumn! We’re fortunate to get quite mild weather right through until the end of October, which many of our members love to make the most of here at Divers Cove!

Benefits of wild swimming through autumn

Arguably the most beautiful thing about autumn is seeing the wonderful colours of the changing leaves - which is why we love open-water swimming throughout the season! Watching the trees change from bright green to a fiery palette of oranges is truly spectacular. 

As the heat of summer starts to fade, and we all start to take things a bit slower, it’s nice to take a moment to appreciate the natural beauty of autumn - and what better place to do so than in the cooling natural waters of our lake? 

Why continue wild swimming through autumn?

If you’re new to open-water swimming, and you’re looking to become a year-round wild swimmer, we’d strongly recommend starting in the summer and carrying on through autumn and into winter. This is a great way to allow your body to slowly adapt to cold water exposure. 

Swim all year long at Divers Cove!

Are you a wild swimmer based in Surrey, looking for an open water swimming venue to enjoy year-round? Look no further than our Divers Cove. Based in Godstone, we offer year-round swimming with our Gold and Silver memberships - so dive in and join us today!

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