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Best UK openwater swimming


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Since getting into triathlons in the last few years I have really started really enjoying my openwater swimming. I have been using my local lakes and there are two good river stretches near me. But you look in website articles and catch a story in the newspapers on openwater swimming and there are some amazing places, tidal pools look great, just looking for clear scenic good distant swimming

Can anyone recommend anywhere?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 26/06/2020 at 10:31, haroldshand said:

Since getting into triathlons in the last few years I have really started really enjoying my openwater swimming. I have been using my local lakes and there are two good river stretches near me. But you look in website articles and catch a story in the newspapers on openwater swimming and there are some amazing places, tidal pools look great, just looking for clear scenic good distant swimming

Can anyone recommend anywhere?

Wrong forum for this question I suspect.

There's a whole community of outdoor swimming folk out there, and they operate all year round. I have a family member who combines mountain-biking days out with visits to any nearby appropriate swimming spot. He'll swim in anything down to about 4 or 5C, the mad bastard, but says beginners shouldn't try anything lower than about 10C and that you MUST get in slowly not jump in. I could probably ask him for online info, but I suspect you'll be better off doing some googling.

 

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15 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

Wrong forum for this question I suspect.

There's a whole community of outdoor swimming folk out there, and they operate all year round. I have a family member who combines mountain-biking days out with visits to any nearby appropriate swimming spot. He'll swim in anything down to about 4 or 5C, the mad bastard, but says beginners shouldn't try anything lower than about 10C and that you MUST get in slowly not jump in. I could probably ask him for online info, but I suspect you'll be better off doing some googling.

 

Coldest I've swam was about 8c in a Scottish loch in October. Holy fuck I could barely feel my face when I came out. :D

Anything in double figures with a wetsuit on is actually fine. 

The latest craze appears to be this ice mile thing. Fuck that. Need to get all sorts of practice swims and medical stuff to be allowed to do it. 

I've swam over here twice. Best time 37 minutes. 

Forth-Bridge-1024x683.jpg

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1 minute ago, ccc said:

Coldest I've swam was about 8c in a Scottish loch in October. Holy fuck I could barely feel my face when I came out. :D

Anything in double figures with a wetsuit on is actually fine. 

The latest craze appears to be this ice mile thing. Fuck that. Need to get all sorts of practice swims and medical stuff to be allowed to do it. 

I've swam over here twice. Best time 37 minutes. 

Forth-Bridge-1024x683.jpg

 

That's pretty good  - how far is that?

However my mad relative swims without a wetsuit. They're for wimps according to him. 9_9

He tries to do a 1000m or so unless it's below 7C in which case he'll reduce the distance/time a bit. 

Lunatic. However he's 61 in December and looks about 40-45, so I reckon it's good for you.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

 

That's pretty good  - how far is that?

However my mad relative swims without a wetsuit. They're for wimps according to him. 9_9

He tries to do a 1000m or so unless it's below 7C in which case he'll reduce the distance/time a bit. 

Lunatic. However he's 61 in December and looks about 40-45, so I reckon it's good for you.

 

 

Yep it gives you a right buzz. 

I like the tri suit though. 

1.4 miles

 

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On 26/06/2020 at 09:31, haroldshand said:

Since getting into triathlons in the last few years I have really started really enjoying my openwater swimming. I have been using my local lakes and there are two good river stretches near me. But you look in website articles and catch a story in the newspapers on openwater swimming and there are some amazing places, tidal pools look great, just looking for clear scenic good distant swimming

Can anyone recommend anywhere?

My local swimming club used to do a sea swim across the bay.  Each swimmer was accompanied by a boat for safety. Don’t know if they still do it. The same club, i also swam the local river in a race as a kid. Again, each swimmer was accompanied by a boat. Cold doesn’t begin to describe it. 

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4 hours ago, The Masked Tulip said:

There's a group of mostly over-70's who do it day in day out in Rotherslade / Langland bays near me. I have gone there myself on a cold winter's morning, sat in the cafe, ordered a coffee and watched them :) They all look remarkably healthy for it. A friend has just begun swimming there also in the winter.

Ooh are they a Wim Hof crowd?  They'll live forever!

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2 minutes ago, stop_the_craziness said:

Ooh are they a Wim Hof crowd?  They'll live forever!

 

I have seen them go into the water on days when it has been blowing a gale, pouring with rain and me, wrapped up in my clothes, feels cold just looking at them. The best bit is them navigating the pobbles from towel to water.

Here's Blue Pool further along Gower. Quite a few videos of it online. Deceiving though - 2 lads got into trouble in it a few years ago and their dad could only rescue one.

 

 

 

 

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5 minutes ago, The Masked Tulip said:

I have seen them go into the water on days when it has been blowing a gale, pouring with rain and me, wrapped up in my clothes, feels cold just looking at them. 

Yep, I seem to only be able to do the cold-water thing when it's hot, which I gather is not quite the point of it.  :D

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2 minutes ago, stop_the_craziness said:

Yep, I seem to only be able to do the cold-water thing when it's hot, which I gather is not quite the point of it.  :D

 

During the lock-down I have been, on returning home, showering using an outside tap. The water was always ice cold and it was so energising. I was literally moaning with delight after getting in from a cycle ride or walk.

I have surfed up till late September but I draw the line at October and would not start again until late May. But that is spending a long time in the water. What you are talking about is not spending that long really. I don't think the winter swimmers go in for long. It is in and out but just long enough to get the therapeutic benefits.

A friend said she tried it in recent months and found it wonderful. She is early 60's and has just started. Must be something in the water around here.

I don't see the appeal of freshwater swimming. There is something wonderful about salty water. It must have been idyllic here a few thousand years ago though if you did want to swim in rivers. I wouldn't fancy it today.

I have done some up in the Beacons - both in rivers and in pools. There are quite a few known for it. But I did this when much younger. Just to cool down after a yomp. The water, even on the hottest of days, can be bitterly cold though. You have to be careful about shock from heat to cold.

This is beautiful. North Wales.

 

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Posted (edited)

I went for a quick dip in the sea on New Years Day this year, down in Torquay. I felt fantastic for the rest of the day.

I quite like a swim in the Thames at Chertsey Bridge at the end of a hot summer afternoon.

Edit to add: in the 70s it was jam packed with families on a sunny day, now you are likely to have the place entirely to yourself. I find that rather sad.

Edited by Hail the Tripod
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  • 5 weeks later...
On 26/06/2020 at 09:31, haroldshand said:

Since getting into triathlons in the last few years I have really started really enjoying my openwater swimming. I have been using my local lakes and there are two good river stretches near me. But you look in website articles and catch a story in the newspapers on openwater swimming and there are some amazing places, tidal pools look great, just looking for clear scenic good distant swimming

Can anyone recommend anywhere?

I swim all over the place but I presume you’d prefer a particular area. Most of my regular haunts tend to be more South West region and I also massively favour saltwater over freshwater as for one thing I think bacteria risks are much smaller, even when water quality tests poor and also you can comfortably continue in the sea sans wetsuit well into the autumn. After a while a heated pool will feel like a sauna.

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44 minutes ago, ccc said:

Was down here yesterday so was going to have a swim but even the young un's who usually don't mind the cold water said it was FUCKING BALTIC so I went fishing instead. 

A fail on both counts.

 

IMG_20200806_134439090.jpg

You spoiled them by taking them to Spain, 4 weeks back they’d have been pleased to swim there! (Looks nice btw)

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3 hours ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

You spoiled them by taking them to Spain, 4 weeks back they’d have been pleased to swim there! (Looks nice btw)

Nah it was surprising cold. Heard a few locals say too. Checked online and about 12-13c.

This time of year should be about 17-18 I think. 

Coldingham. Lovely spot. 

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On 07/07/2020 at 18:40, The Masked Tulip said:

I have surfed up till late September but I draw the line at October and would not start again until late May.

Late October early November is when the sea is at it`s highest temps ,March is the coldest water temps 

Many a day i have walked across frost even snow to get in the water where it`s ten degrees warmer that outside i used to swim regally until November with no wet suit  the water temps are generally around the same as late May 14/16c

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10 hours ago, ccc said:

Was down here yesterday so was going to have a swim but even the young un's who usually don't mind the cold water said it was FUCKING BALTIC so I went fishing instead. 

A fail on both counts.

 

IMG_20200806_134439090.jpg

Hey, you are meant to be in quarantine.   O.o

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On 07/08/2020 at 17:59, ccc said:

Nah it was surprising cold. Heard a few locals say too. Checked online and about 12-13c.

This time of year should be about 17-18 I think. 

Coldingham. Lovely spot. 

Pretty sure there is nowhere on the North Sea coast apart from power station and sewage outlets that would ever reach 18C water temperatures. Even Cornish beaches with the Gulf Stream boost rarely get that high for long, July-August at best, maybe September if you get a warm spell. 

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1 hour ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

Pretty sure there is nowhere on the North Sea coast apart from power station and sewage outlets that would ever reach 18C water temperatures. Even Cornish beaches with the Gulf Stream boost rarely get that high for long, July-August at best, maybe September if you get a warm spell. 

It does routinely get to that around now onwards but not much more.

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