Immerse yourself in the world of Wild Swimming. The ever-growing past time is becoming more and more popular as people look for new and exhilarating hobbies that connects us to the natural world, plus has remarkable health benefits. At Absoluxe Suites we border both the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District National Parks, both of which have a number of Wild Swimming destinations. Check out the list below to see some of our favourites.
River Kent | Sedgwick | 10 Miles from Absoluxe
This idyllic walking route follows the old Lancaster canal system, which used to run parallel in part the River Kent. The route has several spots which intertwine with the river, perfect for a cold-water dip! Surrounded by undisturbed woodland and farmland. Don’t be surprised therefore if your joined in the river by some of the local cows! Who like to take a refreshing dip in the water themselves during the summer months. The river also has some perfect picnic spots along route to admire the view.
Rayrigg Meadow Jetty | Windermere | 22 Miles from Absoluxe
This is one of the most popular Wild Swimming destinations in the Lakes, and its easy to see why! If you’re feeling brave, why not take a running jump off the end of the jetty into the crystal waters. If you are new to wild swimming, this section of the lake is extremely popular with local swimming groups, some of which are very happy to take visitors. Take a look at the links at the bottom of the page to find out more.
Peel Island | Coniston Water | 32 Miles from Absoluxe
Coniston water is a very popular destination in the lakes for water sports and activities, including wild swimming. You can hire a rowing boat from a number of marina’s dotted up and around the lake, paddle across to Peel Island where you can scramble the rocks and take a dip in the calm waters. You may return with tired arms, however the views from Peel Island at the centre of the lake is certainly worth the effort. Just be careful whilst swimming to look out for other boats!
Ingleton Gorge | Ingleton | 6 Miles from Absoluxe
This route has proved to be very popular with both tourists and locals, and you can guarantee you wouldn’t be on your own if you decide to go for a swim in one of the many gorges along Ingleton’s Waterfall trek. Thornton Force is a most popular spot for swimming, however if you take the time and explore the area you might come across your own little private oasis.
Hell Gill | Garsdale Head | 24 Miles from Absoluxe
This destination is a bit of a drive from Absoluxe, however you will be driving along one of the most scenic routes in the north of England along the North Cumbrian Moorlands.
The surroundings of Hell Gill are sculpted out of natural limestone which is the bedrock of the county. As the limestone parts it reveals a mysterious underworld of sinuous gills deep within the rock. To accsess the gorge and take a dip, climb down through the watery bowels of Hell Gill, a 400m-long canyon. The story goes, it was the Devil himself that created the gorge which in places is only a yard wide. This destination is suitable for those who have a more advanced understanding of scrambling and cold water swimming. It is especially important to remember not to enter during bad weather.
Leck Beck | Leck | 2 Miles from Absoluxe
If swimming isn’t really your thing, but you would like to dip your toe into the world of wild swimming, Leck Beck would be the perfect place to begin. Ideal for novices, the beck is the home to a number of natural plunge pools, perfect for a quick dip. These pools come and go dependent on the weather and time of year. If you are lucky enough to come across one, the opportunity to take a dip cannot be missed. Take a shower under the waterfall or just take in the stunning surroundings as you paddle your feet. Regardless of how brave you are feeling, the rewards of the spectacular surrounding will make it worth your trip.
What are the Health Benefits of Wild Swimming?
Boosts the Immune system: Over time, cold water helps to increase your white blood cell count. This is because the body is forced to react to the change in conditions. If you become a regular swimmer, your body becomes better at activating its defences.
Improves Circulation: Cold water swimming flushes your veins, arteries, and capillaries. It forces blood to the surface and helps to warm your extremities. Repeated exposure also helps you to adapt to the cold.
Reduces Stress: We all know the feeling of immersing yourself in cold water. Whether in the sea, the swimming pool or simply in the shower, it can make your skin sting and take your breath away. To reduce that sensation, your brain releases endorphins (painkillers produced by your body), which results in a feeling of wellbeing, once you’re back on dry land.
Reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia: According to a new study from Cambridge University. A ‘cold-shock’ protein has been found in the blood of regular cold water swimmers, the presence of which has been shown to slow the onset of dementia. Temperatures in UK lakes can range from 5 – 13 degrees and is likely to dip below 5 degrees by the end of the year. This study provides a powerful motivator for braving the icy waters.
The ‘cold-shock’ protein, called RBM3, is believed to help slow – and possible even partially reverse the progress of some neuro-degenerative diseases.
Wild swimming is not without its safety concerns, therefore it is worth first doing some research. Take a look at the link below for more information.
Find a local swimming group
It is recommended for first time wild swimmers to take the plunge as part of a group. The link below shows a number of local swimming groups that you can make contact with before your visit.
Some Further Reading