A lot of outdoor swimmers stop swimming once summer subsides, but many of you may not have been ready to hang up your swimming caps as the cold weather started creeping in. That’s great! Outdoor swimming isn’t just for the warmer months, and with winter swimming gaining popularity, we have a guide to the best places to take an icy dip.

 

Discover our top six:

 

Lake Windermere, Lake District

 

The location of one of the best winter swimming events in the UK, the Big Chill Swim, Lake Windermere is visited by thousands from around the world for its ice and winter swimming. Surrounded by mountainous hillsides and nestled in one of the most beautiful places in the country, why wouldn’t you want to go for a chilly swim in this lake and take in its beautiful views?

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Fritton Lake, Norwich

 

Listed as one of the top 10 swimming destinations in the world, Fritton Lake stays open throughout the winter for experienced open water swimmers who prefer a colder climate. If you’re new to open water swimming and are eager to get better for next year, they offer training sessions delivered by qualified coaches. There’s no time like the present!

 

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Llyn Cau, Snowdonia

 

This one’s for the thrill seekers. Hidden amongst the Welsh Highlands, Llyn Cau is not for the faint hearted. The lake requires a trek to get to as it is set into 400 metres of mountainous walls, but the journey is made worthwhile by the picturesque views and the deep blue glacial waters. Can you beat a refreshing icy dip in the tranquil waters at the end of a hot walk? It’s made even better by the fact that not many people venture there for a swim so you could have the lake to yourself!

 

 

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Reykjavik, Iceland

 

If you fancy a spot of winter swimming and taking in some culture at the same time, do as the Icelandic do and visit the popular Nauthólsvík geothermal beach for a bob around in the freezing North Atlantic ocean. How good (if not a little crazy) does a swim surrounded by icebergs and snow topped mountains sound? If Bieber can do it, so can you!

 

 

Thurlestone Rock, South Milton

 

Known as the ‘icon of the South Devon Coast’, Thurlestone is the perfect destination for avid swimmers who are more fond of an adventurous, wild winter swimming experience. Swim through the famous rock formation carved by the waves that sits around 500 metres offshore (even at high tide), and make sure to take in the legendary underwater reefs below your feet; abundant with sea creatures and colourful aquatic plants. The water can be unpredictable and a little rough, but it’s great for those who enjoy a challenge.

 

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Appletreewick, Yorkshire

 

It’s as beautiful as the name sounds – one of the countries hidden beauties, Appletreewick is part of the winding River Wharfe concealed in the Yorkshire Dales that has its own idyllic river pool with an island. Make your way down to the grassy bank and escape the crowds for a relaxing cold water swim with the rolling Yorkshire hills in the distance. Excellent for beginners and avid swimmers who use winter swimming as a means to shut out the world for a short while.

 

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We hope this has inspired you to venture out a little from your usual swimming spots and discover the many beautiful places the world has to offer,

 

If you are reading this but are yet to brave the winter waters, why not start now! One of the great benefits of swimming is the wonders it does for your physical health as it’s a calorie torching, full body workout. Just don’t forget to limber up beforehand! Swat up on some swimming exercises here: https://www.swimfreak.co.uk/exercise/top-6-swimming-exercises-outside-pool/. But most importantly, it also improves your mental health by lowering stress levels and reducing anxiety.

 

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