Take the plunge, best cold water swimming spots near our cottages

Why cold water swim?

In a world which is being lived more and more online where we are insulated in warmth and comfort. This seems at odds with the growing trend for swimming in cold water.  The attractiveness of dipping into lakes and seas any time of year often in just a swimming costume, does seem a bit extreme, so why is it so popular?

Full disclosure, I love a cold water plunge. I've tried rivers, lakes and always take a dip in the Atlantic when I'm visiting Porthleven.

There is something all encompassing about getting into cold water. It impacts your whole body. Impacting our breathing, focus and it makes us tingle from head to toe. It's no wonder that people report reduced anxiety, improved mental health and less inflammation amongst many other positive affects.

I'm lucky enough to live close to water, with three epic rivers winding their way through the three counties . Yet poor water quality and safety can be off putting to many. So here's a few recommendations for lovely safe spots where you can try cold water swimming with life guards and knowing you won't go home with a dodgy tummy.

If you feel you need it, there are introductions to cold water swimming too, so you can take your new experience home and try it where you live.

Read on for some great places to dip near our cottages.

Try dipping in a Lake in Worcestershire

We are blessed with a host of swimming lakes around us, which have been certified for swimming in the last few years. A number have lifeguarding and safety measures in place, as well as other facilities and activities on site. Book for a retreat, or introduction to cold water swimming, or just book a session and share the moment with others or friends and enjoy a lovely cup of chai or hot chocolate to warm up afterwards.

Escape to The Lake - Set in farmland, at the North end of the Malvern Hills. Open for social swims at set times through the week and at weekends, Booking essential. Prices from £7.50

Watersedge Club - Set in open countryside near Evesham, with retreat offerings and training camps, as well as a a cute coffee hut and seating to enjoy a hot drink and cake by the lake. There's plenty of parking and full lifeguarding on site and changing in. the stretch tent. Prices from £7.50

Barefoot & Bower - just into Herefordshire, this stunning wooded spot offers swimming, without lifeguarding, but you can book to go with a friend for safety. Book via NOWCA, this one is for the more experienced wild swimmer.

Lake swimming is a wonderful serene experience, with nature in and around you, as well as the sounds of wild life. It is calm without the noise of a public pool or the chlorine, why not give it a go.


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Plunge into Cornish seas for a cold water dip

When visiting Cornwall I pretty much always take a dip in the sea. There's plenty of choice from harbour swims, or sandy beach dips, rock pools and rivers the Lizard has so much choice and the waters are dreamy.

Swimming in Porthleven - From Anchor cottage you can potter down to the beach and take a swim anytime. The best place to access the water is below blue buoy steps - where the lifeguard station is. Here offers a softer shelving entry to the water and a large section of sand. Take care and choose hours after high tide and low tide when currents are weaker.

Alternatively you can take a dip from the harbour, either accessing by the steps around the harbour or by the slope near the Ship Inn - this can be slippery so take care and never swim across the mouth of the harbour as boats use this channel. The Atlantic is very chilly, so take it easy and have a warm robe or clothing to change into afterwards - luckily Anchor cottage is close enough to nip home for a warming brew.

Praa Sands - is a lovely sandy beach, just 15 minutes drive from Porthleven. Safe to swim with kids there's  is plenty of parking and The Welloe cafe offers food and drink too.

Gwithian, Porthkidney and Hayle Estuary- these stunning beaches really have it all, huge stretches of golden sand, shallow waters and crystal clear. Just take care in the estuary when the tide is on the turn, there are lifeguards, and if you choose the Gwithian end, there are cafes too. This stretch feels warmer than Porthleven, and is definitely less rough so a great place for more tentative swimmers.

Kynance Cove - A really beautiful spot with granite stacks. Head here when the tide is more out than in, there is a NT car park and cafe, and the waters are just stunning.

Helford - This river swimming spot, is a little cove which you can access via a wooded walk from the Helford car park. After a lovely hike through the trees, stop off at one of the coves along the way and have a dip in clear waters, it is a real treat. Choose a high tide as the water recedes and there is a lot of seaweed on the shores, and always take care of marine traffic. On your return stop off at the Shipwright arms or Mackerel Cafe for a well earned  treat.


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