Have you ever wondered what wild swimming is all about? Are you keen to try it but not sure where to start? This week our friends, Meg and Laura, at Wild Swim Snowdonia are here to tell us all about it!
We are blessed in every direction with beautiful open water offering us a real swim temptation everywhere we look. Wild swimming is bigger than ever in Snowdonia (just 15 minutes drive away from The Forge!), whether it’s hardy all year round sea swimmers, mountaineers who cool off in the remote lakes or of more recent times, a lot of visitors to the area all curious about this wild swimming craze.
Wild Swim Snowdonia was born out of a shared obsession with cold water. The term “wild swimming” was not even a thing as this passionate duo was growing up. For them it was just a swim and second nature growing up in rural Wales. Fast forward 30 odd years, and co founders Meg Pugh and Laura Sanderson, explain what the fuss is all about and why they are hooked on “wild swimming”.
“The term wild swimming does make us smile! We cringe a little that we have called our business Wild Swim Snowdonia but to be honest it was a straight forward decision for us as the term wild swimming is now so well used, we would have been foolish not to call it what it says on the tin! We both have full time jobs and families, and set up a hobby business. It was only a few weeks in before we realised how much potential this had. We’re loving it!
“Much of our business ethos and passion is centred around promoting Snowdonia National Park, and highlighting what an amazing place it is to visit in autumn, winter and spring – not just the summer months; educating people on how to be kinder to the environment and do their bit; and highlighting the fact that swimming outside in the wild can be done by pretty much everyone. Once you have the gear you want (from a costume and towel right up to the full wetsuit and swim attire) and you’ve built your confidence up, it’s a fantastic free healthy activity on most people’s doorsteps.
“The rise in people wanting to give wild swimming a go is phenomenal. We see more and more people experiencing it and we think it’s the addiction that makes it so popular. It literally makes you tingle and smile all over, and the famous after glow you get afterwards is something no money can buy. We can feel quite an intense urge to swim if ever we haven’t made it to water in a while”.
It’s not just the cold water induced after glow that everyone is chasing - Meg and Laura list some well documented health benefits of wild swimming, as well as why they love it.
When it comes to safety, Wild Swim Snowdonia remind us that the risks should never be underestimated but with some common sense and planning, it is great activity to enjoy safely.
Meg and Laura offer some general safety tips:
Wild Swim Snowdonia offer guided wild swims to visitors to Snowdonia – these can be tailored to your needs. They run regular beginner sessions throughout the year and work on collaborative wild swim retreats. Follow them on social media for a flavour of their wild swimming adventures.