The Forge

Winter Wild Swim Programme

Event Date: 25/09/22 - 18/12/22

Keen to keep wild swimming all year round?

A photograph of a woman entering a river to go wild swimming with snow on the trees and the ground

Winter wild swimming at Carrog, Denbighshire

So you've started wild swimming over the summer and are now well and truly hooked... but how do you keep open water swimming once the temperature drops and the days start to draw in?

Our four month programme will take you on a journey from autumnal swims when the water is still pretty warm right up to the Winter Solstice in mid-December. You'll join us for monthly swims where we'll guide you through how to acclimatise to the cold, what to wear, how to warm up and how to find your own swim spots and those all-important swim buddies. Hattie, our highly experienced swim coach, will also help you focus on your technique, breath work plus how to safely assess risks when winter swimming.

Between swims we'll be on hand to answer any questions and help build a community of like-minded people that you can call upon to help answer any questions and keep you company. We'll also set you mini-challenges so that you can see your progression over the course of the programme.

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Keen to join us?

A photograph of a woman entering a river to wild swim on a frosty morning with a dog at her side

Frosty morning swims are wonderfully exhilarating

The programme will start at the Autumn Equinox and run all the way through to the Winter Solstice. We'll kick off the programme with a welcome lunch and workshop at The Forge and we'll celebrate our winter wild swimming achievements together with a festive feast after our last swim. We'll swim in four different locations in the North Wales/Shropshire area to give you a chance to experience different bodies of water - all swim spots will be decided nearer the time depending on weather and water conditions.

Swim dates:

  • Sunday 25th September (meet at The Forge)
  • Sunday 23rd October
  • Sunday 27th November
  • Sunday 18th December (finish at The Forge)

With the exception of the first date, we will aim to meet at the swim spots at 10am for a briefing and a swim, followed by refreshments and a debrief.

Ideally you'll join us for all four sessions as we'll be focusing on a different winter wild swimming theme on each date. If you can't make all the dates and would still like to join us get in touch and we can see if we can work out an alternative date if there is enough interest from the group.

It costs just £180pp for all four sessions, including refreshments and meals at The Forge on the first and last dates.


A photograph of a lady emerging from a frozen lake holding two large blocks of ice in her hands

Learn how to swim in sub zero temperatures


1. I am a complete beginner - can I still join the programme?

Yes, the programme is open to all abilities. If you are completely new to wild swimming then we'll share some hints and tips on how to best prepare before our first swim. All our swims are designed so that you can stay in the water for as long or as little as you like, there will be no pressure to do anything you are not comfortable with.

2. Can I wear a wetsuit?

Yes of course! You are welcome to swim in whatever you are most comfortable wearing. There will be opportunities for you to gradually build up to swimming without a wetsuit, but only if you want to.

3. Do I need any special equipment?

We would recommend that you wear suitable footwear (swim socks or an old pair of trainers is fine) as it can be slippy entering and exiting the water. Neoprene gloves can also be a good idea, especially if you suffer from poor circulation. We will have some spare kit to lend you, plus we'll be covering off in the first session what you might consider buying for the colder swims.

4. Will refreshments be provided?

Yes, we will make sure that there is lots of warm drinks and cake available after every swim.

5. Can you cater for vegans and vegetarians?

Yes if you let us know in advance we'll make sure that we have lots of treats for everyone!

6. Where will the swims take place?

We will select four locations in the North Wales/Shropshire area based on weather conditions and water levels. Where possible we'd encourage people to car share if possible as some of the locations may have minimal parking. We'll share details of the locations well in advance.

7. I can't make all the dates - can I still sign up?

Yes you are welcome to still join the programme and become a part of our winter wild swim community. If possible, we'll try to arrange alternative swim times for you.

8. Can I come with my partner or a friend?

Yes, the programme is open to all genders and you are welcome to come with a friend. The more the merrier!

9. Can I bring my children and/or dogs with me?

Unfortunately this programme is only open to over 18s and it makes life a little easier if our four-legged friends stay home for this one as not everyone welcomes a soggy nose swimming towards them at speed in the water!

10. Who will be leading the wild swimming sessions?

Harriet (Hattie) Ballantyne is an experienced open water swimming coach with many years of experience in teaching wild swimming to beginners and experienced swimmers alike. She'll be joined by Sheena Corry, owner of The Forge, and passionate all-year round swimmer with lots of local knowledge for the best secret swim spots.

Escape to the forge

Book with us today to discover a unique glamping experience in a beautiful, undiscovered part of North Wales. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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