Cold water swimming, also known as wild swimming or outdoor swimming, is proven to have many health benefits, such as improving circulation and improving mental health conditions. The practice grew in popularity during the national lockdowns when gyms and other sports clubs were closed. It’s a great way to engage with nature while exercising and, if you join a cold water swimming club, it’s a fun way to meet new people. Below we’ve listed some of the best cold water swimming clubs out there. Whether you’re a beginner or a long-time outdoor swimmer, you’ll find something for you.
The Outdoor Swimming Society
The Outdoor Swimming Society is a free membership organisation for outdoor swimmers, run entirely by volunteers with a passion for outdoor swimming. With over 100,000 members across the UK, it exists to pioneer outdoor swimming in lakes, rivers, lidos and seas. They aim to connect outdoor swimming enthusiasts and to tell the stories from within the community. They give a platform to the wider community of swimming enthusiasts.
Set up in Pembrokeshire in 2014 by Sian Richardson as a small, chilled-out swimming group amongst friends, since then The Bluetits Chill Swimmers now has 9,000 Bluetits swimmers all over the world. They’re a no-fee, no registration, no rules, requirements or expectations swimming group who just like to swim together. Bluetit “flocks”, aka. swim groups can be found all over the globe. Anyone is welcome to join the informal group swims. And there is no obligation to swim, even a paddle in the water is encouraged!
Plymouth Leander was once called the Plymouth Ladies' Swimming Club back in the 1950s and 60s. But today, it is known as a swimming superpower in the local Plymouth area and is open to all genders.
Panama Swimming Club
A mixed ability group of swimmers, the Panama Swimming Club is based in Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear. Known to be a friendly group of swimmers of all ages, the group dates back 88 years. Meeting up regularly at their dedicated clubhouse in Whitley Bay, members often enjoy a chat and a warming cuppa after swimming.
SwimWild offers guided wild swimming adventures, open water coaching and events in the Scottish Highlands. We guide swimmers through Scotland’s amazing landscape and explore it from a new and very different perspective via short wild swims and weekend breaks, to full adventure swimming expeditions and holidays. Whether you want to explore remote beaches and mountain lochs, improve your confidence in open water or refine your swimming technique, SwimWild can help you to find your perfect adventure and achieve your dreams!
Nene Park is the ideal place for a family day out, its varied landscapes make it the favourite destination for thousands of visitors throughout the year. Situated less than three miles from Peterborough city centre, at the heart of Nene Park is Ferry Meadows, one of the largest country parks in the region. Within Ferry Meadows you’ll find Nene Outdoors Watersports & Activity Centre - discover the range of watersports, land-based activities, camping, courses and group activities available for all ages and abilities. Nene Outdoors is also a NOWCA venue, offering open water swimming on Gunwade Lake between May and September.