Go WILD in the water
Cornwall Life|November 2020
With leisure centres closed, getting a swim means heading out to sea - but that’s not the only reason wild swimming is on the rise
Lydia Jackson

Most of us are no stranger to standing on the shoreline, toes wiggling in the sand as the waves advance and retreat, lapping around our ankles and enveloping them in the cold. For many, this bitter caress is enough, but for an increasing number of others it is just the beginning of the experience of a wild swim. The number of people flocking to the shore, to satiate their primal calling to the water like animals heading to the watering hole, has increased greatly during the pandemic. But why is it that more people are taking regular trips to the coast in all weathers to immerse themselves in the cold? And what exactly does wild swimming entail?

WHAT IS WILD SWIMMING?

Wild swimming is the act of swimming outdoors in a place where nature is all around you. Whilst there is some variation in definition – with some including only natural bodies of water, and others including man-made locations such as tidal pools and lidos too – the underlying premise is the same; you are surrounded by nature and exposed to the elements. In Cornwall and the UK, wild swimming is often classed as cold water swimming, which entails immersing yourself in temperatures of 16 degrees and below. The temperature range of the ocean in Cornwall tends to be from around nine degrees in February when the water is at its coldest, to 20 degrees in October at its warmest.

WHY IS IT SO POPULAR?

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