Winter Swimming

Winter swimming

Photo © Fiona Lappin

“I was lucky enough to have been sold the idea of winter swimming by a very convincing friend. Here in Sedbergh you can take your pick of spectacular spots to go for a dip all year round, and I absolutely love that! There is something magical about immersing your body in cold water, it’s both calming and invigorating, and with temperatures of around 5 degrees there’s no hanging about so it doesn’t take much time out of my day. Cold water swimming is getting a lot of press these days and rightly so, the health benefits are well known and it costs nothing (although I’m glad I invested in some thermal gloves and swim socks). A small group of us meet twice a week at various places we’ve pinpointed as being safe and easily accessible and I’m utterly hooked. I wouldn’t advise doing this alone, so grab a like-minded soul, a flask of tea and a towel and you won’t look back!” – Fiona Lappin, The Malabar


Stuck between a milky way and a plough

Photo © Dave Forknall

“Go for a walk in the dark…It’s maybe a bit cold for camping – and I find camping a bit dull when it’s dark for 14 hours at a stretch. Just stopping your car somewhere in the dark, getting out and walking along a dark lane is enough for most of us who are used to street lights. Take a head torch but try not to switch it on. Even on a moonless night there is almost always enough light in the sky to keep you on tarmac and out of the ditch. Once this is beginning to feel comfortable, move on to footpaths (maybe stay away from drops to begin with unless you know the path well) and woods. Taste the uncertainty of walking past a snoozing herd of … something …” – Andi Chapple, Sedbergh Tourist Information Centre

Open the door, go outside and just look at the stars. – Laura Rosenzweig, Laura’s Loom

And a whole heap of other ideas…

Angle Tarn, Lake District

Photo © Joanne Withers

“Living in Cumbria there are so many opportunities for micro adventures, but my favourite ones involve the outdoors in the locations of the two National Parks we are between – the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District. We have gone camping for the night, been swimming in hill top tarns, hiked up the side of Cautley Spout Waterfall, made and ate S’Mores over a fire pit below the star filled skies of the night, trekked across snowy tops of the Howgill Fells and even just walked across the public footpaths of the country fields with the dog in the long summer evening light for a pint in the pub. There are possibilities everywhere and you just have to open your eyes to them because they are worth every moment.  Nobody ever really says, “Oh I wish I’d had less fun this year!” – Joanne & Damian Withers, St Marks Stays & Joanne Withers Photography

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