Thanks to the recent hot spells, municipal swimming pools up and down the country have reported record attendance levels. No doubt some of our readers have access to private swimming pools too and at worst, a dip in a paddling pool after a long commute will do the trick. But a growing number of the population are discovering ‘wild swimming’.
These are water bodies, such as lakes and rivers, where you can just jump in. There was time when people swimming outdoors were seen as being a bit…cranky, usually because they were filmed jumping into frozen lakes on Christmas Day; which, to be fair, is pretty cranky.
But the huge number who now regularly swim in the wild are definitely not cranky. In fact that are amazingly sane and well organised. So much so that they have created a ‘worldwide crowd-sourced wild swim map’ which shows all the locations around the world where you can take a dip in the open.
You can view the map here.
The different types of water bodies listed are pretty extensive and includes lakes, rivers, lidos, tidal pools, estuaries and hot springs. (Unfortunately, there are no hot springs near our head office but there may be some near you).
The list of activities is pretty comprehensive too. Naively, we assumed it would just list ‘swimming’, but in fact the full list includes dipping, swimming, journey crossing/endurance, jumping, exploring, skinny dipping and family friendly.
The map is hosted on a website set up by the Outdoor Swimming Society and the rest of the site is well worth exploring too. We were particularly taken by the pages listing ‘7 of the best swims in the world’. But truth be told, this is where we felt the cranks were getting the upperhand again. No 1 in that list was the ‘Bosphorus cross continental swim challenge’. This was listed as ‘…a fantastic swim through Istanbul, in the Bosphorus’.
We’re certain that many of our readers have visited Instanbul – which is a tremendous holiday destination – but we’re pretty sure they didn’t go for a swim there.
Teasing aside, this is a great website.