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Cold-Water Swimming In Dorset

Cold water swimming has seen a huge surge in popularity in the last few years. Easily accessible to all and with advocates such as Wim Hof promoting the health benefits of cold-water exposure, hundreds of communities around the country are popping up and getting together for the thrill of a cold-water dip.

Cold-Water Swimming Benefits

It’s little wonder so many people are drawn to the water year-round – the health benefits are said to be numerous but include:

  • Boosting your immune system
  • Improving circulation
  • Providing a natural high
  • Reducing stress

Meet Val, grandmother-of-four and keen cold-water dipper! You may recognise Val as she is the face of our Winter Sunshine campaign! Val lives in Portesham, West Dorset and is a year-round sea swimmer. Her favourite places to swim is the 'the groyne' at Weymouth Bay and Chesil Cove and she belongs to the Bluetits swimming group.

We loved chatting to Val about her aquatic adventures, “the best thing about sea swimming in the winter is that is gets me up and out in the morning, the natural high of the cold water sets me up for the day. A great way of socialising and making new friends.” And, what could be better than a cup of sunshine straight afterwards… “Post swim, I love warming my hands on a steaming hot mug of tea with cake and friends”.

Cold-water Swimming Groups Dorset 

Here in Dorset we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to cold water swimming! With calm, protected bays that are safe* for swimming (*always check local conditions) as well as fresh-water beauty spots there are loads of swimming groups who meet regularly for their endorphin hit.

The Bluetits, nationwide – informal meet ups arranged by people in the groups who have found a connection through a love of cold water. Locally there are groups in Studland, Sandbanks, Weymouth, Mudeford and Bridport.

The Cold Water Collective – swim every Sunday in Boscombe. Beating mental health with waves and the sea!

Bournemouth Sea Dippers – swim every morning at Boscombe pier!  

Beyond the blue – casual swim meet-ups in Poole

Top Tips For Cold-Water Swimming

A great place to check for advice is the RNLI website. As they say “going for a swim in cold, open water can be exhilarating, but it’s not without risk. So, if it’s your first time open water swimming or cold water dipping, it’s important to speak t a health care professional to discuss the risks of cold water immersion before you go.  

Make sure you plan ahead and take on these tips:

  • Check the conditions before you swim. Understand the weather, tides and entry/exit points.
  • Always swim with a buddy
  • Think about your kit. A wetsuit will keep you warmer and improve buoyancy. A brightly coloured swim hat and tow float will help you to be seen.
  • Enter the water slowly to allow yourself to acclimatise to the cold and gain control over your breathing. (Don’t dive or jump straight in as this could cause cold water shock).
  • Know your limits – start slow and small!
  • Have plenty of warm clothes and a hot drink for afterwards.

We'd love to know your favourite spot for a cold-water dip in Dorset! Tag us on Instagram or Facebook (@dorsetteauk) for your chance to win one of our beautiful bamboo and aluminum flasks! Perfect for a warming cuppa post-dip!