I wrote a short piece of the solace of wild swimming:


Solace. I like this word. Comfort or consolation in a time of sadness or distress. Don’t get me wrong I’m very fortunate to not experience great distress or sadness very often, this isn’t a story about that. It’s about making your life just a little bit better. Solace for me came to me in many forms over the course of the pandemic, however the strongest came from my discovery of wild swimming. A journey I have been unconsciously on my entire life. My love for being submerged into another world I’ve always been chasing.


Solace for me is realising what makes me happy and then actively adding those things into daily life, to form an escape or sanctuary for myself. This became real when I set myself the challenge to wild swim everyday of October 2020. It had been a long year, where I had rediscovered the importance of nature, when in lockdown in the countryside. I knew I needed something that would reignite my passion for the world, and as a photographer, create some inspiration in nature. I was inspired by Nick Pumphrey and Mike Guest’s ‘Dawn Days of May’ project and felt that making a routine and persevering with this would make me understand the real effects of wild swimming.


Only recently have I discovered the community that surrounds wild swimming. Over the course of the month I met some beautiful friends, two of whom became my Scottish wild swimming tour guides, taking me to so many different locations all within half an hour from Edinburgh. It was amazing to discover all that my local part of Scotland has to offer, in the form of lochs, rivers, forests, without forgetting the ocean, only a 20-minute cycle from my house. I’m definitely a nature soul, so the few hours I spent in these secluded Eden’s would really recharge me. I find it interesting comparing swimming when with people, to solitary swims; both needed in the journey of wild swimming, however, the sense of community around swimming is delightful. The bravery, peacefulness and respect for nature, shared by wild swimmers makes them a unique breed.


Wild swimming to me was a solace in a bad year, however now it is also a form of escapism. A time to be 100% present in the moment and actively make each day that goes by mean something. I’ve swam in rain, hail, wind and ice but I’ve always felt a million times better afterwards. I like putting myself out of my comfort zone, being uncomfortable is where I grow and feel good. I love immersing myself in nature. In grounding myself, yet feeling as free as a bird, or more appropriately as free as a fish.


Recently however my cold-water dips have been limited due to the recent lockdown. So, I’ve been having to find solace in reading waterlog by Roger Deakin. The way he writes about water and wild swimming if next to none, so thought I would end with some of his quotes, to hopefully explain the beauty of swimming from a someone who really knows how to.



“When you enter the water, something, like a metamorphosis happens. Leaving behind the land, you go through the looking glass surface and enter a new world in which survival, not ambition or desire, is the dominant aim.”


“When you swim, you feel your body for what it mostly is – water – and it begins to move with the water around it. No wonder we feel such sympathy for beached whales; we are beached at birth ourselves. To swim is to experience how it was before you were born.”



An ode to the fellow thalassophile’s out there.


(I just discovered that word, meaning “a lover of the sea” from the Greek word “thalassa” meaning “sea”)



Solace to me is all of this: