With the crystal clear and shallow waters of Scilly being a great place to try wild swimming, we caught up with Nick and Bryony, who run Adventure Scilly on the Isles of Scilly to hear about the benefits of cold-water swimming.
Tell us about Adventure Scilly?
“We’ve been running Adventure Scilly since 2014. We organise the Scilly Swim Challenge (with a mainland partner), run swimming holidays and yoga and wellness breaks.”
Why choose wild swimming?
“Living (or holidaying) on Scilly, wild swimming is just so accessible. None of us here are more than a few minutes away from a world-class swimming spot so it seems criminal not to!”
How do you acclimatise to the cold water?
“I think it’s a balance between taking things slowly (maybe starting at a warmer time of year, not staying in too long and making sure you dry off and get changed quickly afterwards) but also realising that it can be quite uncomfortable (painful even!) for the first minute or so and that discomfort will soon pass. It’s amazing how quickly you can acclimatise if you get in little and often.”
Where are the best spots on Scilly and in Cornwall for wild swimming?
“We’re so lucky to live right on the beach at Mincarlo so Town Beach on St. Mary’s is where we swim the most. Watermill and Pelistry on the east of the island and Great Bay on St. Martins are also favourites. Cornwall has some amazing wild swimming; you could maybe fit in a dawn dip at Battery Rocks beside the Jubilee Pool before travelling on Scillonian on your way to Scilly.”
Are there benefits to your physical and mental health?
“There are so many benefits which are only just being backed up by science. Some of the more obvious things are purely from the exercise and fresh air but there is increasing evidence that cold water reduces inflammation which has both physical and mental health benefits. There is also an endorphin high that many swimmers talk about.”
Still not convinced by the thought of plunging into the cold Atlantic water? Smaller exposures into the cold are also beneficial… Turning the shower down too cold for 30 seconds, washing the face and soaking the feet in cold water have all been shown to be beneficial.
NB: If you are considering cold water swimming, do please read up on safe management first and remember to always respect the ocean.
Nick and Bryony are running a Re-boot & Revitalise Wellbeing Break from October 23rd – 26th. This revitalising break features guided walks with stunning views, restorative and wild yoga sessions, trail runs, invigorating dips in the sea, wonderful food and local gin! Visit: Adventure Scilly
Feeling inspired? You can reach the Isles of Scilly in just 15 minutes when you fly with Skybus or sail in under 3 hours with our passenger ferry Scillonian III. Whichever way you choose, your journey begins from the moment you check-in.