Go wild and give open water swimming a go!

Why you should try open water swimming and get involved in the first-ever Cransley Hospice Trust open water swim on the 19th of June.

Cransley Hospice Trust will be hosting the first-ever Cransley Hospice Trust Open Water SwimSWIM SYWELL event on June 19th in association with Northamptonshire Sport and raising funds to support and develop specialist end of life care in North Northamptonshire.  The sport has been growing in popularity over recent years and Northamptonshire has some of the best water to get you started on your wild swimming adventure.

You might be wondering – what is Open Water Swimming?  It’s any swimming that takes place in any body of water other than a swimming pool where there are no constraints of sides, lane ropes or lines to follow and typically involves lakes, rivers, the sea and reservoirs.

Those that have tried it say it’s “exhilarating and liberating” and it’s even reported to have a positive impact on mental wellbeing.[i]

In Northamptonshire, we are fortunate to have a couple of beautiful locations with active open water swimming groups at Sywell Country Park and The Falcon, Castle Ashby.

Can anyone give it a go?

You do need to be able to swim competently without putting your feet down as it’s more than likely that you’ll be out of your depth most of the time if not all of the time. There are plenty of social groups that get together to enjoy it on a social level or if you want to take it more seriously there are opportunities to take it to the elite level.

What do you need to get started?

You may be able to hire or borrow the kit before committing to any major purchases.

Essential and inexpensive, you will need a brightly coloured swim hat!  Don’t worry about how you look it could be a lifesaver!  It will help keep your head warm and you’ll be visible in the water.  (All participants of Swim Sywell on June 19th get a unique free hat to make sure we can see you and you get to keep it as a memento!)

The UK is not known for its warm water, so a wetsuit is a good idea! A well fitted wet suit keeps you warm and improves your body position in the water.  Suits vary enormously in price, the good ones have more panels and tend to fit the body more snuggly and are worth the investment if you decide to take up the sport regularly.

Some people wear boots, socks and gloves!  This might seem a little extreme, but they keep the body temperature warm and they’re great if you don’t like feeling “things” but it can depend on how long you are planning on being in the water and your location.

Goggles are essential!  You want to be able to see and not bump into any fish!  Some open water swimmers prefer the bigger goggles and might have two pairs – a clear pair for overcast days when the water can be very dark and a tinted pair to help you see clearly on the gloriously sunny days.

The kit list can go on and there are fun accessories that will help you get warmed up after your swim, but these are the essentials.  If you love it and decide to take up the sport you’ll have fun purchasing lots of things that make your adventures in the open water even more fun and enjoyable!


If you’re interested in taking part in Swim Sywell for Cransley Hospice Trust on June 19th please do get in touch with one of our fundraising team if you have any questions at all, they’re always willing to help!  You can call the office on 01536 452423 or email events@cransleyhospice.org.uk.

For further information and to register for Cransley Hospice Trust – Swim Sywell, 19th June click here.

[i] https://casereports.bmj.com/content/2018/bcr-2018-225007