We’ve finally made it: the first warm days of the UK Summer. The parks in London are drenched in sunshine. Barbeques are making a glorious return. Bare legs and rosy shoulders are back in fashion. What feels like 500 days of winter and lockdown is finally, firmly behind us.
In London, the warmer days can spark mixed emotions. While we wouldn’t trade the sunshine for all the snow days in the world, the stifling heat can make a crowded and busy city feel even more claustrophobic. There are, however, little pockets of relief hidden around the city that can provide a much-needed respite to sweaty city dwellers. Enter wild swimming.
For those of you new to the term, wild swimming simply means swimming in a natural body of water. Rivers, seas and ponds are all welcome- so long as it’s not a chlorinated pool, it’s wild. And in case you didn’t know it yet, there are plenty of options in the capital city to satisfy hot and bothered city slickers. Our particular favourite is the Kenwood Ladies Pond in Hampstead Heath.
There’s something incredibly magic about these open waters. Built in 1925 as a designated space for demure women to bath out of any wandering eyes, it is today a safe haven and oasis to female identifying people in the city. Camera free and shrouded in dense foliage, it is a beautifully kept secret. One dip into the cool dark waters, happy ducks floating alongside you, and you’ll be hooked.
And get this: wild swimming is really, really good for you. Not only is the dedicated time spent in nature an incredibly soothing and anxiety reducing activity, but the experience of braving cold water has multiple benefits, including strengthening the immune system, and helping cope with stress.
This summer, we predict the hottest new trend will be escaping to pockets of wild water to disconnect from reality and reconnect with nature. You might even love it so much, that you’ll join us all year round.
See you there.
Olly Tip: Our Darcy Sports Bar is perfect for dips, thanks to its quick-drying material. Shop here https://www.ollyollyandco.com/products/darcy-sports-bra
Our favourite wild swimming spots in London:
Hampstead Heath ponds
Must watch: The Ponds (2018) Dir. Samuel Smith, Patrick McLennan