Winter lido swimming tips

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With winter now well and truly here, you may have already decided to bid farewell to outdoor swimming until next year. But despite the unappealing temperatures, there's still so much you can get out of going for quick dip outdoors at this time of year.

Here are a few handy tips that might even persuade you to become a permanent winter lido member!

Little and often

A chillier pool, particularly the unheated lidos, will make longer swims that bit harder to manage. Reduce your session time but pick up your frequency. This will also help with building up your tolerance to the cold if you plan to swim throughout the winter.

Enjoy the earlier sunsets

One benefit of the evenings drawing in is that if you head to the lido for a post work swim, you'll have a better chance of catching a sunset swim, a glorious thing to be part of!

Wear neoprene booties and gloves

As the temperature starts to drop, it will be your extremities that notice and suffer from this first. Keep them toasty with gloves and boots and this will keep your winter lido swims much more pleasant.

Pack your post swim treats

Tea and cake are always a welcome part of any swim recovery, but your flask full of something warm on a winter evening will be appreciated even more as the nights grow a little cooler.


If you're after some in-depth advice on swimming in cold water, then check out this great Q&A from a host of cold water swimming experts.

The festive dip season is also almost upon us and could be a great first introduction to winter swimming. Visit our Festive Dip Listings to find an event near you!

01 Cover April

Issue 37 April 2020

  • The Vicar of Dipping: Spirituality, connectedness and the instant hit of wild swimming with the Reverend Kate Bottley
  • Swimming to Recovery: How open water swimming helped Simon Harmer recover from losing both his legs in Afghanistan
  • Adventures in Winter Swimming: What happened when Olympian Keri-anne Payne tried cold water swimming?
  • The Return of the Fish Hawk: Swimming and nature
  • How to Swim Faster: Training ideas to pick up your pace

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