UK swimming (northwest)

I’m new to triathlon and basically learning to swim properly. Things were slow before the latest lockdown and now progress is totally halted.

Does anyone know anywhere in the Northwest of England I can go? Safe open water places etc? It seems no one is officially open so are there any safe places I can jump in and freeze to death? Just purchased wetsuit, gloves, cap and socks (and an ice hammer).


You’re a braver man than me to be considering OW swimming in January.

I’m not sure where in the NW you’re based, but on Facebook there is an OW swim group called #ChesterFrosties they may be able to help you or point you in the direction of a closer group.


Where in the NW (roughly)?
Like Doonhamer says, the Frosties have a decent group.
Always see a few of them out and about.
Crazies more like!

I’m in Bolton. There’s tons of water but all owned by united utilities. I think Pennington flash is shut too. I think Covid is the least of my worries OW swimming right now :joy:

I don’t see I’ve got much choice really. I might just have to breast stroke the swim if Windermere goes ahead in May :man_shrugging:

A group of mostly triathletes swim in the delph Lancashire all year round.

I’m not one of them … they have organised sessions every month with a coach, I can see your keen… you really must be to even consider this and well done you.

If your learning front crawl for the first time or the first time for a long time it’s really not ideal in open water at this time of year.

But please let us know how you get on.


Jesus. I find OW swimming cold enough in May let alone in January!!


If your race happens just as the pools open the swim will most likely be cut short…

There are few wild swimming venues, Pickmere etc, let’s hope the pools re open in time

I guess if you can handle open water swimming in the north west of England in January, race day will truly hold no fear…


If this is because you think your a weak swimmer, I really don’t think you’re going to improve your technique much in open water at this time of the year. I mean, realistically, how many hours per week are you going to get? I’d be surprised if it’s more than 40mins per week.

I tried to push the boundaries myself when I got into triathlon, and there’s nothing wrong with that - have a go and see what you can get out of it. Myself I found that you OW swim far later in the year than I expected - October, maybe even November but earlier than April was a hiding to nothing. Water temperature follows something like a three month delay compared to air temperature.

1 Like

I’m going to contact them at The Delph. Cheers. I have had some lessons and breathing has improved but only in warm pools although I was splashing around in Ulswater last September. That was cold enough :cold_face:


I used this site for sea temperatures, not sure if you can lake as well out of it:

Sea temperature is 31.1C in Darwin right now apparently. How jealous does this make you feel? Although I expect you’d probably get eaten by something.


Also Sizewell B nuclear power station is sea water cooled. Allegedly the seawater on the beach near the discharge pipes is warm and pleasant to swim in. Or maybe that’s an urban myth???

1 Like

Hats off to you squire, wouldn’t be my cuppa tea at this time of the year.

There’s always Gaddings dam above Todmorden. I used to see early AM swimmers coming and going when I was preparing for marshalling the Shepherds Skyline fell race in November. It’s a regular haunt for some outdoor swimmer types… you might have to battle thru the ice tho to get there, before you battle thru the ice within said water :cold_face:

Maybe a non starter this unless I just jump in a local reservoir!

Delph shut (due to lock down :roll_eyes:)

I’m thinking duathlon might be the way forward for now. Surely they can’t stop us running! Can they!!!?!

1 Like

they can try …

If it helps, and it won’t, not the world’s best swimmer and haven’t been swimming since March last year. Am actually missing it :frowning:

Oulton and firefighters are both on 28 th? March… ( typical early season duathlon)

A few of us are saying our prayers, but it’s looking very unlikely.

There is some dry land stuff you can do, I guess just keeping fit and waiting for the virus to go away is all we can do at the min.

I can tell you if you thought Ullswater was cold in September then you are in for a massive shock getting in anything now.


A few years ago a good friend of mine got married up in Northumberland. We stayed up for the weekend with a big group in a massive air b&b. Anyway, we went for a walk to I think Dunstanburgh Castle, then over a beach on our way to a pub. One of my friends suggests we take a dip in the North Sea. 3 of us stripped down to our boxers and jumped in. It was February and fucking freezing. Must have lasted less then a minute!

Must have looked a sorry state huddled around the fire, shivering with our pints in the pub too