Swimming wild in lakes, lochs, rivers and seas is having a moment. What was a slow burn trend before the pandemic, has since become a surge as wild swimmers take to the great outdoors in ever increasing numbers.
It’s not just the physical health benefits which are encouraging people to pluck up courage and immerse themselves in cold water, but a growing awareness of the benefits for our mental health. This is movingly illustrated in the recently published first book by Freya Bromley, The Tidal Year.
(Freya Bromley wears our Samos Hammam Towel in Sea and Sky)
The Tidal Year is an exploration of the healing power of wild swimming, and also a deeply personal story of self discovery following the death of her brother, ’a memoir on grief, swimming and sisterhood’. Freya sets herself the challenge of swimming every tidal pool in mainland Britain with her best friend Miri, and the resulting book charts this journey with a refreshing and poignant honesty.
It was heartening for us to hear from Freya that our cotton hammam towels accompany her on all of her wild swimming adventures. She praises them for their softness, unlike the sporting towels designed for this purpose. We love to think of our colourful woven towels out in the wild, on beaches and riverbanks, or by the local lido if you are lucky enough to have one.
There is a sense of community amongst wild swimmers which provides a much needed antidote to a pandemic of loneliness and the stresses of modern living. Swimming is a simple and relatively inexpensive hobby, which is particularly valuable during a cost of living crisis. Online searches for ‘wild swimming’ are exploding, new swimming groups are forming, and membership of the Outdoor Swimming Society has increased dramatically over the past 3 years.
To dive deeper into the joy of swimming Freya hosts a podcast, also titled The Tidal Year, in which she discovers the human stories behind why we swim in conversation with a weekly guest.
Here’s to reconnecting with the wild in ourselves!