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the joy of nature
Wild Swimming

What is it that is so attractive and envigorating about swimming outdoors?   Beyond the fabulous pictures and a new way of exploring the outdoors there are health benefits too.

Wild swimming is enjoying a surge in popularity in Scotland as people seek out new experiences and the basic, invigorating joy of nature during these periods of global change. Over lockdown the number of wild swimmers seen in the loch in front of the hotel had increased significantly so we were delighted when we were asked to hold an event here. 

In April this year Swim Adventure Scotland visited Knockderry to enjoy a day of wild swimming and yoga.  It was a beautiful morning as the the hardy souls assembled to change and make their way out onto the lawn for some relaxing yoga in perfect peaceful surroundings. 

Swim Adventure Scotland had organised the event to promote their combined passions for wild swimming and luxurious country house hotels.  They designed a luxury ‘wild’ experience for those with a love of cold water swimming and the natural environment for guests to experience wild swimming in a safe environment with recognised qualified coaches, changing areas, good Scottish food, warming fires & friendly Scottish hospitality.

Knockderry House is only an hour from Glasgow but feels a million miles away with its shelterned cove on Loch Long and breath-taking views of the Argyllshire Hills and the Clyde esturary.

Here's a guide to getting started in wild swimming - and becoming the outdoor swimmer you've always wanted to be.


What is Wild Swimming?

You've probably seen the photos and heard your friends tell you of their adventures, but what is 'Wild Swimming'?  For those of us of a certain age, we might shrug slightly and just say it was what we all did as youngsters, in rivers, and at the seaside.  Afterall it is just going swimming outside but in the natural environment.  If you, like many people, have never been wild swimming you might be wondering why anyone wants to do it!  Especially when in Scotland it can be a bit wet and cold.

Some of the reasons given include, how it makes people feel alive, improves mood, circulation, health, and it is a challenge to yourself. So how do you start?

One way is to join a group like Swim Adventure Scotland.  They intend to hold a second event here in September so keep a look out for more details.


How to Begin

You don't need much to start your swimming adventure outdoors and certainly it would help if you could already swim even if you are only going  for a quick splash.

To prepare, you might want to consider a wet suit depending on just how cold the water might be.  Here at the hotel we have the gulf stream effect which definatly warms the water a bit but it will still feel chilly.  And you need to think about how long you intend to swim.  You can also get thermal swim gloves and socks for where the wetsuit stops. And finally a good bobble hat is a great idea for winter days.

So bring your towel, some warm changing clothes and step out from the hotel, onto our beach and take the plunge.