Winter swimmers are inviting Londoners to go and freeze their nips with a bracing dip
London Royal Dock Open Water Swimming
Try a winter swim session at London Royal Dock, where you can front crawl through open water, safe in the knowledge that there are staff on site. And nobody will judge you for wearing a wetsuit. Victoria Dock. Royal Victoria DLR. Sat Jan 19. £10, register in advance.
Online community Team52 is helping busy people find adventure through group challenges. Next up: a collective swim in Brockwell Lido. You don’t need any experience or fancy gear, but there are prizes for the best swimming cap. Brockwell Lido. Herne Hill rail/Brixton Tube. Sun Jan 20, 10.30am. Just turn up, lido entry £6.
Winter Dip at Parliament Hill Lido
WaterAid’s challenge to plunge into the Parliament Hill Lido will help raise money to bring clean water to some of the world’s poorest countries. Once recovered from the swim, participants will be able to warm up in the jacuzzi and sauna. Parliament Hill Lido. Gospel Oak Overground. Sun Jan 20. £25.
Tips for the dips
Co-founder of Team52 Annie Ross tells us how to safely brave a cold-water swim
Ease yourself in
You don’t want to be jumping or diving. The icy shock can wreak havoc. Instead slip in slowly. Acclimatise, building your resilience up, over several weeks.
Keep it short and sweet
If the water temperature is below 12C, mini swims are best. Stay near the exit point and always swim with others.
Watch your head
Dare to wear two swimming hats. Earplugs help keep your core temperature up too.
Get dry, don warm layers, then guzzle a hot drink and some food. Stay away from hot showers. They can interrupt the natural recovery process, known as the ‘after-drop’. Team52 is a challenge platform that makes it easier for people to get together and spend more time outdoors. Find out more at team-52.com or @team52challenge.
More of a heated pool kind of swimmer? Try these
Or warm up at one of these sweaty London saunas