So now that you know about mine and Sol’s little love for cold water swimming, it’s probably time to share where we enjoy our chilly dips, which makes it all the more magical…
We are spoilt for choice with spots to swim at. There are just so many gems; some beaches within walking distance, some a nice 3k run to get you warm before, a couple you can cycle to and some lovely ones just a 15 minute (if that) drive!
Within running or walking distance from Bembridge.
A run before your swim is a great idea for two reasons; firstly your hot and sweaty so it’s easier to brave the cold, and secondly your fitness levels and endurance grows. There is a great run down to White cliff bay which you can make into a loop (always more satisfying) and your perfectly warm. White cliff bay is almost always sheltered from the wind and is great even when the tide is going out so it makes it a pretty much guaranteed flat, calm and gorgeous swim. The bay is sandy and has some amazing cliffs to admire from the water. They provide a nice gentle reminder of how small we are as you stare up at culver down from bellow. It leaves you feeling like a single drop in the ocean. Which we are, metaphorically. Consider the Ancient Kemetic Egyptian theory about the Soul. It states that all humans have a unique, individual Soul that links and intertwines them all together and to the divine entity Atum, who created the world out of chaos. The individual is the single drop of water in the ocean.
Another favourite that is of extremely easy access would have to be Paddock drive. Again, being very generous with water at lower tide times. Paddock drive makes for a great swim when you didn’t quite get out of bed early enough.
Very central to Bembridge is Ducie, which is probably where we swim most often. A long stretch of beach with branches overhanging the ocean and a few amazing spindly, uprooted trees. There is a path behind coloured beach huts which makes access to the best sandy corner easy even at high tide. It feels like you have your own private pontoon. There are some permanent boys that are good markers for stronger tidal flow days or to do laps around.
A bit further a way is Yaverland. A slightly different experience would be to go there when there’s wind coming up from the South, which produces some fab body boarding waves. When Sol and I first brought our winter wetsuits (which we have used about three times because we have found a new love for the cold water) we went for a body board and actually got uncomfortably hot from the insulating 4-6mm thickness of our seal suits.
Jump in the car
About 10 minutes from Bembridge would be one of the most breathtaking swim spots. Sea Grove bay. Beautiful pebbles and soft sand. An amazing spot to find some clam shells. Words can not describe how magic a cold swim is here – so you better go jump in and see for your self!