One of the positive aspects of lockdown is the return to nature that many of us have had the opportunity to experience, perhaps no longer so office bound and having to find ways to entertain ourselves, long walks and country pursuits suddenly at the top of the list. Gone were the days of eating out and cinema on a Saturday, overnight we were catapulted into a brave new world where what outdoor exercise we planned to do was a hot topic.
A whole new tribe of wild swimmers came to the fore with hastily formed groups braving the cold and although not denying that many of us have swum in UK seas and rivers for years, it became a new way to socialise and to reconnect with ourselves and nature.
Whether you subscribe to neoprene, going in naked or just pull on your good old fashioned black cossie, North Northumberland can offer some of the most stunning backdrops to your dips and during a stay in the county, best equip yourself with knowledge about the area in order to make some fabulous memories.
Wild Swimming enthusiast and writer Vicky Allan, with two books and countless posts on the subject whose formative years were spent growing up in Lowick, Northumberland, knows the rivers and beaches well. Recently having walked the St Cuthberts way, investigating the swim spots of the region, in particular Lindisfarne, Linhope Spout and Hethpool Linn (see above), she possesses the outer glow of a well seasoned wild swimmer, having enjoyed the pastime since childhood.
Vicky credits her life as a wild swimmer as a saving grace during difficult life experiences including grief, stress and menopause, crediting a freezing wild swim with changing her mindset. She is planning a trip to the Farne Islands and her latest book, the Art of Wild Swimming is out later this year.