How to Plan an Ultimate Swim Adventure with Danii

woman with a four seasons changing robe and toe float standing infront of a lake in the Lake District

Considering a cold water swimming adventure? Join our budding adventurer Danii as she shares her journey and advice from her Lake District escapade with her group, YAYAS. With their KISS method (keep it super simple), cold water swimming essentials and adventure planning, the YAYAS ensure smooth sailing from start to finish. Join the adventure and dive into the wild beauty of the Lake District with Danii.

Cold Water Swimming in The Lake District 

If hiking through patchwork hills and sitting in dreamy waterfalls sounds tempting, then the lake district is your perfect wonderland.

The landscape is spectacular, sweeping fields reaching to the top of the tarns, each patch of land separated by stone walls and cobbled pathways. Lakes and waterfalls pop out of the magical scenery in every direction you look. It didn’t take much persuading to round up the swim girls (otherwise known as the YAYAS) and start the long drive from North Devon to this breathtaking location.

Call, text, or send a message by pigeon to your best adventure buddies and get planning your trip.

The lakes are a wild swimmers paradise, if its not already on your adventure trip wish list you need to add it to the top.

woman standing in a four seasons changing robe in the Lake District
Woman holding her hands out at the lake district scenery

How to Plan a Swim Adventure 

When it comes to adventure planning, we follow the motto of KISS (keep it super simple). At full capacity our group is made up of 13 wild and wonderful women. Delegating roles, sharing the load, and playing to our individual strengths is what makes our trips something we all look forward to.

Delegation of Roles

The three most important roles to guarantee a smooth and successful group trip are planner, Designated drivers, and of course the chefs. (No trip is worth it if there isn’t an epic feast involved).

We have our itinerary queen, otherwise known as BamBam, who is exceptional at putting together a jam-packed adventure with something for everyone from the moment we open our eyes to the moment we close them. Our days consist of crystal-clear waterfalls overlooking glorious countryside, infinity pools on top of the tarns and magnificent gorges for jumping in and swooshing along before doing it all over again.

Next up the girls who love to drive, Nicola and Lou (also known as The Stig). They do a wonderful job of getting us around safely and comfortably, always providing the chat and the tunes to pass away the hours on the open road.

Magazines placed on a table

The final job is that of the chefs, and they never disappoint. Adie always makes up a marvellous feast from delicious Dahl curry to mouth-wateringly freshly baked sour dough. As a big group we do as much food planning beforehand, often some of the girls will make up curries and chillis before we head off, which means they only require a quick team effort to get the table laid and the food hot after a long day in the great outdoors. A big feast at the end of the day is essential to keep moral and energy levels high. 

My top tip if you’re planning on a pub lunch is to do your research before your adventure, we always book ahead and find great places that fit in with our daily itinerary. Having done all the leg work before your trip will make those magical waterfalls and cold-water plunges even more relaxing.

Outside of these, we delegate all other responsibilities amongst the group, organising accommodation, first aid kits, and water monitors. (hydration is always important) At the end of every trip, we quite simply put the receipts in a bowl and the legendary BamBam breaks down the cost per person, making these trips super cheap.

Cold Water Kit List

Although we now have a whole collection of these adventures its still amazes me how much faffing we can do when it comes to packing, and chatting about what we are packing (does anyone else do this?)

So, sticking with the rule of KISS, we love a kit list, we share this in our group chat allowing others to jump in and add anything missed. A top tip with figuring out what you REALLY need is to research the types of terrain you may encounter for the spots you hope to visit. We find anything off piste, waterfalls, river dips and tidal pools require a good pair of rocks shoes. A Tarn Lake or any swims that will involve a distance require a tow float. (safety is paramount to keeping these experiences as fun as possible)

woman taking a selfie with an orange tow float
image of a saltrock recycled logo from the four seasons changing robe

Cold Water Kit Bag Essentials 

• Swim costumes (optional for those secret spots)
• Rock shoes
Four Seasons Robe
Tow float!
• Swim hat and goggles
• Woolly hat (I always carry a spare for a buddy in need)
• Warm gloves
• Dry and warm spare socks
• A hot drink
• Emergency snacks (jelly tots are a great thing to keep in your pack for any cold water after drop or energy slumps)

Consider Fitness and Ability

It is essential to consider the fitness levels and abilities of you and the friends you adventure with. Taking this into account will keep it enjoyable for everyone, offering a challenge for some and plenty of rest opportunities for others. Think about the types of hikes you will do, will the terrain big rough and rocky with little grip, will there be climbing or clambering involved?

On our trip to the lakes one of our afternoon swims involved a one hours hike on rocky cobbled paths to the top of a tarn in rain and heavy winds, with an infinity pool on the top as the reward. This was one of my favourites. Another completely different cold dip was at the lesser-known Chockstone Falls falls described by blogger and writer Cat Smith as “one of her favourites in all the lake district”.

A fast-running waterfall tucked into the corner of a woodland walk, the ground was covered in luscious green moss and fallen leaves, using tree roots and vines as grip points, we made the steep and slippery descent into the Icey crystal clear waters of the pool below. This type of dip I find most challenging as height’s aren’t my favourite, but somehow my mind just knows it will be worth the challenge.

We have decided as a group that during winter trips three per day is plenty and, in the summer, the more the better. But, and it’s a big but, every swim is optional and there is no shame in stepping back and taking pleasure in watching your friends squeal and splash while you soak up the scenery. If its not for you, listen to yourself.

woman swimming in a lake

Danii's Biggest Safety Tip For Cold Water Swimming

My biggest safety tip when it comes to any type of dip or swim is to decide on your safe entry and exit point before entering the water at stick to it. As a group we learnt the hard way while swimming at Clovelly, but that’s a story for another time.

Adventure

Adventure is one of my favourite words and concepts. It gives me a feeling of excitement. Adventure truly can be accessible for everyone.

Adventure keeps your mind body and soul feeling, stimulated, challenged, and connects you with nature and the world around you. The sense of reward afterwards boosts your self-belief and confidence to the moon and back, while keeping your body fit and active.

Our bodies are capable of so much more than we know, we just need to convince our minds sometimes.

For me the more time I spend remotely, outdoors in nature with my favourite people, the more my soul wants it and craves it. The greatest gift is to share an adventure.

Danii's Top Picks to Inspire a Cold Water Adventure

For inspiration check out:
• Adventure Revolution by  Belinda Kirk
• Fearless: Adventures with Extraordinary Women by  Louise Minchin
• Any of the Wild Swimming walks books
• The Wild Guide
• Walkmyworld.com
• Saltrock's blog: Everything You Need to Know About Cold Water Swimming 

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Woman in an oversized Saltrock Recycled Four Seasons Changing Robe - Light Green standing on a beach at dusk.
Saltrock's Recycled Four Seasons Changing Robe - Light Green, made from recycled material, with a blue fleece lining and a partially unzipped zipper.
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Three people in Saltrock's Recycled Four Seasons Changing Robbe - Light Green robes walking along the beach.
Woman standing on a beach wearing an oversized Saltrock Recycled Four Seasons Changing Robe in Light Green.
Oversized light teal parka jacket with hood displayed against a white background. 
Product Name: Recycled Four Seasons Changing Robe - Light Green
Brand Name: Saltrock
Person in a Saltrock Recycled Four Seasons Changing Robe - Light Green walking on a sandy beach toward rocky cliffs.
Close-up of a green, waterproof jacket with Saltrock Recycled Four Seasons Changing Robe - Light Green logo featuring a lighthouse and waves.
Woman in an oversized Saltrock Recycled Four Seasons Changing Robe - Light Green standing on a beach at dusk.
Saltrock's Recycled Four Seasons Changing Robe - Light Green, made from recycled material, with a blue fleece lining and a partially unzipped zipper.
Person in a Saltrock Recycled Four Seasons Changing Robe in Light Green, walking along a sandy beach with cliffs in the background.
Close-up of a blue textured fabric with a soft, fluffy pile made from the Recycled Four Seasons Changing Robe in Light Green by Saltrock.
Close-up of a Recycled Four Seasons Changing Robe - Light Green sleeve with blue velcro strap details, made by Saltrock.
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A lightweight Cold Water Club Microfibre Towel - Orange with the word
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Woman in a Coldwater Club - Ladies Zip Hoodie in Green with Saltrock branding and an orange cap standing in front of rock formations.
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Green Coldwater Club hoodie from Saltrock, hanging on wooden hanger against a white background.
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Two people wearing the Coldwater Club - Ladies Zip Hoodie in Green by Saltrock sit on a rocky beach, looking out at the ocean.
Saltrock Coldwater Club Ladies Zip Hoodie in Green with a peached soft hand feel and a logo on the left chest, hanging on a hook against a white wall.
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A collection of adventure-themed clothing and accessories displayed on wooden branches, featuring a Saltrock Coldwater Club green cotton hoodie, an orange cotton t-shirt, and a matching cap.
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Man standing on a sandy beach facing away, wearing an oversized Saltrock T-shirt with Cold Water graphics, looking at grassy dunes.
Black oversized T-shirt with a
A person wearing a Saltrock Cold Water - Mens Oversized Sweat - Black stands facing the ocean, partially obscured by a palm tree in the foreground.
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A Saltrock Cold Water Club pin badge packaging with a single Orange Pin displayed.
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£4.00