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Night Swims with Joanna Shimwell

Joanna Shimwell embraces the outdoors and all that it throws at her. Whether it is herding sheep on her family farm, or standing on a frosty pontoon in Switzerland with snowy peaks in the background. She has been wild swimming for years and uses it to unhook from modern life.

Tell me how you first started outdoor swimming

I started outdoor swimming during the winter 3 years ago. Before that I had a love of the water and didn’t mind the cold temperatures but I would only swim on mild, sunny days. As soon as I began swimming in the winter it opened up a whole new world for me. I found the adrenaline rush and endorphins to be incredible. Winter tends to be a much quieter time in and around lakes, seas and rivers so it means you can often have the luxury of tranquil moments swimming without anyone else around. I love that. Swimming is a big escape for me.

What was it that appealed to you?

I love outdoor activities and to challenge myself so the daunting task of getting into cold water really appealed to me. Would I be able to handle it? Would I be brave enough? Once you start and gain a little confidence it’s incredible. Every time you swim it’s a little personal victory to celebrate. The challenge of getting in the water keeps me coming back for more.


How did you know you were hooked?

I knew I was hooked when I started to pack a little swim bag and take it with me everywhere in case the opportunity arose to go for a swim! Going out in really bad weather also made me realise my commitment – I wasn’t in it for the perfectly still waters and sunshine, I was in it for whatever the weather would throw at me! And it is so rewarding.

What benefits do you get from cold water swimming?

The benefits for me of cold water swimming have been a great sense of well-being and achievement upon completing a swim. I can testify that you feel amazing after even a short dip, it is so invigorating. Cold water swimming beats cold showers any day, (and they are well documented to have many health benefits). I feel more energised, happy and upbeat after a swim. Swimming outdoors has also given me greater confidence as a person. I could go on for ages about how good cold water swimming is!

Why did you try night swimming?

I tried night swimming for the first time after reading about other swimmers doing full moon swims. I loved the idea of swimming by moonlight, it sounded like a magical experience and I’m all about new and exciting adventures in nature. My first night swim was at 10pm on a full moon, after a really long and busy day at work and although I was nervous about going into the water it was really fun and once I got in, my fears floated away!! I hope to get more night swims in this year!


Book a full moon night swim when you stay at Another Place, The Lake.

swimming in the pool