Being in a prime position on the edge of the beautiful Gare Loch, our caravan park offers the ideal opportunity to participate in some wild swimming in Scotland, or open water swimming as some call it, the growing craze sweeping the globe.
Swimming in a pool is great exercise, but just going up and down from one end to the other in a building with no views and humid air can get a bit monotonous. That’s why wild swimming can really bring all your senses to life, especially in the stunning surroundings we have here at Rosneath Castle Park.
Whilst many people have already taken the plunge, there are many more that would love to try it but may be slightly apprehensive. We have been speaking to some brave open water swimmers to get the lowdown on what to expect, how to stay safe and the health benefits of wild swimming.
Check the weather beforehand.
Always go in a group, never go on your own and always let someone on dry land know what you are doing, where and what time you will be back. Having someone spotting you from shore is always recommended.
Before entering the water always ask yourself ‘is it safe’, if the water looks rough come back on a calmer day as swells can develop quickly if the wind changes direction.
It’s a good idea to purchase some swim shoes with good grip on the sole, these do not need to be expensive, specialist ones, just something that is going to protect your feet for walking in the shallower waters, as there are stones, rocks, and marine life under foot and can also be slippery.
A wetsuit isn’t a necessity but can help to retain body heat, again this doesn’t have to be expensive or top of the range.
Googles are essential for optimal visibility under the water and a bright coloured swimming hat to keep your hair dry, help you maintain heat and ensure you are nice and visible in the water.
A tow float is an important piece of equipment to have, it makes you visible in the water and provides a lifeline if you get into difficulty or simply need a rest.
Now, getting in the water may take a few deep breaths and a touch of courage, as it will be a tad nippy to say the least. But once in and swimming this will wear off and feel exhilarating (and not because your body has gone numb from the cold!).
Make your way slowly into the water as the depth can change with little warning, always try to swim as close to shore as possible.
Find a point across the water that you want to head towards as this helps you stay in a steady direction.
Whether you have gone for a quick dip or a lengthy swim, always make sure you dry off thoroughly and have plenty of thick layers to change into. It’s a good idea to have a hot drink on hand to warm you up from the inside, and if you’re staying with us at our caravan site near Loch Lomond, it’s only a few steps from the shore to the hot shower in your accommodation.
A top tip from one of our swimmers was to wrap your towel up in a hot water bottle, which is a great idea and will help to get warmer quicker.
Once you are warm and dry you will really start to feel the benefits of your swim and will be thinking of when you can do it again.
More and more people are opting for wild swimming in Scotland to help with various physical and mental issues and use it as an alternative natural treatment method to medication. Many people swear by the benefits it has on your mind, body, and soul.
Health benefits of wild swimming can include –
These are just a few of the examples.
So, as you can see by taking a few sensible precautions, being responsible, staying safe and following the advice of our experts, the benefits of wild swimming really does blow swimming in a pool out of the water.