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GUIDED
SWIM SESSIONS
a variety of different wild swimming experiences in the mountains of eryri / snowdonia

Photo © Sarah Gerrish

GUIDED SWIM SESSIONS
 

Share a morning, afternoon, evening or even a full day of fresh air and great conversations, embrace the elements, and take what mother nature gives you be it rain, hail or sunshine and run, (well, walk and swim) with it!

CREATIVE WRITING SWIM/WALKS

New for 2024 I am offering creative writing swim/walks based around the equinoxes and solstice, join me for a few hours to soak up the sights, sounds, smells and feelings that these important times of year can bring. We will walk up to a lake, take a swim and take part in a writing workshop to leave with your own little piece of writing on the experience.

MOUNTAIN SWIMMER DAYS

Join me for a guided swim/walk in the beautifully rugged mountains of Snowdonia. A day to relax into mountain walking and swimming and let me guide you to some of my favourite mountain lakes. Please note that the walking on these days will be uphill and could be on uneven terrain. You will need a moderate level of fitness, although all walking will be at a comfortable pace so we can still chat while we walk.

 

VALLEY SWIMMER DAYS

If the thought of walking uphill in the mountains doesn't appeal but you would still love to explore some of the beautiful lakes in Eryri / Snowdonia then my valley swimmer day could be for you. This is a day of multiple swims exploring the big lakes with big views and sampling a local cafe for lunch (cost of lunch not included).

FULL MOON SWIM/WALKS

Who doesn't love the magic and mystery that a full moon brings? Join me for an evening walk in the hills to take a special moonlit dip in a mountain lake. Walk back feeling refreshed and renewed for the month ahead.

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COSTS

FROM £65 PER PERSON

RATIO 1:6 

Bespoke dates can be arranged for groups of 4 or more

WHAT'S INCLUDED

GUIDED SWIMMING IN THE MOUNTAINS

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

TRANSPORT* | FOOD &  DRINKS
IN WATER PHOTOGRAPHY | 
ACCOMMODATION

PRE-REQUISITES

MUST BE ABLE TO SWIM | COMFORTABLE WITH THE IDEA OF SWIMMING OUTDOORS

If you plan to come by public transport please drop me a message*

AVAILABLE DATES

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WHAT PEOPLE SAY?

I think a day on the hills, swimming in lakes and having time to reflect, absorb your surroundings is incredible, but see what other people who have shared the experience with me say

It was a beautiful day Vivienne- thank you for the experience. Some words from the day....
Languid thickness of water 
Mellifluous over starfish stones and black as cormorant gullet.

Such an incredible day - thank you again. It was wet, grey, cold and I LOVED IT. A mind and soul expanding experience.

Thank you Vivienne! It was such a special day! We all had an amazing time & it was really really great to meet you and be in your company! Thank you for sharing with us xxx

Photo © Sarah Gerrish

WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?

It is entirely up to you what you want to bring along, these sessions are about experiences, not endurance. But as a general guide, I would suggest...

 

Warm hat

Warm jacket

Waterproof trousers and jacket

Boots or trainers

Swimsuit/wetsuit

Swim hat/woolly hat (may get wet)

Goggles

Towfloats if you have one

Towel/Robie (Dry Robes can be a little bulky to carry on the mountains but if you can carry it you are very welcome to bring yours)

Sketchbook/Notebook

Pen, pencils

Camera

Lunch/Snacks

Hot drink

 

Rucksack to put everything in.

 

 

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  • What lakes will we visit?
    Where we go is entirely dependant on the weather conditions in the mountains on the day. The decisions on where to go are made in the morning and based on the weather and the safety of the group.
  • How far will we swim?
    All my swim sessions are based on having experiences, not endurance. No one is expected to swim laps or the length of a lake if you wish to just lie back and stare at the sky that is fine. I do ask that you have outdoors swimming experience if you come on a group day, if you are nervous about swimming outdoors I would book on to one of my wild swim water confidence sessions first.
  • How cold is the water?
    All water in the UK is deemed to be 'cold' even in the summer months! I don't measure water temperatures as I prefer to feel the changes in the temperature in my skin. As a general guide, however, the water in the mountains is at its coldest in February/March and at it's warmest in August/September.
  • Do I have to wear a wetsuit?
    My kit list is a guide, you are welcome to wear in the water whatever you feel most comfortable. Wearing a wetsuit will enable you to stay in the water longer. If you bring one along you can always then make the choice, to wear it or not.
  • It's summer do I really need a wooly hat and gloves?
    I would bring them, I don't think I have ever been swimming in the mountains and not put a woolly hat on afterwards. It may be glorious sunshine, but after swimming in a high mountain lake you will feel very chilly and be grateful for all those warm clothes you brought along.
  • How far will we walk and how steep will it be?
    The distance we will walk will depend on which lake/s we go to. Generally, the walk-in is no more than an hour or so. Depending on which type of guided day you choose will determine how strenuous it will be. Mountain days are more strenuous than valley days for example. In the mountain environment, there is generally uphill walking to be done, some of this may be steep and it is very likely to be on uneven terrain and off well-trodden paths. However, all walking is done at a gentle pace, where everyone is the group can keep up and hold a conversation.

WHERE TO STAY?

There is a full range of accommodation options in Snowdonia to suit every budget and taste.

The ones suggested below operate independently from me

HOSTELS

PLAS CURIG

snowdoniahostel.co.uk

01690 720225

 

YHA SNOWDON PEN Y PASS

yha.org.uk

0345 371 9534

HOTELS/GUEST HOUSES

GWESTY PLAS GOCH

plascochsnowdonia.co.uk

01286 872122

 

PEN Y GWRYD HOTEL

pyg.co.uk

01286 870211

SELF CATERING

MAES MADOG,

CAPEL GARMON

cottages

house

glamping pods 

07717 370369

CAMPSITES

DOLGAM

dolgam-snowdonia.co.uk

01690 720228

 

GWERN GOF UCHAF

tryfanwales.co.uk

01690 720294

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ABOUT ME

I am an artist, outdoor swimmer and health and fitness coach. I live in the mountains of Eryri / Snowdonia in North Wales where I have lived since 2002, I grew up on the beautiful South Coast in the New Forest and regularly return to visit family. My project #swimsnowdonia was listed amongst 'The 10 most inspiring adventures' in The Guardian and has been the focus of several short films including a music video for the band Elbow. 'Afterglow' a short film about my passion for both my creativity and cold water swimming won Best Woman in Adventure Gold Award at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival., Best Short Film at The Four Season Film Festival and was recently selected for The Patagonia Film Festival in Santa Monica. I was included in the first San Miguel Rich List, 'a unique list of men and women who value experiences over any possession' and listed as one of Britain's 101 Adventurers. I was featured in an ITV documentary 'The Mountain ' which followed the lives of a selection of people who live and work on the busiest mountain in England and Wales, Snowdon and various features on the BBC, ITV, Sky Sports and Channel 5.

 

I am a Qualified Teacher, Personal Trainer and Nutritional Advisor, Mountain Leader, Open Water Swimming Coach, RLSS Open Water Lifeguard,  RYA Day Skipper and hold RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Offshore Theory. I hold Emergency First Aid in the Outdoors, STA Level 2 Swimming Teacher Award and Certificate, and STA Level 2 Baby & Pre-School Aquatic Teacher. I am an RLSS Trainer and have more than 10 previous years of experience lifesaving in swimming pools.

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