Wild Swimming in Galloway

wild swimming in Loch Ken near Brookford B&B
Wild Swimming in Galloway is one of the most exhilarating ways of getting close to Nature and the Galloway Activity Centre on Loch Ken is one of the best places to take part in this latest outdoor activity.

First held in 2014 intrepid swimmers can now take part in the Annual Wild Swim over a range of distances to suit all ages and abilities. However, Crossmichael on the shores of Loch Ken has been the venue for the New Years Day event for some time, which has become a firm favourite for the more hardy Ne'erday revelers.

Wild Swimming by its very nature involves areas of open water, which carries its own risks. Whereas Loch Ken events are properly marshalled, swimming in the many other lochs, burns and rivers in the area needs to be undertaken with care.

Here are just a few of the things you should consider before 'taking the plunge':
  • Be informed: make sure that the place you are swimming is safe. Check out websites and do some research. Talk to local swimmers. Make sure that if you get into the water you know where you are going to get out.
  • Remember that the water is colder than it feels. Temperatures below the surface can be more than 10C lower than at the surface. Cold water can kill instantly. Become acclimatised slowly.
  • Do not over-estimate your ability. Swimming in cold water is tiring so do not overreach yourself.
  • Do not jump into deep water unless you are sure it is safe.
  • Do not swim in fast-moving currents especially in big rivers after heavy rain. If you are caught in a current swim diagonally across it. Check tides.
  • In a loch, if you are unsure of your ability swim parallel to the shore.
  • Never drink alcohol and swim.
  • If in doubt always swim where there are other swimmers.