This is a wee blog about some keen, wild, cold water swimmers who swim all year round on the West Coast of Scotland.  We enjoy storm swims, nature swims, swim safaris, post-swim food, coastal swims and swimming with friends.  Living in Argyll we are in a swimmer’s paradise with countless beautiful unspoilt swimming areas all around.

I started swimming all year round in the sea 6 years ago, encouraged by my friend Lottie.  Since then we’ve both completed some challenges (the Gulf of Corrievreckan, UK Cold Water Championships Endurance Event x 2, ChillSwim Lake District Endurance Event) and Lottie has swum the Sound of Jura!

We also swim with a group of triathletes in canals, lochs, rivers and the sea.

Mostly we swim for the sheer pleasure of being immersed in nature, in all seasons and in all weathers and feel our lives are much enriched by this.






  1. amazing swimming!!! Catriona Watt


  2. We are kindred spirits I think! Looking forward to reading your blogs.


  3. I’m trying to find out about swimming the length of Loch Awe. Can anyone give me a contact of someone e who has done so or someone who swims there regularly please


  4. Does anyone go wild swimming at night now that the evenings are darker?


    • Oh we certainly do! Especially at full moon and in tried and tested places where we feel safe.


  5. Hello Scottish Wild Swimmers! Queenie, Cornish Stef and me are coming up your way in August to swim Corry…that will be on 14 August. Any chance you’d be around at some point? We’d love to swim with you…xx


    • Hi – that’s great news! I’m almost certain we’ll be around and if not I can put you in touch with the other swimmers in the area. Best if you get in touch again nearer the time and we’ll plan some swims. Looking forward to it! xx


      • Lovely! Queenie wants to go to Mull but not sure of the logistics there…looking forward to it anyway!


  6. Hello. I’m trying to contact anyone who swims on Skye and is available to be featured in a commercial. We are looking for a male who would dive into the sea (from standing) and who would be available next Wednesday 4th. Please let me know. thanks Pip


    • Hello Pip, I’m afraid we are quite a distance from Skye (by road and/or boat!) and I don’t know any swimmers on Skye. But you may come up with someone if you do a Google search for wild swimming on Skye. Or try the Outdoor Swimming Society? I’m sorry I can’t help more. Good luck!


  7. Hi!

    First of all; great spirit you have 🙂 This summer I want to bike-hike through Scotland for a couple of weeks. I love encountering a lake or a stream or whatever and go for a swim. I was wondering what temperatures I can expect in August/September in the Highland waters? Is it doable for someone who is not as brave as you? I have swum in the sea somewhere in Wales which I suppose could not have been much more than 12-13C, and that felt alright after the initial shock.




  8. Hi and thanks for your comment. Of course it is doable! In summer the lochs are usually warmer than the sea. In winter, it’s the opposite! Just now the sea is about 14 degrees, sometimes warmer at high tide on sunny days. In August and September the sea is at its warmest, so you’ll be just fine. But watch out for stinging jellyfish! The key is to withstand the initial shock for about 2 minutes, and after that it becomes really enjoyable. Have a great time!


  9. Thanks so much! Booked my tickets today, will be roaming your country 17th August-13th September!


  10. I am so glad I have found this blog – wonderful writing and photos. Even more happy that I have had the pleasure to meet some of you


  11. Hello. I love this blog! It’s totally inspired me to get back in the water… whatever the weather. On another note, I wondered if you’d be interested in doing a feature about wild swimming for a website I edit? If you’re interested, could you email me at eve@westcoasting.co.uk. Thanks!


  12. Hello – I’m working on a national swimming project at the moment and would like to chat – what’s the best way to get in touch?


  13. Just love it, Iona. Beautifully laid out. Would like to start my own blog, but only if it’s as good looking as yours.


  14. Thank you! Why not start your own blog then? – it’s really not that hard and there are some lovely templates on WordPress. Go on, give it a go!


  15. Hi, a very inspiring blog. I Live on Iona and would love to swim with you guys. I tend to swim in the summer, not many people want to get out in the waters here in the winter. Maybe you could email me? sheelagh.dornan@gmail.com. Look forward to hearing from you, Sheelagh


    • Hi Sheelagh, hope you got my email reply (though I’ve not heard from you…) so I shall send it again.


  16. Hi! My name is Liza, I am working for a film production company and we are planning to make a short documentary about swimming in Loch Awe. I would appreciate a lot if you could share some knowledge and experience of swimming in Loch Awe, please! Drop me an email on yevtukhova@gmail.com or leave your email/phone and I will get in touch with you! Thank You in advance 🙂


  17. Can you recommend any outdoor/wild swimming clubs in Edinburgh? Thank you


    • I will ask around and let you know!


    • I only know of the Wild Ones who meet at Portobello….


  18. Hey! So glad I found your blog 🙂 I’m a wild swimming virgin (other than bobbing about in the waves in Spain and Devon) but given that we’re heading to Mull and Skye in a few weeks and Loch Ainort is literally at the bottom of our garden on Skye I really, Really, REALLY want to do it. My hubby is paranoid that I’m going to be swept out to sea or eaten by something but pish and posh to that, I’m not going to go far on my first go! Any summertime recommendations for a first timer, in Scotland, in summer?


  19. Hi, I’d really like to join a wild swimming group in the Glasgow area, could you please advise me on how to go about it?


    • Try the Wild West Swimmers on Facebook?


    • Or wildswimming.co.uk/places/local-groups


    • Hi Mairead, have you found any groups?


  20. Hi, This is a great blog and has really inspired me to find out more about open water swimming.

    I’d like to try it out and don’t want to go on my own for safety reasons and wondered if you knew of a group where beginners would be welcome? Thanks, Irene


  21. I’ve just seen your last post so will try there!


  22. Just read about your cake sharing in The Independent. I’m assuming you are ‘wilder swimmer, Iona’. Ross’s story is a good one, even though I cannot understand why you’d want to. Perhaps that should be rephrased as “I can understand what I’d not want to’. Hope all well up your way and hope to see you sometime.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Thanks so much for telling me! It’s a superhuman effort by Ross who, by the way, is a super-nice chap. It was fun to meet him and his crew and to have them pass right by our little patch. All well here though my mum (the swift swimmer) sadly isn’t able to swim any more. But we did have a fab two week non stop sunshine holiday on Colonsay which she enjoyed and we used her beach wheelchair for the first time. Thanks again 👍😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • Was it today’s paper?


      • Yesterday’s Independent


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