Sarah is one of those wonderfully generous and welcoming types who loves to bring people together, we were fortunate enough to be invited to many a summer evening's swim with a group of inspiring, like minded women. Each of us bringing a dish and something to drink and all sharing while chatting and basking in the buzz of our post dip euphoria. These summer dips became Autumn and Winter dips as our skin harden to the cold and it was here on the on the Winter solstice December 2020 that we brought along two different versions of our then unnamed fleece lined boiler suits to test "dive" in hugely adverse conditions. The bottomless lake at Elmore Court is very special to us and Sarah has now opened it up for the public to enjoy on pre bookable swim & sauna sessions ... with a slot on the yoga deck to boot of you're lucky!
Thanks for taking the time out of your busy swim season to chat Sarah, we would love to hear more about your journey and your business.....
Sarah Whewell, cold water swimmer and founder of The Rewild Swim Club.
The Rewild Swim Club offers weekly wellness swims, a waterside wooden deck to combine yoga and pilates with wild swimming and a wood fired sauna all set in the rewilding landscape of our family estate, Elmore Court.
I have been a wild swimmer all my life previously getting out the water by the end of October. One winter I continued to swim and friends asked to join. The power of swimming with other women provided a strength that was life changing. In 2020 the pandemic hit and pools closed. More friends asked to join and the Rewild Swim Club was born! Simultaneously, the Estate began its journey towards a conservation focus, designating 250 acres of land around the swimming lake for a rewilding project. We wanted to share this. Wild swimming is the ultimate connection to immersion in nature.
Do you have a daily wellbeing routine and of so what is it?
I wake up and journal, three pages of scribbling to begin the day. In the warmer months I swim daily, luxuriating in being able to cycle in just my Wylding suit though the rewilding area to the lake. I love swimming at dusk as the light goes. In winter I swim twice a week, ensuring I find time to light the wood fire stoves and drink hot tea for a post swim treat. I practice yoga and seem to be constantly walking the dog.
Why did you start cold water swimming?
I grew up wild swimming on our family estate www.wyresdalepark.co.uk and water has always been my peace and happiness. The winter I continued to swim I was having a difficult time. Swimming beneath old oak trees is a profound reminder of the timelessness of nature and that all things pass. Winter swimming also gave me something else a feeling of strength, that small act of bravery when you enter the icy water would stay with me throughout the day.
Can you recall your first memory off swimming? Please share.
I cannot remember not being able to swim! We spent our childhood in the lake, all summer long we were in the water. I have the most wonderful memories of swimming under the full moon, leaping with friends off trees.
What are your favourite swim spots?
Bottomless Pond as our children call the swimming lake on the Elmore Estate., Wyresdale Lake, Port Meadow in Oxford where we would moor boats and swim and Port Quinn in Cornwall.
What does the sisterhood mean to you?
I am blessed with the most wonderful group of friends, to support each other and celebrate life with. I would be nothing without the sisterhood. I really believe that women who wild swim all share the same strength, positivity and grace. It is a short cut to connection that I have not found through anything else. Its beauty is that it is often unsaid. There is a huge depth of friendship quickly forged by swimming in freezing fog in January. As you say on Wylding Wear "she who dares swims’.