Friday 2 June 2023

Fave Friday

Five swims from May

1. Turkish Baths, Harrogate

I was in Harrogate for a conference this month and extended my stay by a night so I could visit the baths and do some other northern things on the Sunday. The Turkish bath was not so much a swim spot as a series of increasingly warm rooms, a steam room that was so hot I couldn't manage more than a minute or two, a welcome cold plunge pool and a warm room for resting in. I love a spa. I wish there was a place like this locally.

Pictures not allowed of course. I found this one online. Probably. Look how gorgeous! Definitely go and visit if you're in the area. 

2. Janet's Foss

This was one of the northern things on my list to do from Harrogate (the other being Hardwick Hall) and I executed my plan perfectly. There's something deeply satisfying about pulling off a full sequence of adulting: an early night, an early start, a short walk in the sun, a splash in a fairy pool and back on the road by 11am with an ice cream and a coffee. The women who sharked my parking space were astonished I was leaving so early but I'd arrived before 9am. 

Janet's Foss is a short (20ish minutes) walk from the Malham car park, across flat ground. It is much beloved of a wild swimming Facebook group I joined a couple of years ago and I couldn't pass up the opportunity upon realising it was only an hour's drive from Harrogate. 

It looks like I had it to myself; when I arrived there were only a few hikers around and I was quite nervous about getting in, but then a family arrived and were most encouraging, followed by a dozen women who began changing, so I got in quick so I could have it to myself. Cold, but magical. Sadly no sign of the fairy queen.

Swimsuit by Batoko. I couldn't decide on a design and then they released the otters and it was a done deal.

3. Bristol Harbour

There's no legal swimming in Bristol harbour and, let's face it, it's not the cleanest place you'll ever go, but when I heard there was a swim pilot I booked myself in. It was an epic place for a dip and, as soon as I got out, I booked in for the following Saturday. The water was very clear, if a little brown. 

4. Cromhall Quarry

There were four Cromhall swims in May, bringing my total to six for the year so far. I feel a bit guilty only listing this as one favourite swim for this month as it is always a nice spot, but it was a crowded swim month. The last of the month was sunny and, while the water isn't quite yet something I'd leap into without fear of a heart attack, it was quite pleasant in just a swimsuit, particularly with the good company of my friend Rachael and with a hearty breakfast afterwards.

5. River Avon

Busted - this wasn't a swim. It was more of a wade, followed by a long paddle. This was my first trip out in the kayak of 2023. 

Definitely not the last!

No comments: