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Rothay Cold Water Swimming Retreat

March 1 - March 3

Ambleside’s boutique hotel in the heart of the Lake District – Rothay Manor – is launching a series of new cold water swimming retreats this winter, focusing on mental and physical well-being. Guests will immerse themselves in some of the UK’s most beautiful bodies of water – learning how to safely acclimatise mind and body to the cold temperatures, teamed with a pop-up cinema, complimenting the retreat activities.

The new retreat, taking place on the  1st – 3rd March 2024, is collaboratively hosted by three esteemed cold-water experts: Jonathan Cowie, Gilly McArthur, and Vicki McCreadie. All trained as STA Level 2 Open Water Swim Coaches, and each with their own cold water swimming expertise.

Set at Rothay Manor – this is the place for culinary excellence, beautiful interiors, and endless landscapes to explore right from the doorstep.


o Meet the experts – welcome drink, nibbles round the fire and an introduction into cold-water swimming.

o Guided cold water swim in Loughrigg Tarn, with views of the majestic Langdale Pikes beyond.

o Guided afternoon woodland walk and a cold-water swim in Rydal water with the opportunity to explore Rydal caves and swim beneath the waterfalls.

o Take a dip in the one-mile Grasmere Lake – a favourite spot of poet William Wordworth

o Pop-up Rothay Manor cinema, with complimentary popcorn, screening a selection of inspiring cold-water films.

Jonathan Cowie, contributing editor of Outdoor Swimmer magazine, co-founded Blue Mind Men, a men’s cold water swim club in Windermere, and The Swimmer, a half-marathon with four cold water swims through London. Over the past 15 years, Jonathan has competed in marathon swims and winter swimming competitions around the world. He regularly coaches with double world champion and Olympic open water silver medallist Keri-Anne Payne and is recognised as a leader in the field of all things outdoor swimming.

Gilly McArthur is an Open Water Coach, Lifeguard and has worked professionally in the outdoor industry for over 20 years. She is the co-founder of Blue Mind Swim, a group which offers a free introduction to open water swimming in the Lake District, and is part of Wonderful Wild Women, a community that aims to inspire women of all ages to get active outdoors.

Vicki McCreadie is trained as an Open Water Coach, Lifeguard, Mountain Leader, Outdoor Education Instructor and is part of the Wonderful Wild Women team. With over ten years of working professionally in the outdoors, the Lake District is Vicki’s playground, home, and office. She is passionate about making the outdoors more accessible for people of all backgrounds. Vicki has worked with children and adults throughout her career and with mental health charities, introducing people to the health benefits of outdoor swimming.


March 1

March 3


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Rothay Manor

Borrans Rd


LA22 0EH

United Kingdom

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