It’s nearly that time of year again. Christmas lights are going up, winter coats are being donned, people are jumping into the icy waters of Parliament Hill Lido – wait, what? Yep, you read that right.
On Saturday December 7, the Outdoor Swimming Society December Dip is taking place for the seventh time, giving hundreds of courageous Londoners the opportunity to improve their circulation and strengthen their immune system. With previous water temperatures ranging from six to 0.1 degrees, dippers can be pretty certain that whatever the thermometer says, it’s definitely going to be chilly!
After taking the plunge, swimmers can get stuck into some festive snacks and warming tipples, and pick up their very own ‘December Dip’ swimming hats. The soundtrack to the event will be provided by the North London Brass Band, while poet Richard Scott will be writing couplets and haikus about the swim, to replace photos and film. There’s also a ‘Best Dressed Dipper’ competition.
Taking it to the next level are the ‘Arctic Adventurers’, who brave the water for two full lengths of the Lido. That’s 120 metres of near freezing water. To become an ‘Arctic Adventurer’ you must sign up in advance as the swim is by invitation only.
If braving it in freezing temperatures isn’t your thing, the OSS provides info on heaps of other swims occurring at more inviting times of year. You can sign up on their website to receive a monthly newsletter, details of free social swims nationwide and to be privy to an online swimming map.
The December Dip is taking place on Saturday December 7, 11am-1pm at Parliament Hill Lido, NW5 1LP. You can buy tickets online for £15. Spectators are welcome for a £1 donation.