Please read through the FAQ’s before contacting us with your question at the bottom of this page.

How do I join?

Check our schedule here and book your spot (our regular WSW sessions are FREE of charge).

Where do you run these sessions?

Currently, we have sessions in the NE of England & SW Scotland;

NE England – Sunderland, Tynemouth, Seaham, South Shields

  • Seaburn – Meet on the beach near Little Italy
  • Longsands, meet at Crusoes
  • Cullercoats Bay – Meet at the Boathouse
  • Seaham, meet at the slope down by the harbour
  • South Shields, meet at Trow Quarry Car park – just along from the (closed) Water’s Edge Pub
  • Cresswell Beach – meet in the public carpark opposite The Drift Cafe
  • Seaton Carew – meet near the crazy golf

SW Scotland

  • Ayr Beach – meet at the ramp opposite Ayr India
  • Irvine Beach – meet at the steps leading to the beach from the carpark
  • Prestwick Beach – meet on the ramp in front of Mancini’s Coffee Shop
  • West Kilbride – Meet at Hyndman Road Carpark

When do you run the sessions?

This depends on the area/city you are in. However, you can check  our timetable here.

Do I need a wetsuit

Wetsuits are also entirely optional. Although our group is more about experiencing the power and benefits of the cold, please wear what you’re most comfortable wearing.

What do I need to bring?

No need to purchase expensive gear especially if you’re trying for your first time – most are just extra little luxuries and very handy especially when you first start cold water swimming). However – we strongly advise you to invest in a Tow-Float.

  • Swimwear; costume, bikini, shorts and T-Shirt or a wetsuit
  • Dry/Tow Bag – these tie to your waist and are handy to keep your clothes/valuables in such as keys as well as keeping you safe.
  • Towel or Over head Robe (you’ll probably want to invest in one of these – you can use them to get changed under).
  • A large bag (Ikea bags are ideal)
  • warm clothes – plenty of loose layers
  • A warm hat (you can even wear this in the sea)
  • Hot Water Bottle (2 ideally to place under the arm pits).
  • A flask cup with a warm drink (avoid caffeine and alcohol)
  • Phone pouch, always have your phone with you in case of emergency

I have a serious health condition, can I still join?

We advise that you check with your GP as we unfortunately are unable to also provide guidance on certain health conditions.

Can I join if I'm pregnant?

Generally our advice is not to do cold exposure if you are pregnant, though there are mixed views on this, and is often dependent on whether your body is already conditioned to the cold. We advise you also check with your GP or Midwife before joining.

I'm not a good swimmer, can I still join?

Yes of course you can, we never recommend going out beyond the thighs (and just dipping under) but remember to invest in a Tow Float.

I hate the cold, do you have any tips?

By joining with our pre dip breathing, this will help relax your body and also your mind.  We will demonstrate the best way to breathe when going into the water to help keep you relaxed. Also, when first entering the water, enter very slowly and try splashing your face and neck with the water – this will give a good indication of how your body is going to respond to the cold.

Remember also, by doing something we’re not comfortable doing, we’re overriding our fight of flight response, leaving us with a strong sense of achievement as well as releasing good feeling hormones in the process.

You may just find that when you come up with other stressful situations in life, that you now have the ability to face them head on and in a more controlled way.

Will I get hypothermia?

Not if you condition your body and gradually build up your cold exposure time. We advise to never compete with others. Everyone’s body reacts differently to the cold.

How can I help condition my body to the cold before joining you all in the sea?

Take a cold shower at least 5 times per week, end your regular warm shower with a 30 second blast of cold water, week by week build up this time to 2-3 mins or longer. You could also build up your cold exposure time by simply going out on a colder day with fewer layers on, for example, if the weather is quite cold, try going for a 20 min walk in just a T-shirt (and of course something on the bottom half.)

I'm nervous about being with lots of people, any suggestions?

Everyone is very welcoming and everyone is there for their own reasons. While some come for the health benefits, some come for the social aspect and others come for the challenge. If you are feeling too anxious about joining the group then how about inviting a friend or family member? If this is not possible then email us and we’ll offer more advice.

I hate how my body looks but really want to join

Then come and join and we can assure you that you’ll soon feel at ease – no one cares about how anyone looks, we come in all shapes, colours, sizes and nationalities. You are welcome and accepted just as you are.

What are the benefits of going in the cold water?

So many to mention but here are a few;

  • Boosts the immune system.
  • Helps with weight loss.
  • Improves circulation.
  • Glowing hair and skin.
  • Clears and calms the mind.
  • Releases good feeling hormones.
  • Reduces muscle soreness post exercise.

I don't have a child minder, can I bring my child(ren)?

Yes, although this is a Women’s group, we want to make it accessible to all women and if this means you need to bringing your child along then this is absolutely fine as long as they are with you at all times.

I don't want to do the pre-dip breathing can I still join?

Of course you can, everything is optional, the pre dip session is there to take or leave.

Why do you do the pre dip breathing/Meditation?

Many women come along feeling anxious, not necessarily about going into the sea (though often about this) so the pre dip session is to help you relax, to bring your body from it’s fight or flight (Sympathetic Nervous System) state to a rest and digest (Parasympathetic Nervous System) state. Certain breathing techniques also activate the part of the brain which acts as a natural pain suppressant, meaning we feel the cold less.

Is there a right/wrong way to warm up?

In a nutshell, this is done by warming the body up slowing, so no cardio workouts after cold exposure as this puts too much pressure on the heart. Instead try squats or any slow movement exercises which works the thigh muscles.

You can also use the breath to warm your body back up, breathing techniques such as Breath of Fire which I demonstrate (in a fashion) here.

Avoid taking hot showers or baths after cold exposure, only take a warm bath or shower once the body has naturally warmed itself back up.

Can I stay in the water for longer if I feel fine when I'm in there?

We don’t recommend doing this, the challenge isn’t going in or staying in the cold water, but comes once we get out of the water when the blood vessels open back up, which can cause an after drop. This is when the cold blood from the extremities mixes with the warm blood in the core and can cause involuntary shivering of the body (which is the body’s automatic way of warming itself back up ). It is important to never over do it and to always warm up properly.

I can't make it to the group dips as I work on those days. Any tips for going alone?

We advise to NEVER dip or swim alone, always have someone with you or consider asking someone in the group if they’d be up for dipping at a time which suits you.

I'm going with friends, any advice on how we can know if it's safe to swim at our local beach?

  • Check tide times using My Tide Times App (ios/Samsung/web.)
  • Check the wave height for that day using the Magic Seaweed App (only available for beaches which are surf beaches.
  • If it’s the summer season then swim in yellow flag spot if your beach is life guard patrolled.
  • Check for rips and be aware that rips tend to have a stronger pull at low tide.
  • If caught in a rip, remember to never swim against it, instead swim parallel to the shore at a slight angle swimming back toward the shore.
  • Never swim too close to a pier or big rocks etc as there will be a rip tide here.
  • However tempting it may be, if the sea and it’s conditions look too rough then keep out. There’s always another day.
  • Read more about sea safety here.

Can men join Wild Sea Women?

We want everyone to be able to experience the benefits of the cold, however we only accept women.  Please check out the Iceguys group or also search for local mixed swim groups in your area.

I'd like to setup a WSW group at my local beach

  • If you would like to lead a Wild Sea Women group in your part of the world, you will need excellent knowledge of your local beach/lake/river (including safe entry and exit points as well as knowledge of the safest times to dip), the time to commit to leading a WSW session (either weekly or fortnightly), the ability to speak loudly in front of a large crowd and some experience of guiding the women through a short (5-10min) relaxing exercise such as breathwork, meditation, etc. Being a WSW Leader is more suited to ladies who are a trained instructors i.e. yoga/breathwork/meditation/dance etc. Email us for more info info@wildseawomen.com

    Wild Sea Women

    If you would like to get in touch about anything drop us an email.

    Office: Sunderland Software Centre, Tavistock Place, SR1 1PB

    Join Waitlist We will inform you when the product arrives in stock. Please leave your valid email address below.