Curglaff: The shock felt in bathing when one first plunges into the cold water— John Jamieson’s Etymological Scottish Dictionary, 1808
Cold water swimming is not only – forgive the understatement – invigorating. It can also be really good for you, and the Scarlet’s freshwater outdoor pool is the perfect spot to take the plunge, if you dare.
Studies show that swimming in cold water can boost metabolism, improve blood circulation, improve skin tone, release endorphins and even help you sleep. There’s a wonderful all-natural high that goes with a cold water swim – an all-embracing sense of wellbeing that can become addictive.
It’s because immersing yourself in stingingly cold water will get your feel good endorphins flowing in order to relieve the burning sensation on your skin.
The cold will also stimulate your parasympathetic system, which is responsible for rest and repair, and this can trigger the release of dopamine and serotonin. These neurotransmitters are a vital part of keeping us happy and low levels of them are linked with depression. Couple this effect with the endorphin rush as you take the plunge and it should make for a warm glow and a wide smile when you re-emerge.
What actually qualifies as a cold water swim? For most, it’s a dip in water under 15°C without a wetsuit. Tougher nuts consider 10°C the cut off, while the hardiest cold water enthusiasts only truck with an invigorating 4.4°C or below.
Here at the Scarlet, our beautiful freshwater, reed-filtered outdoor pool tends to hover around the 22°C mark in summer – making it the idea place to start your new cold water habit.
At this time of the year, the temperature plummets to a bracing 7°C, but you’ll see guests and members of our team enjoying the occasional plunge right through the year.
Here are some of our favourite photos of past guests braving a dip in our freshwater outdoor pool.