Cold water swimming

I’ve seen a lot lately about the benefits of wild swimming or cold water swimming outside all year round. “Cold water therapy”, including year-round sea swimming, recently featured in the BBC’s “Easy Ways to Live Well”, with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall taking a dip in the sea. Apparently there are benefits for physical and mental health, particularly dealing with stress.

Here in Cornwall there are people who swim in the sea all year. Even on the coldest day, if I walk on the beach I will usually see surfers, paddle boarders or kayakers in the water. A friend has recently started a weekly dip in the sea with the Bluetits Chill Swimmers group, just down the coast in Newquay.

Bude has its own beautiful Sea Pool on Summerleaze beach where you can try cold water swimming even if the sea is rough. You often see groups of swimmers there all year round. Some wear wetsuits, others just a swimming costume. I love the sea pool and in winter on a calm day it looks very inviting. I haven’t braved it yet though between September and March – maybe this will be the year!

Jumping into the sea pool in Bude
Bude’s Sea Pool
Bude's sea pool on a sunny January day
Bude Sea Pool in the January sunshine
Swimmers in Bude Sea Pool in January 2020
Locals swim in Bude Sea Pool all year round – this was January 2020.

Bude also has an annual Christmas Day swim from Crooklets Beach when lots of people run into the sea – and usually straight out again, screaming. This must be a good way of working up an appetite for that Christmas dinner.

Bude’s Sea Pool is just 10 minutes away from our cottages. Even better, you can always warm up in the hot tub afterwards. Or perhaps curl up in front of a wood burner with a hot chocolate to recover.

Spring is on the way!

We are past the end of January now and Spring is on the way after a very wet and windy winter. The spring flowers and blossom are starting to appear.

Snowdrops, some of the first spring flowers
Snowdrops in the garden
Early blossom on the tree in our entrance
We have had daffodils since 10 January this year and the blossom on the tree at the entrace was in bud before the end of the month too. 

Sunsets and sunrises

January highlights included some spectacular sunrises and we went to Widemouth Bay a few times to watch the sun setting over the Atlantic. Widemouth is just 10 minutes away in the car and the sunsets are spectacular. This is the only positive about shorter days!

Amazing colours in the sky at sunrise
The beautiful colours of a January sunrise
The sun setting over the Atlantic at Widemouth Bay
A January sunset at Widemouth Bay.
Sunset at Widemouth Bay
Widemouth Bay at sunset

The Eden Project

We fitted in a visit to the Eden Project too. We like to go in the winter while the ice rink is open, usually from October to February when it’s not too busy. The ice rink is great fun and afterwards you can warm up exploring the rainforest and the rope bridges in the tropical biome. The tropical flowers were beautiful this year and we saw pineapples and bananas growing. We also enjoyed a visit to the Mediterranean Biome, where we saw citrus trees. A real contrast to the bare branches and Spring flowers outside.

This year we took three teens and an 8 year old and we all enjoyed the afternoon. It is about an hour’s drive from our cottages. We always enjoy ourselves at the Eden Project – well worth a visit. It is not a cheap day out, but tickets are valid for 12 months (if you buy them as a donation) so you can always visit again if you are coming back to Cornwall. Buy online in advance for a cheaper rate. You can take a picnic which you can eat inside or outside, or you can buy food there, ranging from pasties and sandwiches to a full meal. Dogs are welcome, but not in the biomes.

Ice skating at the Eden Project's ice rink
The ice rink at the Eden Project – usually open October to February each year.
A tree orchid in the tropical biome at the Eden Project
An orchid in the tropical biome at the Eden Project
A beautiful pink Torch Ginger flower in the tropical biome at the Eden Project
A Torch Ginger flower in the tropical biome at the Eden Project. The torch ginger plant grows in southeast Asia.
A pineapple growing in the tropical biome at the Eden Project
A pineapple growing in the tropical biome

We have availability for short breaks and longer stays in our cottages until the beginning of April. We open our outdoor pool for the school Easter holidays on 3 April and we have some cottages available if you would like to get away then for a break with friends or family. Check availability here or drop us an email at enquiries@hiltonfarmholidays.co.uk for more information.