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"Fenwick Ridley's Unforgettable Outdoor Swimming Adventure with Robson Green and Angela Lonsdale on BBC 2's Weekend Escapes"

Robson Green at H2oTrails in Sweethope Lough with Fenwick Ridley
Fenwick Ridley and Robson Green

Join me, Fenwick Ridley, on an extraordinary outdoor swimming escapade featured on BBC 2's popular TV series, Robson Green's Weekend Escapes. In a memorable episode, I had the pleasure of guiding Robson Green and Angela Lonsdale from Coronation Street on an exhilarating outdoor swimming experience at the picturesque H2oTrails venue located at Sweethope Lough.

About H2oTrails and Sweethope Lough:

H2oTrails is my passion project, and Sweethope Lough serves as the perfect backdrop for a one-of-a-kind outdoor swimming adventure. Nestled in breath taking surroundings, Sweethope Lough provides a serene and natural setting for those seeking an immersive and refreshing outdoor experience. We are incredibly lucky to have this special place in Northumberland.

And here at H2oTrails we provide top quality lifeguarded swim sessions and coaching for kids and adults Outdoor Swimming and paddle boarding. Not forgetting that we also run winter swimming and high quality workshops to help teach about cold water with expert TeamGB Ice swimmer Fenwick Ridley aka GB Ice Viking (True Northumbrian)

The BBC 2 Episode: In the featured Weekend Escapes episode, Robson Green, with his outdoor swimming experience, was in his zone, while Angela Lonsdale candidly expressed her nervousness. However, with a careful and professional touch, I, Fenwick Ridley, provided coaching to ease Angela into the water. Thanks to the shallow sandy floor at Sweethope Lough, what started as apprehension turned into big smiles and a buzz of delight as Angela realized just how invigorating and enjoyable outdoor swimming could be.

Taking BBC2 weekend escapes outdoor swimming with H2oTrails at Sweethope Lough
Fenwick Ridley taking Robson Green And Angela Lonsdale

Why Outdoor Swimming?

Discover the benefits of outdoor swimming and why it has become a favorite activity for enthusiasts like Robson Green and Angela Lonsdale. From the physical health benefits to the mental rejuvenation that comes from embracing nature, outdoor swimming at Sweethope Lough offers a unique and holistic experience.

Join the Adventure: Are you inspired by the Weekend Escapes episode and eager to embark on your own outdoor swimming journey? H2oTrails invites you to join the adventure at Sweethope Lough. To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, we require participants to sign up as members on our website at Please provide all requested information, especially details about your swimming experience, as this helps us determine whether a guided 1:1 lesson is necessary.

Membership Benefits:

  • Access to exclusive outdoor swimming events and experiences.

  • Regular updates on upcoming activities and adventures.

  • Priority booking for guided 1:1 lessons based on your experience level.

Sweethope Lough Guidelines:

Sweethope Lough is a private lake venue, and we kindly request that visitors do not turn up without signing up as members first. Due to limited parking availability, signing up allows us to manage the number of participants effectively. Additionally, please note that Sweethope Lough is not a public picnic area. We appreciate your cooperation in maintaining the tranquility and exclusivity of this unique outdoor swimming location.

Connect with Fenwick Ridley:

As the founder of H2oTrails and the host of this memorable Weekend Escapes episode, I invite you to connect with me, Fenwick Ridley. Follow my outdoor adventures, sign up for membership on our website, and join me in embracing the beauty of Sweethope Lough and the joy of outdoor swimming. Your next unforgettable experience awaits!

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the importance of hydration often takes a backseat for a lot of people but not on purpose for most.

However, the relationship between hydration and our body's thermal regulation in water is a critical factor that can significantly affect our ability to rewarm, adapt, signal and more.

In this blog, im going into the reasons why staying hydrated is super doopa paramount for maintaining an efficient thermal balance for winter swimming and how dehydration can impede the rewarming process and more.

I get alot of people asking me about why is it I took ages to re-warm today ?

Majority of the time its to do with the small but big factors,

Think - F. R. E. S. H

winter swimming and hydration
GB Ice Viking / Fenwick Ridley



Food- being aware of the need in fuel to burn, as we burn so much during and after.

Hydration - The ultimate tool to so much of the whole process including strength in thermal regulation.

Sleep - we need to be on good form/alertness and ready for the mammoth of energy used.

Stress - being aware that if you have been somewhat stressed it will impact your energy for all the processes

It's all energy

So if energy or fuel or hydration is down, you can be sure to be told by the cold.

As it requires levels to be fairly good.

OK lets focus a little more on Hydration for now.

Thermal Regulation in Cold Water:

*A Delicate Balance*

Our bodies are finely tuned machines, constantly striving to maintain an internal temperature within a narrow range for optimal function. When immersed in water, the challenges to this thermal balance increase, as water conducts heat more efficiently than air. To counteract this, our bodies engage in complex thermoregulatory processes to preserve heat, and hydration plays a key role in supporting these mechanisms.

The Role of Hydration in Thermal Regulation: A Deeper Dive

Sweating and Evaporation:

  • Hydration facilitates the body's ability to sweat, a crucial mechanism for cooling down during physical exertion, including water activities.

  • Sweating in water relies on the evaporation of sweat from the skin's surface. Proper hydration ensures an adequate supply of sweat to enhance this cooling process.

Blood Circulation and Heat Distribution:

  • Dehydration leads to a decrease in blood volume, affecting the body's ability to circulate blood efficiently.

  • Efficient blood circulation is vital for distributing heat throughout the body, especially in water where the thermal gradient is more pronounced.

  • we basically have a large change in blood pressure and being hydrated is one of the main tools to allow this to work

Metabolic Rate and Energy Expenditure:

  • Hydrated individuals maintain a more stable metabolic rate, which influences the body's heat production.

  • Adequate hydration supports the body's energy expenditure, contributing to maintaining a balanced internal temperature.

The Link Between Hydration and Rewarming: Unveiling the Effects of Dehydration

Slower Rewarming:

  • Dehydration hampers the body's ability to generate and retain heat, leading to a slower rewarming process.

  • In colder water, this delay in rewarming can increase the risk of hypothermia and other cold-related conditions.

Increased Vulnerability to Cold Stress:

  • Dehydrated individuals are more susceptible to cold stress, as the body struggles to conserve and distribute heat effectively.

  • Prolonged exposure to cold water without adequate hydration can result in a compromised rewarming response.

Think of how you cool and how the body continues to cool when we exit the water and then as we manage our selves properly and wrap up after drying the skin we start curve up on a scale just like the letter U, COOLING then that change in temp is that curve at the bottom. BUT if someone is lacking fuel or low on hydration that curve becomes wider.

Practical Tips for Staying Hydrated in Water:

  1. Pre-Hydration:

    • Ensure you are adequately hydrated before engaging in water activities.

    • This is best to get on to of 2 days prior

  2. Regular Fluid Intake:

    • Consume fluids regularly, even if you may not feel thirsty while in water.

  3. Rehydration Post-Activity:

    • Replenish fluids lost during water activities through post-activity rehydration.

BUT - Also remember that we need to look at replenishing the correct salts also (electrolytes)

Maybe another blog on the salts and effects but also the differences of juice and good drinks to help hydration ?

Take away tip - coconut water is amazing for hydration (one of the best)

So, the next time you embrace the water, remember that staying hydrated isn't just about quenching your thirst—it's about safeguarding your body's intricate balance in the aquatic realm.

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It's super hard seeing people I care about and look after at H2oTrails taking swims in flood water saying ahhhh I have to get my Dip in.

Honestly the risks on flood water is and can change your life for the worst.

Of course I'll point out at H2oTrails we have a swim venue that is an inland lake but we also do have times we can't swim. And when you can't get to our place, please do just hang on and we will open ASAP but your safety and health is always top priority. Don't feel forced then to opt for a raging Flooded river.

The ones that gets me is bacteria and chemicals off farm land and roads, bacteria and sewage from drains bursting and offsets from pipes holding s#^%

I know of a few people I have swam with in the past that have become super ill from the river and we did tests and ended up reporting but nothing ever came of it as if it just got ignored.

why risk ?

why is it more important?


iIf the level is higher then normal and especially brown or even light brown DONT GO IN.

Some packages you can get :




Hep A

Chemicals (farm) ingesting

Swimming in floodwater is hazardous for several reasons:

1. **Contaminants:** Floodwaters often contain pollutants, sewage, and other harmful substances. Exposure to these contaminants can lead to infections, illnesses, or skin problems.

2. **Fast Flowing Water:** Floodwaters can have strong currents, debris, and hidden hazards. Swimming in these conditions increases the risk of being swept away, injured, or trapped.

3. **Waterborne Diseases:** Floodwaters may be contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and parasites, posing a significant risk of waterborne diseases. Ingesting or coming into contact with contaminated water can lead to serious health issues.

4. **Objects and Debris:** Floodwaters can carry debris such as branches, sharp objects, and even dangerous animals. Swimming in such water increases the likelihood of injuries from collisions with submerged or floating objects.

5. **Unseen Hazards:** Flooded areas may hide submergend hazards, like open manholes, submerged vehicles, or uneven terrain. These hidden dangers can lead to accidents and injuries.

Overall, swimming in floodwaters is strongly discouraged due to the numerous health and safety risks associated with contaminated and unpredictable conditions.

110% not worth it.

Stay safe 🙏

Fenwick Ridley

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