Whatever the weather

One of the best things about outdoor swimming is beating the weather. Rain, wind, snow, sun, mist, hail; bring it on! But is there such thing as weather too inclement for swimming? And what's the outdoor swimmer's worst weather?

One of the purest pleasures of an open water swim is water is never the same twice. I've dipped in tarns where the water is thick and dark like swimming in liquid velvet, in cold quarries where the water is so fresh you can drink it, in grey opaque lakes, turquoise sea and bubbling rivers.

Clevedon Marine Lake is the place that I swim the most, and it proves that even the same body of water is never the same. Standing at the top of the steps, I always pause to take in that day's conditions. Sometimes it's still like glass, sometimes it churns around wildly. Sometimes it's deep blue, sometimes pale grey, sometimes brown. Sometimes it's crystal clear, and other times it's completely opaque.

Come sun, rain or snow

The weather plays a huge factor in swimming conditions, along with other factors like tides and currents. And most of the time, swimming is perfectly safe. It's worth knowing your body of water, though, and getting a bit of advice from local swimmers.