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Wild Swimming in Winter: The Loony Dook

Have you heard of the Loony Dook? It’s now a celebrated tradition in Scotland, having been popularised in the 1980s at Queensferry in Edinburgh. On New Year’s Day, hundreds of people flock to icy waters across the country to ring in the new year with a session of wild swimming. 

At Taymouth Marina, we host our own Loony Dook event, designed to encourage our guests and visitors to try a bit of Scottish wild swimming for themselves. If you’ve stayed at Taymouth Marina or visited our HotBox spa, you’ll know that we we’re all about promoting wellness and embracing the natural outdoors. 

At our HotBox spa, we encourage our guests to embrace the hot/cold/relax cycle:


Take a seat in our tiled steam room, and inhale the warming air, scented with Eucalyptus essential oil, which has a refreshing, almost minty aroma. Eucalyptus has been used historically to treat respiratory ailments.


Then, take the plunge! Head over to our spa’s lochside slide, and dive feet first into the icy waters of Loch Tay for instant refreshment. If you’re feeling adventurous, stick around for a spot of wild swimming for further rejuvenation. 


Finally, enjoy the gentle bubbles of the heated outdoor giant hot bath and head for a restful session in our toasty glass-panelled sauna with panoramic views out over the loch. 

We’ll be serving delicious bowls of chilli during our Loony Dook event – warm up next to our cosy firepit and celebrate the new year in style!

Why wild swimming?

Wild swimming has a number of benefits and is practiced by many people across Scotland, the UK and beyond. 

Health benefits

Wild swimming, particularly during winter months, can be seen as a natural alternative to cryotherapy, which is a technique where the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures for several minutes. 

Wild swimming can also be used as a form of hydrotherapy – where water is used to ease pain and improve physical wellbeing. Many people attribute improvements in their health to wild swimming. They explain how the cold conditions have helped to reduce their chronic pain and make their bodies more resilient.

Connecting with nature 

Wild swimming also supports connection with nature. Too many of us are cooped up indoors, especially during the winter months, which is not good for our health. 

It’s no secret that getting outdoors can help to promote physical and mental health – this awe-inspiring activity can help wild swimmers to connect both with themselves and nature, to restore internal balance. 

Try it for yourself

Fancy giving wild swimming a go? There is no better time to try than on the 1st of January in Scotland, when loads of people will be diving in with you!

Taymouth Marina is a pretty spectacular spot for your first Loony Dook – Loch Tay is simply dazzling at this time of year, and you’ll be able to stare up at the surrounding Munros. 

We’ll be hosting three sessions throughout the day, all of which include access to our HotBox spa facilities, a revitalising trip down the slide, time for wild swimming, and a warming bowl of delicious chilli after your trip. 

Our Loony Dook event costs £30 per person, with spaces limited to 30 people per time slot. 

We have slots available at 10am, 12.30pm and 3pm – book now to avoid disappointment! Book by calling 01887 830216.  

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