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Christmas Presents

PARK LIFE

Jonathan Cowie heads to central London’s Hyde Park, where thousands took to the open water for the inaugural Swim Serpentine

If you apply the house-buying adage “location, location, location” to open water racing, then aquatic real estate doesn’t get more premium than the Serpentine lake in London’s Hyde Park. Home not only to one of the country’s oldest outdoor swimming clubs, the lake was also the venue for the open water marathon at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Its setting, slap-bang in one of London’s most beautiful parks, also makes it a pretty special and appealing swimming venue.

The inaugural Swim Serpentine festival took place over two days in September: the action was split between a mass participation one-mile swim on the Saturday and the British Open Water Championships on the Sunday, featuring para, elite and age group races.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

Outdoor swimming is not just about sport. It is about being part of a community, about fun and challenge, travel and escape from the day-to-day grind. It is about the thrill of feeling alive. It is being sat at your desk and dreaming of next weekend’s swimming adventure. If you find it hard to keep the thrill going through the dark days of winter, we’ve got 12 ways to help keep you motivated, including six top tips for cold water swimming. If you need something to look forward to, check out our Travel and Events sections for races and holiday destinations for summer 2017. Elsewhere in the magazine we hear from the Wild Swimming Brothers about their trip to Norway to tackle the world’s biggest whirlpools, and the truly inspirational Sarah Thomas talks to us about her mammoth 80-mile swim in Lake Powell. Enjoy the magazine and happy swimming.
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