The 5 best winter swim challenges 2022/23

This winter, there are a whole host of winter swim challenges on offer to suit everyone, whether you are a beginner outdoor swimmer contemplating your first winter swimming season or a more experienced ice swimmer thinking of taking on an ice mile.  We have taken our pick of 5 of the best winter challenges. Be quick though, some of the entries close on 31st October 2022.  

1. Chilly Challenge by Immerse Hebrides

Hosted by Immerse Hebrides, the Chilly Challenge is a virtual swim challenge for anyone based in the Northern Hemisphere. 50% of the profits go towards the Western Isles Cancer Care Initiative.

When: 1st November 2022 - 28th February 2023
What: Choice of 5 distances ranging from 5km to 50km, wetsuited or non-wetsuited. The entry fee is £20 and a fabric patch is issued on completion. Closing date for entries 31st October 2022.

For further details click here.

2. Frostbite with Wiltshire Wild Swim

This fun challenge was the brainchild of Wiltshire Wild Swim member Julie. Into it's third year now, this challenge is perfect for anyone thinking of taking their first winter dips with little pressure and lots of fun along the way. The challenge raises funds for Cancer and Leukaemia in Childhood and the Teenage Cancer Trust.

The challenge: 12 outdoor swims of any distance submerged over the shoulders. At least one swim needs to be completed per month in wetsuits or skins. If you are in the South West of England, several Frostbit meet ups happen during the challenge. The entry fee is £15 and you receive a cloth badge on completion.
When: 1st November 2022 - 28th February 2023. 

For further details and a registration form email

3. Polar bear challenge

One of the longest and toughest winter swim challenges founded by Pauline 'Mama bear' Barker. A reward of a certificate, cloth badge and medal are provided on completion.

The challenge: A set number of swims and distances outdoors over the winter under rules of the International Ice Swimming Association and the Channel Swimming & Piloting Federation i.e. Swimsuit, single swim hat, goggles (nose clips and earplugs if required).
When: 1st November to 31st March

For further details click here

4. Penguin challenge

The more relaxed sibling of the Polar Bear Challenge allowing you to wear whatever you like including wetsuits, gloves, boots.

For further details click here

5. Awaken Your Blue Mind with Blue Tonic

If you aren't feeling ready to start swimming through the winter, this challenge has 60 ideas of activities to complete on or near the water. The challenge has been created by Bluetonic and Rachel Andrews (You Tube channel Everyday Athlete Rach) and aims to get people into blue spaces for the positive effect that being around water can have on our health and wellbeing.

The challenge: There are 60 activities to choose from that anyone can do by water - no matter how busy, unfit, or short of money. A journal is included to record your challenges and reflections.  There is opportunity to access communities of like-minded people via Facebook. If you enter the challenge and pay £5 you receive a sew on badge at the end.
When: October 30th and Sunday 26th March - participants able to join at any time.

To find out more go to the Bluetonic website or watch a video explaining the details

Please note: Your decision to take part in a winter swim challenge is taken at your own risk.  We advise you to carefully consider the level of challenge you wish to take part in with regards to your outdoor swimming experience and health status. Taking time to read up on winter swimming safety is advised.