The Ice Viking

Fenwick Ridley is a titan. A Team GB Ice swimmer. An entrepreneur. A master of his mind and a lover of the ice. As he describes it, his body is “built for the cold”.

It all began after a 10km swim in the pool when his swimming coach told him to take his talent to the open water. So he did, and he was instantly hooked. As the winter months drew in, he continued to swim in lakes and rivers where he’d often be the only one in the water. The cold hurt at first, but his body adapted quickly, and he knew this was what he was made for.

But the Ice Viking hasn’t always been so strong. He knows that cold water offers up a huge challenge but understands the powerful changes up for grabs when you leave the water. He struggles with anxiety and ADHD, and they can turn his mind to chaos. For Fenwick, cold water is also a reset button. And when he dips it feels like his body has “walked into a new room with less clutter”.

Now, the lake is his office. His business, H2O Trails invites people of all abilities to a peaceful lake at the top of Northumberland where he teaches open-water swimming. He’s a huge advocate for the benefits of swimming in the wild where a sense of adventure takes hold. Invigorating in all seasons, Fenwick prefers the cold and he’s sharing its power with as many people as possible.

The cold is my teacher series follows 12 amazing individuals and groups of fascinating people up and down the UK whose love of cold water has brought them together and inspired these incredible stories.
Continue exploring these fascinating stories below:

Queen of the Cold

We all need a Jules King in our lives. A woman whose glass isn’t just full, it overflows with positivity. Determined. Life-affirming. Inspirational. A woman who overcomes so much every day to achieve the most simple things we can sometimes take for granted. 

Queen of the Cold Queen of the Cold

The Dales Dipper

Les Peebles is a wild swimming guide and the proud founder of a 14,000-strong community called The Dales Dippers. But that wasn’t always the case. Les used to be a joiner and a painter. He wasn’t particularly depressed or stressed in life but he felt something was missing.

The Dales Dipper The Dales Dipper

The Bluetits

“It’s much more difficult to do something that scares you when you’re alone. But when you have a community of people around you, it gets a little more comfortable for your brain to do whatever it is.” That’s how Sian Richardson, founder of The Bluetits, describes the wild swimming phenomenon she set up over 10 years ago.

The Bluetits The Bluetits

Multiple sources now prove that a practice of cold water therapy is unequivocally good for us. Here's your free guide why and how to get yours!