In January 2020 Lewis Pugh, an endurance swimmer and UN Patron of the Oceans, swam in the melting Antarctic ice. To train for this feat he came to Reef Beach.
To train for the brutally cold endeavour he could have chosen anywhere in the world –Norway or Iceland etc. He chose the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides.
He trained twice a day on the island. Each day he would post details of his training swims on social media and invite anyone to come and join him.
Initially he was based on the west side of the island. Its a great location for swimming. Some of the beaches are stunning. Especially when the weather is good.
Occasionally the weather is bad…very bad. In England, during bad weather, the MET office might issue a “danger to life” warning. In Lewis, during bad weather, you just get on with it. As my Dad said whenever I complained about the weather – it is only a bit of wind and rain.
The stunning views and bad weather makes Lewis the perfect place to train. if you can swim here you can swim anywhere!
Ease of Access:
Uig is 60 minutes from Stornoway. There is a parking spot beside the beach. It is a 5 minute walk from there to the sea.
The water quality is crustal clear and perfect for swimming.
Cold. In December the temperature was 7C. The beach is 1km long. I did a length of the beach and then jogged back.
Not a soul other than a few hard folk joining Lewis for a swim
Would I go back: Yes. Uig is a beautiful spot. When I was younger I hated coming here because the road to it was terrible. I would get car sick. Nowadays the road is much better!
Categories: Rugged Swim