Why I love a cold water swim despite hating getting wet or cold

Have you ever felt like your head was so fuzzy, so full of brain fog that you couldn’t focus, couldn’t make decisions? You started to worry… worrying about your memory loss, headaches, eyesight – worrying so much that it started to impact your sleep and then your energy level? 

Stress and anxiety can make it difficult to think clearly. We get brain fog. 

This was me for YEARS. 

Then a friend coaxed me into a cold water swim at the seaside at sunrise.  I love a sunrise, I just never thought I’d see it while in the water in the North Sea, in December!

But I went. 

We met at the hut, changing inside, getting bundled up into a towel and heading down to the sea.  When the cold hit my feet… woa, but I don’t want to chicken out. I had come so far, and I knew I’d kick myself if I didn’t do it. So I kept going…. 

Soon, I couldn’t feel my feet. It was cold. So cold… 

Laura continued to encourage me in. 

Goodness knows what expression was on on my face. 

I kept going. 

Splashing water on my legs on my chest on my arms, acclimating myself bit by bit as I stepped forward, the water rising up my legs.  Ohhh , 

it hit my crotch, then my belly 

Ho ho ho ho ho

My breathing intensifies and deepens

Oh my god. 

The cold water was high enough for me to immerse my body and get my feet off the ground… 

This is it. 





swoosh … the water hits my face and i close my eyes. 

I’m swimming. 

I turn onto my back, getting the full sun on my face. 


Holy **c* 

I’m in the water in December. It’s cold

But that’s not what I notice. 

I notice feeling alive.

I’ve got the biggest grin on my face


I’m awake! I’m alive. 

There’s no brain fog! 

I floated around for a few minutes. I think about 4. Then I was ready to get out. 

Walking out of the water

You start to feel the fire  on your skin. 

Then you wrap up

And made my way up to the hut, my lovely little red happy place, all cosy warm, with the oven on ready to bake some pastries. 

We change our clothes then relax with a cuppa. 

“You are nuts!”

That’s the most common thing I hear when people hear my story or see my photos of my early morning swims in the sea. 

I always say, I hate getting wet and getting cold, 

But I do it because of how it makes me feel. The pleasure i get from feeling ALIVE far outweighs the momentary discomfort from getting cold

Ask anyone who does open water swimming. They’ll have a similar story. No more brain fog. 

The benefits of cold water swimming are well researched and documented. 

In increases alertness British Journal of Sports Medicine

Strengthens the immune system  PLoS One

Boosts your mood Medical Hypotheses

Quicker cooling after sports Journal of Athletic Training

Improves physical recovery Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

Reduces pain  North American Journal of Medical Sciences

Join me for a cold water swim. You might just come alive, more alive that you ever thought you could  feel 

Sunrise Swim filled by breakfast in the hut.

How to Plan the Perfect Day at a Beach Hut

Planning is always key…even when going to the beach. There are lots of things that you need to think about so that you can have the perfect day! Here is a useful guide on how to plan the perfect day at a beach hut.

What to pack for the perfect day at a beach hut?

First things first it is important to know what to pack so that you are prepared for the perfect day. While the hut provides much of what you will need for the day, there are some things you may want to bring from home. 

  1. Food and drink
    Whether you are planning to bring all of your own food and have a special picnic or treat yourself and eat out for the day, bringing your own snacks and drinks is always a good idea (especially if you have kids who are always hungry). Staying hydrated is also really important, particularly if you and your family are running around the beach all day. We have water at the hut, so no need to pack bottled water, but you may want to bring some squash for the kids to make sure you are all drinking enough!
  2. A cool bag
    This is kind of in line with the food and drink but it is useful to pack things into a cool bag. Why not fill some plastic bottles with water and freeze them, they make the perfect ice blocks to keep everything cold and over the day as they melt become nice cool drinking water.
  1. Blankets
    Although many huts have throws and blankets available normally, many (the Red Beach Hut included) have had to remove them due to the pandemic. This means you may want to bring your own home comforts, ready to get cozy if it gets colder and as the evening draws in. Bundle up in the hut with blankets and a hot chocolate, what’s better than that!
  2. Beach Towels
    It’s important to remember to bring some warm, soft beach towels to help dry you down post a dip in the sea. Whether you use them as blankets on the beach or to wrap up in as it gets colder, beach towels are definitely an essential.
  3. Talc powder
    Talc powder is a great way to get rid of the sand on you. Just dust yourself with talc and the sand will come off as you rub it all away…so simple, so effective. No more sand-covered cars!
  4. Change of clothes
    You never really know what the weather will be like, so it is always a good idea to pack an extra change of warmer clothes. That way you can also change out of your day clothes into some warm cosy clothes in the evening.
  5. Activities
    A good beach hut is fully stocked with lots of games and things to use at the beach, but you may want to bring some things from home to keep the whole family entertained.
  1. Pegs to hold towels down in the sand
    One of our amazing Red Hutters gave us this genius idea to bring tent pegs with you to pin down your towel in the sand…no more worrying about your towel flying away in the wind!

Obviously, there are some more essentials that are a little more obvious, suncream, hats, sunglasses, and of course your beverages of choice, but hopefully, this list has given you a better idea of what to bring with you for the perfect day at the beach hut. 

Travelling to the beach hut

Planning the perfect day at the beach hut starts with planning how you are going to get there. Plot your journey taking peak traffic times into account. Avoid the traffic and get there early. You may need to take coins for parking too. The Red Beach Hut is in the perfect position so that you can easily travel by car or by train. 

There are large car parks dotted around Walton-on-the-Naze and the best one for access to the beach hut is the Church Road car park which is right near the station and pier. 

Food and Drink

It wouldn’t be the perfect day at the beach if you didn’t indulge in the seaside treats. From fish and chips, to ice cream, to fresh doughnuts, the beach has so many delicious delicacies for you to try. Do some research for amenities at the beach you are headed to.

Walton has lots of places to get great fish and chips, you are never far from the intoxicating smell of the salt and vinegar. Why not read Tripadvisors edit of the best fish and chips in Walton to find the best place for you.

Things to do in Walton-on-the-Naze

There are endless things to do in Walton and I couldn’t possibly add them all in this blog. Obviously the main things to do is to spend time at the beach, soaking in the sunshine and splashing in the sea, but if you want to go further afield and explore the town there are so many activities for you and your family to get stuck into. I have listed just a few here for you to think about.

Tide Times 

You won’t get very far if you don’t check the tide times and plan your day around that. You can check the tide times here and make sure you don’t arrive and have no time on the beach (the sea rises all the way up the beach so please be careful to leave the beach when the tide comes in).

I hope that this blog post has helped you to plan the perfect day at the beach hut, but of course the perfect day at the hut starts with actually booking the beach hut and you can now book for this summer. I cannot wait to see you join the Red Hutter community. When you do, we will send you our Guide to Planning the Perfect Day at the Beach.

Silver linings this winter

Silver linings… 

Now is the time to connect with your family and find wonderful things to do together. 

Walton On the Naze is in a High alert area. 

What does this mean for beach hut use? 


A beach hut has 4 walls and a roof. 

This means that the INDOORS guidance applies, so you cant have two households mixing in the hut at the same time.


  • individuals are more likely not to follow government guidance for hygiene rules, we tend to relax…
  • they will touch the same surfaces, 
  • they will use the same towels and utensils. 


  • you must follow the rule of 6   
  • You have to socially distance, 2M apart, this may be difficult with the limited space outside the beach hut. 

And let’s face it, with the weather… if it rains, you’ll all want to cram inside. (you know this will happen)

I feel the responsible thing is to limit the use of the beach hut to one household and apply the rule of 6 indoors (not in the guidance) and outdoors (rule of 6 applies) as the use of the beach hut includes both…


only ONE HOUSEHOLD will be allowed on each beach hut hire

Many of you have already opted for this anyway, so I am pleased to see that we are all on the same page, keeping each other safe.  Please feel rest assured that the hut is cleaned between each rental. I’ve even started to use Virusend UK which is proven to kill COVID-19. 

Remember to bring your own towels, blankets, pillows, for comfort during your stay.  I can assure you that if you bake a batch of cookies in the oven, you’ll keep toasty warm. 

There’s plenty of ways to enjoy the seaside safely during these dark and crazy times.  Go on, book yourself a day. You’ll be glad you did. 

See you soon. 

with love ❤️


All the glories of the beach in autumn

The beach in autumn is the perfect escape for those who love tranquillity, mild temperatures and the water. It’s also a great place to unwind and switch off from the noise of life, just long enough to recharge. Your body, your mind and your soul with thank you for any time that you spend by the sea.

Here is my list of the reasons why the seaside is far more wonderful in the autumn than you may think.

The Calm and Peacefulness

evening on the beach

Stress and anxiety is something that many of us try to manage on a daily basis. Our lives have become so busy!
So many people suffer from stress, anxiety and depression and the sea can be the ideal way to combat it. If you feel your work or personal problems starting to overwhelm you, try an escape to the sea. The sound of the waves can cause a sensation of relaxation and tranquillity. It certainly works for me. Try it.

The Sea Breeze

The healthy sea breeze is another reason to also enjoy the beach in autumn. Did you know they say that the sea breeze increases serotonin levels? Yes, that substance which is being talked up so much by its power of influencing your spirit. It also influences the functioning of other aspects of your body.

Improve Your Concentration and Your Creativity

writing by the sea

My thinking always improves by the sea. This is why in September, we put a all writing desk in The Red Beach Hut. Sitting in a chair, looking out to the sea helps concentration and boosts awareness when you’re studying and reading books. Many great writers plan weekend escapes to places with a beach to find their muses and inspiration, since creativity is enhanced by the open space, nature and sounds we can feel near the sea.

Enjoy Nature

seals at Walton On the Naze

There’s just something about being outdoors and among nature that makes life feel so much better. There is so much to explore around Walton On The Naze. Yes, you can even see seals! The beauty of The Naze is amazing, or a simple walk along the beach to Frinton. You’ll thank me for it.

Become a better parent

I swear by this one. Self-care is so important. By taking time out for yourself, you’ll become a better parent. The seaside isn’t just for the kids. It’s for us too. Enjoy a date night with our evening beach hut hire, or a girls day away. Or start writing that book you’ve always thought about, or maybe cirl up to read a good book. The time is yours. All yours.

Enjoy. ❤️