Swim in loch near Aberfoyle

My swim in Loch Ness was such a success, I knew I wanted to go swim in another loch soon – and with a spare Monday going, and a nice June day too, I figured what better thing to do on a day off. So that’s what I did.

Scotland is so beautiful, isn’t it?

When I got home yesterday I sorted out my swimming bag with everything I think I might need to go open water swimming.

Then I started my day on Monday with a couple of coffees in my new mug that my ex colleague Catherine bought me… I for Incredible… elephant… well we know why.

I had my breakfast too, before 25 minutes of physio exercises and 25 minutes of a simple strength circuit in the sun.

Here’s what I did:

With a finished of 10 crossed leg unaided get ups.

Then by 12 I had all my gear in the car and I was ready to drive up to Aberfoyle where I’d scoped out a small loch to hopefully swim in.

An hours drive got me there… and I drove along to find a good spot where the car would be close to the waters edge.

I’ve not been there before, so it was maybe a bit of a gamble, but if it didn’t feel right I wouldn’t go in. It turns out it was fine, so I got on with getting my wetsuit, neoprene shoes and gloves on, and took my dry bag with some stuff in it down to the loch side, and wore an old pair of trainers too.

I used my Apple Watch to track the swim, but it didn’t work too well. I realised this and decided I’d try to count my strokes… about 1,000 freestyle strokes in blocks of 50. And some exploring too.

(Once I get my tow float my Garmin 645 can go in there. Ha. Although it didn’t have an open water swim mode, so I’ll just put it on ‘run’ mode when I swim.)

I realised that when I was in the water I needed to know where I got in … so I’d hopefully know where I got out… so I put my trainers in a tree so that I’d hopefully be able to see them from the loch.

I got in a little gingerly…. with a soft waters edge… but it was ok. Then I swam west for about 150 strokes…near to the end of the loch. Then turned back and swam to the other end of the loch.. up to about 600 strokes.

Half way along I saw a cool dragonfly statue thing… see below… and then by the time I got to the other end of the loch I saw a big wire fish structure and a picnic spot.

I did wonder if it would have been better to get in there, but I was fine where I’d got in. At the east end of the loch it seems colder, so it was maybe deeper than the rest. Bearing the cold in mind… I kept up the swimming, abs still felt fine… still in 50 stroke blocks.

On the way back I got up to about 850 strokes and stopped to see my trainers in the tree… so I knew that’s where I should get out. I then swam across the loch (north) and south, to make the strokes up to about 1,000.

It’s probably an idea to have something brighter and bigger with me next time.

I did think it might be a struggle to get out, on the soft marshy land, but it was ok / quite easy really. I got to my dry bag and took my towel out to dry off a bit… then got my old trainers from the tree and put them on (over my neoprene socks).

Afterwards I walked the short distance up to my car, before getting dried off, changed and eating lunch. I ate as my gear hung and dried for a bit.

Then after a bit it was still only just before half three, so I decided to go a walk around the loch to explore some more.

Just under 35 mins / 1.7 miles, including some snaps with the dragonfly and fish. It was nice and warm – about 18-20’C and I was comfy in shorts and a tshirt. I love this weather.

Here’s where I walked… off road, but on a rough track (mountain bikes go there). At the right turn I met a couple who I checked with to make sure I was ok the right path back to the loch (sign posted Aberfoyle).

Here’s me at the end of the loch, still smiling. Hair a mess, not that I care much (after the swim).

It took just over an hour to drive back to Glasgow… and I realised good thing to add to my swim kit bag is some cotton buds to get the water out from my ears.

Swimming in lochs is great, fresh water… no chlorine of pools and no salt from the sea.

I finished the day with a nice tasty ice cream. What a lovely summers day.

Here’s my swimming stuff drying off on the clothes line. Another good day of swimming.

I think I did about 1,400m or so… in 45 mins of swimming, and the walk too. That’ll do nicely. A good new hobbie to do when I fancy it, hopefully in lochs and reservoirs… or maybe the sea (but I think I prefer fresh water).

Where’s your favourite places to swim outdoors in Scotland?

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