Founder, Head of Adventures, Head Coach & Guide
Alice has always been a swimmer and transitioned from pool to open water in 2009. Always up for a challenge, Alice completed her first 5km island-to-island swim in 2010 and quickly signed up for an English Channel solo swim in 2012. She successfully completed the 21 mile (34 km) swim in a time of 13 hours 55 mins and soon qualified as a swimming teacher, open water swimming coach and swim guide, leading swimming holidays and training camps in the UK and overseas.
With a background in adventure travel operations and environmental research Alice has travelled and worked all over the world. She has been lucky enough to swim in some amazing places along the way, including glacial lakes in the Arctic Circle, mountain lakes in China and Kyrgyzstan, spring-fed rivers in Nigeria and around tropical islands off the coast of Sierra Leone.
In 2013 she moved to the Cairngorms National Park in the Scottish Highlands and started exploring the local lochs, swimming around castles and dipping in river pools and under waterfalls. She fell in love with the incredible mountain lochs and stunning beaches of the west coast and the islands. Alice has been instrumental in setting up several local swimming groups, which have grown from just a handful of regular dippers to a thriving community of hardy all-year-round swimmers.
In 2018 Alice started SwimWild to share her passion for open-water swimming and provide incredible opportunities and experiences for swimmers in Scotland. She has pioneered multiple swimming expeditions around Skye, the Small Isles, the Outer Hebrides and St Kilda and guided swim trips to the remote Ardnamurchan and Knoydart peninsulas. Alice is also the Event Director of the Scottish Winter Swimming Championships – the UK’s biggest (and most popular) winter swimming competition.
Since setting up SwimWild, Alice has also completed solo swims of the length of two of Scotland’s largest freshwater lochs – Loch Lomond (the largest by surface area) and Loch Awe (the longest) and an IISA Ice Mile.
In 2023 Alice’s guidebook, Swimming Wild in Scotland, was published by Vertebrate Publishing.
Alice’s Favourite Swim Locations –
Village Bay, St Kilda – Alice has been lucky enough to make it to St Kilda twice on her SwimWild Outer Hebrides & St Kilda Expeditions. Her most vivid memory is swimming through a waterfall, into a vast cave, and then back to the boat through a flock of puffins (who were utterly unbothered by the group of swimmers passing through!)
Loch Coruisk, Skye – One of the swim locations on SwimWild’s Knoydart & the Isles trip, swimming in this loch is really special! You can only get to it by boat or a very long walk in, but you are rewarded by some of the most spectacular scenery imaginable and gorgeous crystal clear water.
West Beach, Berneray – Another Outer Hebrides gem, but this time discovered during Alice’s research for her guidebook. “The beach has some of the clearest sea water I have ever had the pleasure to swim in; when I visited, I had to pinch myself and remind myself that I was in Scotland, not the Caribbean!”
Loch Insh, Cairngorms – Alice’s local loch – “Sometimes there is nowhere else I would rather be than bobbing around in Loch Insh, chatting to my swim buddies, and then huddling in the cosy cafe afterwards’.
What does Alice do when she is not busy running SwimWild?
Alice lives with her husband Al (mountaineer and horseman) and a menagerie of animals in the Cairngorms National Park. Alice is always busy, and if it is not with work, she will be off somewhere riding, walking, camping and going on adventures with Tora, her energetic Dalmatian.
Alice is also an illustrator and regularly provides illustrations for Outdoor Swimmer Magazine. In addition, Alice is the illustrator of Wild Waters: A wildlife and water lover’s companion to the aquatic world, published in 2021 by Vertebrate Publishing.
Alice’s Biggest Swimming Achievement?
Despite all of her big (and cold) swims, Alice feels that her most significant swimming achievements lie in bringing people together to swim – whether by setting up two local, informal swim groups or creating SwimWild events that bring the fantastic swimming community together.
Watch Alice breaking the ice on BBC Countryfile
Watch Alice talk about why she loves swimming
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