Sheena Corry, Dr Vicky Richards, Dr Nic Matthews

Coming in from the Cold: Promoting Community and Self-Identity through Women-Only Wild Swimming Retreats in North Wales, UK

Summary This case study explores the experience of well-being, life transitions and self-discovery of women tourists participating in wild swimming retreats operated by a sustainability conscientious glamping business, The Forge in Corwen North Wales, UK. Their thoughts and feelings were sought as part of The Forge’s visitor evaluation activities. The women were all middle-aged and all going through a transition in their lives. Through consideration of their perspectives, the case study explores the potential value of glamping and wild swimming as a liminal space for older women. The pillars central to visitor experience – play, experiential and atmosphere – are reflected in the women’s recounting of their time immersing themselves in all the retreats offered. This case study focuses on the liminal hotspots of glamping and wild swimming, environments that allow freedom, temporarily, from norms and cynicisms, positing that it can provide a transformative moment in the lives of older women and by extension engender communitas and self-identity. Information © The Authors 2024

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