Wild swimming has enjoyed a surge in popularity in recent years, as bathers testify to its potential benefits for our mental health. We’re lucky to have so many beautiful swimming spots within easy reach in East Lothian, and on our shelves at Night Owl Books you’ll find plenty of gift ideas for wild swimmers and beach lovers!
Blue Scotland: The Ultimate Guide to Exploring Scotland’s Waters, by Mollie Hughes
Scotland is famed for its rugged coastlines, pristine beaches, endless rivers and deep lochs. In this unique guide (£20), adventurer Mollie Hughes introduces many of her favourite places to paddleboard, kayak, swim and surf. Mixing world-class surfing breaks with kayaking adventures on the west coast, and urban paddleboarding along the Clyde with invigorating swims in the lochs of the Cairngorms, the book shows us how to access and enjoy these varied blue spaces.
Mermaid drinks bottle by Flasket
This insulated stainless steel drinks bottle (£30) from Flasket features a beautiful design by East Lothian artist Kate Millbank. Its double walls and silicone sealed bamboo top keeps drinks cold in summer, and warm in winter, making it ideal for a post-swim hot drink! Flasket also donate 10% of their profits to the Marine Conservation Charity, supporting their work to keep the seas full of life.
“Just the water and me” tote bag, by Fiddy & Mabel
This stylish tote bag (£15) is made from ethically sourced heavy weight cotton canvas, and hand screen printed here in East Lothian by independent maker Fiddy & Mabel. It’s the perfect size to stow away your towel and a change of clothes for wild swimming, with a design that celebrates the mindful focus we can enjoy on the waves.
Ten Poems about Swimming
These ‘Instead of a Card’ poetry pamphlets from Candlestick Press (£5.95) make perfect gifts – unusual, beautiful, and definitely not for throwing away. Each comes with with an envelope and bookmark left blank for your message. The poems in this collection explore the many joys of swimming in pools, rivers and oceans, reminding us that swimming is a pleasure and a privilege, and that when we take to the water it is not just our bodies that are changed.
Seaweed Press Kit from Studio Wald
One of the major benefits of wild swimming is the opportunity that it offers us to connect with the natural world while exercising - and why not get creative after a dip in the sea by collecting and pressing colourful seaweed fronds? This seaweed press kit (£22.95) from Leeds-based Studio Wald was inspired by a trip to the Isle of Arran, and contains full instructions to guide you through the process of collecting and pressing seaweed. It also includes waxed paper to prevent moisture from damaging the corrugated card and sugar paper you’ll find inside.
The Seaweed Collector’s Handbook, by Miek Zwamborn
In The Seaweed Collector’s Handbook: From Purple Laver to Peacock’s Tail (£9.99), the Dutch poet and artist Miek Zwamborn shares her discoveries of its history, culture and use, from the Neolithic people of the Orkney Islands to sushi artisans in modern Japan. Covering seaweed's collection by Victorians, its adoption into fashion and dance and its potential for combating climate change, and with a fabulous series of recipes based around the 'truffles of the sea', this would be a wonderful gift to accompany a seaweed press!
Reusable Fabric Gift Bags
Part of a collection of stunning fabric gift bags from Paper Mirchi, these marine-patterned gift bags are made from 100% cotton fabric that is hand dyed by artisans in India, then screen printed in eye-catching gold ink - they’re sure to be treasured and reused again and again after gifting!