Enjoy a swim with the country’s oldest swimming club

Brighton & Hove, East Sussex

Brighton is home to the country’s oldest swimming club, founded in 1860.

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Today Brighton Swimming Club promotes an on-going heritage of swimming in the sea, the pool, water polo and synchronised swimming. However the club is most well-known for its keen members who swim in the sea every day of the year.

Ever since Dr Richard Russell advised people to take to the waters of Brighton in the late 18th century, the city has been synonymous with seaside holidays. In those days, high-society people used ‘dippers’ – assistants to gently lower them into the waters. Martha Gunn was the most well-known dipper as she ‘dipped’ the Prince Regent. Her descendants are still prominent in the city today, although they are now florists rather than dippers.

The fascinating history of the swimming club can be viewed at the free Brighton Fishing Museum on the seafront. There are also courses available for those who would like to learn how to swim in the sea rather than a swimming pool.

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SSwimmers in the sea next to Brighton Pier © VisitBrighton
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