Devonshire Dippers is run by Stuart and Olivia Palmer (with a little help from our friends). We’re swimming nuts! If only there were more hours in the day, days in the week, weeks in the year…? We can’t get into enough puddles and if you, like us, have to be restrained if a puddle appears swimmable, then Devonshire Dippers is for you.

We have spent a lot of time exploring and swimming in Devon – it is a wild swimmers paradise and you won’t believe how many amazing places there are to swim here!

So, pack your swimmers, hop on a train and meet us in Totnes. We’ll take it from there.

Olivia Palmer

Olivia Palmer

I have always been passionate about swimming. The freedom and relaxation it gives me is unbeatable. It makes my heart smile and in turn my face, unless I’m too cold! My love of cold water was, like Stuart’s, discovered in earnest at Tooting Bec Lido. I fell in love with cold water and the people that swim in it and from there my swimming adventures really started.

I love nothing more than the feeling of exhilaration a cold dip can give me and nothing beats a dark, crisp early morning swim in a lido, river or sea. In the warmer months nothing makes me happier than swimming along the coast, downstream in a river or up and down a well loved lido or lake. The camaraderie and spirit of swimmers is, to me what life is all about. A swim, a smile, a warm drink and a sweet treat, a little bit of heaven!

I have had some amazing open water swims, I have swum around Jersey and Lake Zurich in relay with Stuart, swum from Worthing to Brighton with Stuart by my side. I have swum the Bay of Propriano many times and taken part in some of the more well known BLDSA swims. In 2007 I made my first channel attempt, it wasn’t my time and Freda Streeter made such an impression on us that our eldest daughter is called Freda. I will swim the channel one day, perhaps in my 40th year, watch this space. In the meantime there are many more to conquer and with two teenies in tow, I am more than happy continuing with my exploration of Devon and it’s dip-able delights.

Stuart Palmer

Stuart Palmer

My passion for open water was born in ernest at Tooting Bec Lido. The combination of getting cold, swimming and meeting fellow swimming nuts just hooked me.

I love the feeling you get from a truly cold water and the feeling of water rushing past me. I love turning to breath and seeing rolling green Devon hills or watching crabs scurry on the river bed beneath me.

I love shivering with my friends, tucking into a pint and some hearty food and barely being able to lift my arms for tiredness.

My swimming "CV" includes:

  • BLDSA Lake Coniston (5.75 miles)
  • BLDSA Lake Windermere (10 miles) didn’t finish, trying again in 2014!
  • Round Jersey (40 miles) - 2 man relay with Olivia
  • Lake Zurich (16 miles) - 2 man relay with Olivia
  • A seven hour training swim in Dover Harbour
  • World Winter Swimming Championships Finland 2007 (25m)

Apart from the above I have had hundreds of memorable swims with lovely people from various outdoor swimming clubs and groups.

I just love the camaraderie of getting extremely cold with fellow dippers!