Moon swims at Felixstowe encourage women to 'be authentic selves'

A group of women in the sea at Felixstowe on a sunrise swim

Cold water therapy at Felixstowe has improved mental and physical health for Suffolk women - Credit: Gypsy Head

Exhilarating moonlight swims at Felixstowe have changed the lives of a group of East Anglian women, who want more local ladies to know about their adventures. 

Wild Wanderers is a national community for women who love the great outdoors and want to come together with other "like-minded ladies" to enjoy hikes, walks, swims and camping. 

A regional group has more than 2,500 members across Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk and women of all ages and abilities are invited to mostly free activities and events that bring them closer to nature. 

Gypsy Head, founder of the Wild Wanderers East England group, said: "There's a lot of healing occurring. 

"Since last summer it's just felt like it's become such a movement. 

"There's no judgement and the support is unbelievable. 

"For me personally, I was bed-bound for two years and almost completely isolated for four years, due to my physical and then mental health, and this group has completely changed my life. 

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"It encouraged me to start cold water therapy and I honestly haven't missed a single day since then.

Silhouette of seven women on the beach with their hands in the air

The group encourages wellbeing, inclusivity and accessibility for all - Credit: Gypsy Head

"I just want more local ladies to know about it and know they don't have to be alone. 

"It sounds cheesy but it's a space where there are no expectations and you're free to be your authentic self. 

"Seeing the growth has been incredible." 

Popular among East members are the moon events, which are hosted at Felixstowe, Heacham and Sea Palling. 

Strangers come together around a fire and burn the things "that are no longer serving us" before an optional swim in the sea. 

Speaking about the swims, Gypsy said: "It's exhilarating. 

"It can be quite scary - every part of your body says to get out, but that's the same voice in your head that tells you to hit the snooze button every morning or not to go to the gym. 

"The swims shut that voice up and when you push through it feels like such an achievement." 

The East of England group can be found on Facebook, with checks made on profiles to ensure that only women are accepted to the circle. 

Gypsy added: "We pride ourselves on inclusivity and strive to create a safe and welcoming environment for LGBTQ+, and all ages, abilities, beliefs."