The Ice Viking
We believe that when we are challenged we are changed. And when faced with the force of the cold a powerful change rises from within. In our first documentary series, we explore how the cold connects people, brings joy, restores minds, repairs bodies, teaches, and challenges us like nothing else on earth.
Join us on a journey as we follow 12 individuals and groups of fascinating people up and down the UK whose love of cold water has brought them together and inspired the incredible stories we share in this series.
Fenwick Ridley is a titan.
A Team GB Ice swimmer. An entrepreneur. A master of his mind and a lover of the ice. As he describes it, his body is “built for the cold”.
It all began after a 10km swim in the pool when his swimming coach told him to take his talent to the open water. So he did, and he was instantly hooked. As the winter months drew in, he continued to swim in lakes and rivers where he’d often be the only one in the water. The cold hurt at first, but his body adapted quickly, and he knew this was what he was made for.
But the Ice Viking hasn’t always been so strong. He knows that cold water offers up a huge challenge but understands the powerful changes up for grabs when you leave the water. He struggles with anxiety and ADHD, and they can turn his mind to chaos. For Fenwick, cold water is also a reset button. And when he dips it feels like his body has “walked into a new room with less clutter”.
Now, the lake is his office. His business, H2O Trails invites people of all abilities to a peaceful lake at the top of Northumberland where he teaches open-water swimming. He’s a huge advocate for the benefits of swimming in the wild where a sense of adventure takes hold. Invigorating in all seasons, Fenwick prefers the cold and he’s sharing its power with as many people as possible.