There is a fantastic range of events that take place in and around Ullswater each year that celebrate the rich diversity, local history, culture and beauty of the area. Highlights include the world famous Marmalade Festival, the popular Winter Droving, Ullswater Walking Festival or Ullswater’s very own Daff Fest. Or perhaps one of the many sporting events, such as the Ullswater Triathlon or the Epic Lakes Swim is more your cup of tea?

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‘Love in Cold Water’ with Sara Barnes

20th March @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Author Sara Barnes immersed in cold water

Join Lakeland author Sara Barnes for a conversation centred around how she harnessed the power of cold water immersion to unlock her creative and romantic spirit. Her first two published books, The Cold Fix and The Winter of Our Lives are testament to that power.

In November 2022 her narrative non-fiction book The Cold Fix was published by Vertebrate Publishing and sold out within four months of publication. With its main audience the wild swimming and ice swimming community, it also crossed into the wellbeing and alternative therapies market.

It is Sara’s deeply intimate story of overcoming physical and emotional pain following major leg surgery. After describing her own experience, she travels out into the cold water swimming community and asks the question: What is it about the cold that you love? She divides her interviewees into five categories: the five personality types she knows exists within herself and assumes within others too. The Mother, the Warrior, the Panther, the Child and the Thinker – which one are you? Would you call on your Warrior to protect you?, or summon up your Panther when you’re feeling passionate? The Cold Fix is not a book about how to or where to go cold water swimming, but it is a touchy feely dive into the inner world of those who have made it a non-negotiable part of their lives.

The Winter of Our Lives, which was published by One More Chapter, the digital arm of HarperCollins in November 2023, is a mediative and uplifting novel set in the Lake District. The premise Sara invites us to consider is: ‘Take three menopausal wild swimmers who need to find a man. Not any old man, but one who is prepared to dip his bits in very cold water’. It is ostensibly a romantic novel, about falling back in love with yourself and life as you grow older. ‘My editor likened it in places to Wintering by Katherine May, and I also wanted to inject elements of humour and spice into it because, even as we grow older, we need both those things in our lives’, says Sara.

Aimed squarely at both men and women, it doesn’t hold back on describing what it feels like to be struggling with symptoms of the menopause, or to feel the weight of guilt when you should be feeling grief. Set against the stunning landscape of North West Lakeland, The Winter of Our Lives is a gritty, relatable love story for people who don’t want to give up on romance, passion or life as they grow older.

Sara will read from both books and welcome questions and comments from the audience. On her Instagram account @bumblebarnes she inspires people to be their own change, to face real life head on and find a passion that comforts you when things get too much. For her that is daily cold water immersion and writing.

Plenty of time for Q&A and Sara will sign copies of both books afterwards.


20th March
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Verey Books
017684 86760
View Organiser Website


Verey Books
Pooley Bridge CA10 2NN + Google Map
017684 86760
View Venue Website

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