Sea bathing before Dr Russell
Although Dr. Richard Russell is credited with the introduction of sea bathing in Brighton, I suspect that long before him people of Brighthelmstone were swimming in the sea! On exceptionally hot summers days, when the water is calm and clear, who could resist a dip in the sea? Prior to 1730 and Dr. Richard Russell, I doubt that the residents of Brighthelmstone would have thought it unusual at all to cool off in the sea.
It’s just about bearable to bathe in the sea from early June, when days are often hot, but the sea temperature still cold. By late July, when children have broken-up for summer holidays, the temperature is agreeable; however by August, when days are hot, it’s cooling effect is refreshing.
September is the best time
I’ve swum in the sea at Brighton since childhood; in my view the best time of year is early September. The water temperature is at it highest, and if the sea is calm, although the air temperature by now is cooling, the water is perfect. Better still if the sea is slightly rough, no hint of chill can be perceived, the energy spent riding the waves, keeps one warm for an hour or more!