Best wild swims in France – secret rivers, lakes and waterfalls

By at June 25, 2021 | 7:13 am | 0 Comment


Daniel Start chooses his favourite secret swims, from the new edition of his book, Wild Swimming France (2021 edition). NB French readers can read more about our new book on the new Baignades Sauvages website. Swim beneath the great châteaux of the Loire and plunge into the azure-blue pools of Provence. Relax in the secret hot springs of the Pyrenees and discover

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Best Places

Best secret beaches & coves in Spain for wild swimming

By at February 25, 2021 | 11:07 am | 0 Comment

100 Praia Arnela-4075

Lola Culsán and John Weller spent a year campervanning, walking, swimming and exploring Spain’s secret coast to bring you their new guide book Hidden Beaches Spain. They are very keen wild swimmers, and authors of Wild Swimming Spain, and this is their selection of some favourite locations for coastal wild swimming (this is their selection for coastal walkers). PRAIA

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Best Places , Blogs

Wild swimming kit, gifts, equipment and accessories

By at September 20, 2020 | 8:22 am | 0 Comment


Well, if you come across a magical pool on a walk it’s quite possible to swim without any kit, and that's part of the beauty of wild swimming. Just wear your undies or go naked if it is secluded. If you have no towel wipe most of the water off with your hands then sacrifice one item of clothing to dry yourself or travel with a small, light cotton sarong (which can also

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Blogs , Featured , Getting Started

River and Water Quality for wild swimming

By at July 2, 2020 | 9:51 am | 1 Comments

the bryn usk_0011799

A new campaign from The Rivers Trust show the location of all sewage outflows, including 'CSOs' which should only discharge during periods of exceptionally high rain. Open the map to check out your local stretch of rover to see where sewage discharges are, and how often CSO tend to discharge, in their new river water quality interactive map. You can read more about the

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Environment , Featured , Health

Wild Swimming access, legal and law – am I allowed to wild swim in rivers and lakes?

By at March 11, 2020 | 9:26 am | 1 Comments

Llyn Gwynant by Daniel Start IMG_7951

Staying Legal and Respecting Others If you swim in a water body you need to make your own judgement and undertake your own research about whether it is legal to do so, but these pages may help you decide. Summary Right to swim is complex, and there is so simple answer re 'am I allowed to swim here'. Riparian owners (who own the riverbank and bed of the river,

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Featured , Getting Started

Best Wild Swims in Wales

By at July 11, 2018 | 5:41 pm | 0 Comment

Llyn Gwynant by Daniel Start IMG_9388

Daniel Start, author of the new Wild Guide to Wales, shares his all-time favourite wild swims of Wales.. p.s. are you looking for somewhere by the Welsh coast to stay? Wild Swimming now has two beautiful places to rent out on the north Pembrokeshire coast near Newport with views over the Preseli mountains. Perfect for beaches, coves and swimming in the Witches

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Best Places , Blogs , Featured

Wild Swimming introduction for beginners

By at August 9, 2017 | 7:18 am | 0 Comment


Why go ‘wild’ swimming There is something slightly naughty, a little bit scary and wonderfully invigorating about leaving your wetsuit at home, and entering open water with just your skin (and perhaps a swimming costume) between you and the elements. Freed from the thermal and neoprene protection of a wetsuit, cold water immersion provides a sense of elation and

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Getting Started , Magazine

Best wild swims in Scotland

By at May 15, 2017 | 8:59 am | 0 Comment


Co-author of the new Wild Guide Scotland, Richard Gaston, shares his top 5 Scottish wild swimming locations: The water quality is often exceptional, but temperatures are very low. That said, after the initial shock of plunging in, wild swimming in Scotland provides an incredibly invigorating and therapeutic experience all set against a backdrop of jaw-dropping scenery;

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Best Places , Featured

Portugal – the best wild swimming – rivers, waterfalls, lakes and hidden coves

By at February 23, 2017 | 8:33 am | 0 Comment


Edwina Pitcher, author of the new Wild Guide to Portugal, shares some of hr favourite wild swim spots. With mountains that stretch down to the sea, plus sunshine and rain, Portugal is a wild swimmer's paradise. The Portuguese culture of visiting praias fluviais – river beaches – then reaches its zenith, and Sundays are idled away on river banks, cooking lunch on

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Best Places , Featured

Best Wild Swimming Adventures in the Yorkshire Dales

By at May 26, 2016 | 10:34 am | 0 Comment

Yorkshire Dales wild swimming

Daniel Start, author of the new Wild Guide to Lake District and Yorkshire Dales, tells us about his all time favourite swims in this iconic landscape. I have always loved the Lakes and Dales, ever since childhood, and there are endless adventures to be had. I return every year to find even more exciting places to swim and explore. These are some of my

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Best Places

The ten most spectacular swimming hole locations in Sydney, Australia

By at October 1, 2015 | 12:23 pm | 0 Comment

Erskine Creek at Jack Evans 1

This month we're publishing Wild Swimming Sydney Australia. Here the authors, Sally Tertini and Steve Pollard, reveal the most beautiful and stunning outdoor swimming spots in and around Sydney:   Erskine Creek at Jack Evans Track, Great Blue Mountains South (above) This is such an enticing place to escape the city and spend a weekend – a 200m

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Best Places , Blogs , Featured

The Best Bike Rides in Wales and the Borders for Wild Swimming

By at September 16, 2015 | 5:08 pm | 0 Comment

IMG_1163 (3)

Jack Thurston, the author of our new book, Lost Lanes Wales: 36 Glorious Bike Rides in Wales and the Borders, shares his favourite Welsh cycle routes for a quick dip while cycling, taken from the book. Wales, with its long coastline, dozens of rivers and countless mountain streams, has more than its fair share of wild swimming spots. Make sure you’re not

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Best Places , Blogs

Wild Swimming Near Waterfalls – The Best Locations

By at August 25, 2015 | 1:02 pm | 0 Comment

Watkins Path Steven House

Have you completed your #wildsummer challenges yet? Here, Daniel Start reveals the best wild swimming with waterfalls:   St Nectan's Kieve, Tintagel At the head of a wild glen a tall, slender waterfall falls into a high basin, flows through a circular hole and drops into a plunge pool (the kieve). This is a holy place with prayer flags, a shrine room above and

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Best Places , Blogs , Featured

Wild Swimming Under Sea Arches and into Sea Caves: The Best Places to Complete Our #WildSummer Challenges

By at August 18, 2015 | 12:33 pm | 0 Comment


Have you completed our #wildsummer challenges yet? Here, Daniel Start reveals the best places to wild swim into sea caves and under sea arches:     Baggy Point Caves, North Devon A long tunnel, empty at low tide or you can swim through at high tide. Take care if there is swell. Park in the NT car park (EX33 1PA) at the end of Moor Lane, signed Baggy Point

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Best Places , Blogs , Featured

Wild Swimming Walks – South East

By at April 16, 2015 | 12:12 pm | 0 Comment

Wild Swimming Walks

28 Lake, River and Seaside Days Out by Train from London Wild Swimming Walks leads you on 28 adventures into the beautiful countryside of southern England. Discover swimming meadows along the Thames, secret coves of the Sussex seashore and hidden islands of the Essex coast. All the walking routes are accessible by train and each comes with ideas for places to visit and

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Best Places , Our Books

Wild Swimming Micro Adventures – the best wild swims in Britain

By at March 23, 2015 | 8:17 pm | 0 Comment

wild swimming microadventures

Wild Swimming is a fantastic way to have a micro-adventure close to home - low on hassle and high in adrenaline and fun. Daniel, author of the Wild Swimming  and Wild Guides was speaking at the fundraiser Night of Adventure organised by Alastair Humphreys and the brilliant charity Hope and Homes. He tells us about his own journey into wild swimming, and his favourite

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Best Places , Featured , Magazine

The Thrill of the Chill

By at January 28, 2015 | 5:28 pm | 0 Comment

lido in snow 012

If you think winter swimming is only for the very brave (or the very foolish), Jonathan Buckley tells us why we shouldn’t let some nippy weather get in the way of stripping and dipping…   Last Saturday Tooting Bec Lido hosted the 6th UK Cold Water Swimming Championships. Hardy swimmers embraced this cold water swimming festival – all in water less than

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Blogs , Featured , Health

Wild swimming safety with kids and children

By at June 13, 2014 | 11:06 am | 0 Comment


There’s nothing inherently dangerous about wild swimming, but you should always be careful around water with children. Try to chose a river or lake beach with a gently shelving slope, and make sure you go in and check for depth and deeper holes, before you let little ones paddle. There's also more about how to have fun wild swimming with families here. But for our main

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Getting Started , Kids & Family

Author of Wild Swimming Italy tells us about his passion

By at May 2, 2014 | 12:02 pm | 0 Comment


We interviewed Michele Tameni to ask him about his passion for swimming and how he came to write the new Wild Swimming Italy guidebook about Italy's secret rivers and lakes. How did you get into wild swimming? I grew up in a valley between the mountains of the Alps and every spring to late autumn my favorite pastime was wandering along the paths in the woods, and

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Best Places , Blogs

Andalucia Spain – 5 spots for a splash!

By at April 14, 2014 | 10:07 am | 0 Comment

Cueva del Gato

With a total of 24 nature reserves the beauty and diversity of the landscapes around Andalucia create the perfect backdrop to some of the best wild swimming on the Iberian peninsula. Despite the long hot summers Andalucia has countless natural water sources, and is dotted with lakes, rivers, waterfalls and reservoirs. In general the water quality is superb and the

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Best Places

20 Best Hidden Beaches from Britain’s Hidden Coast

By at April 12, 2014 | 11:26 am | 1 Comments


Daniel Start shares his 20 best hidden beaches taken from the new and updated Hidden Beaches book. SOUTH WEST   Broad Sands, Combe Martin, North Devon Cave, coves and an island look out A double fronted cove, turquoise waters and sea caves you can swim to. Scramble to the top of the island look-out

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Best Places , Magazine

Outdoor Swimming for Familes

By at April 4, 2014 | 11:06 am | 0 Comment


To enjoy outdoor swimming in Britain it's important to be hot before you go in and to be able to warm up quickly after you come out, so why not have a few activities or games up your sleeve to keep everyone moving around? A simple game of 'it' or 'tag' can be good with a small group but if there are more than four then some people will do less running than others.

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Getting Started , Kids & Family

Future of your river – national consultation

By at August 2, 2013 | 12:50 pm | 0 Comment


The Environment Agency is preparing for the next round river basin management plans. These are the plans that will help England's waters reach 'good ecological status' as defined by the EU. The river basin management plans are an integral part of the European Union’s Water Framework Directive (WFD) and will need to be finalised by 2015. As part of this the agency has

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Is Wild Swimming Safe?

By at July 18, 2013 | 7:28 am | 3 Comments

Gullet Quarry

Wild swimming - taking a dip in rivers, lakes, waterfalls and streams - is fantastic fun, has great health benefits and thousands of people have been giving it a go during July 2013 - the first serious heatwave since 2006. But as cooling off during the heatwave has led to series of avoidable drownings, people are rightly asking: is wild swimming safe? Having just

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Blogs , Magazine , Media Watch

DIP workshops – Carding Mill Valley

By at June 2, 2013 | 9:03 pm | 0 Comment


Date: 7h June 2014 Time: 11am-5pm Location: Carding Mill Valley Reservoir, Church Stretton, Shropshire. Dip Shropshire is an exciting new Arts Council England funded project that aims to encourage people to enjoy wild swimming and the natural beauty of Shropshire and link their experiences to a range of creative workshops, including photography, animation,

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Arts & Culture

New Wild Running Book

By at May 3, 2013 | 11:33 am | 0 Comment


150 great adventures on the trails and fells of Britain Jen and Sim Benson, £16.99 Buy the Book from our online shop Wild Running is the first UK guidebook for those who love to run and who dream of exploring Britain’s spectacular mountains, forests and coastal trails. Featuring 150 hand-picked runs, chosen for simple navigation and sensational beauty, this

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Featured , Our Books , Outdoor Activities , Shop

Camping and campsites

By at July 20, 2012 | 8:46 am | 4 Comments


Nothing quite beats camping by the water, taking a swim in the evening light and enjoying a glass of wine as the otter cub gamble under the willows… Then in the morning you can leap out of your tent and leap into the pool, wash away the sleepy dust and feel revitalised for the day. Here are a few of our favourite river and lake side camping spots. We’d love to hear

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Best Places

Mexican cenotes – paradise on earth

By at July 19, 2012 | 2:13 pm | 1 Comments


Ik Kil is a well known cenote outside Pisté in the Municipality of Tinúm, Yucatán, Mexico, It is located in the northern center of the Yucatán Peninsula and is part of the Ik Kil Archeological Park near Chichen Itza. It is open to the public for swimming and is often included in bus tours. The cenote is open to the sky with the water level about 26 metres (85 ft)

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Best Places , Magazine

Wilderness Festival & Wild Swimming

By at July 12, 2012 | 2:00 pm | 0 Comment


Wilderness is an award-winning festival of music, food, learning, literature and rejuvenation set amidst the LAKES and FORESTS of Oxfordshire’s Cornbury Estate and taking place from 10th – 12th August this year. A celebration of the ARTS and the OUTDOORS it will feature cycling, wild running, fly fishing, wild swimming and horse riding in addition to live music

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National Events & Campaigns

Sea swimming safety, dangers and risks

By at July 4, 2012 | 12:25 pm | 10 Comments


Escaping a rip is straightforward if you are a strong swimmer and remain calm. People drown from panic, followed by exhaustion, so never fight against the current. Keep an eye on a shore landmark to establish whether you are in a rip. If so, stand or wade if possible. If not, swim out of it at 90 degrees parallel to the beach for about 20m. Once out of the rip, head back

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Featured , Getting Started , Health

Wild Swimming France movie

By at July 4, 2012 | 9:34 am | 0 Comment


As we travelled around France exploring its waterfalls, rivers and lakes rivers we made a short film of our adventures. See if you can spot our descent into the amazing underwater caverns of the haut Jabron, or plunging into the waterfalls of Sillans-le-Cascade. Know any great film clips of French swimming locations? Let us know in the comments

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Arts & Culture

Swimming the Amazon – why did I do it?

By at June 27, 2012 | 10:33 am | 1 Comments


There are people out there who do unusual things and challenges. For some a life’s goal is to finish the university, get a great job, raise a family or just stay healthy. But for some individuals a ‘normal life’ isn’t enough and they strive to achieve something extraordinary. One could argue that all the big ones have been done: first man to climb the Mount

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Celebrity swimmers

How to find a great wild swimming place or spot

By at June 26, 2012 | 10:07 am | 1 Comments


Britain is bubbling with glorious little river and lake swmiming holes, all of your own. They are there for the finding, but how to go about it? 1) Hotspots: Focus on the wild swimming hot spots: areas likely to be rich in natural pools and clean unpolluted waters. Nature Reserves or National Parks are a good place to start and an internet search or basic guidebook

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Best Places , Getting Started

Wild Swimming Facebook

By at June 18, 2012 | 7:15 pm | 0 Comment


Join our main Wild Swimming Club Facebook page to connect with the wider wild swimming world, and be the first to hear about news and special offers. If you want to meet local wild swimmers and organise a plunge? Many people have asked how they can network with local wild swimmers, to share places, arrange outings and generally organise for fun this summer. We’ve

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Stay in touch

Getting Started

By at June 12, 2012 | 9:19 am | 7 Comments


A scorching hot summer’s day is a great time for swimming, and it can be exciting on rainy or cooler days too... What if the water is cold? Water temperatures can vary. Shallow lakes can get up to a blamy 25C in summer but mountain rivers may struggle to reach 20C. Much of the year outdoor waters are around 12C - 17C so the key is to arrive at the swimming hole so

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Featured , Getting Started

Wild Swimming 300 dips – PR preview

By at April 15, 2012 | 9:47 am | 0 Comment

Coming on 27th May, the all-new bumper second edition of the best-selling Wild Swimming photo guide is now fully revised and expanded to include 100 amazing new wild swimming locations, brand new coverage in the South-East and the Midlands, new information for kids and families, new ideas for pubs, campsites, boat trips and weekends, new ratings on safety and access. This

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Media Watch

Coasteering, Sea Caves and Jumping

By at April 4, 2012 | 12:33 pm | 0 Comment

© Daniel Start (07761 375717)

One of Britain’s fastest-growing adventure sports, coasteering is a mixture of swimming and exploring along the edge of the water, including climbing into caves, playing in the swell and jumping into pools. If you want to try some simple coasteering yourself then the Wild Swimming Coast book will give you plenty of inspiration, but don’t attempt it at rocky and

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Outdoor Activities

Other Wild Swim Reads

By at April 4, 2012 | 12:10 pm | 0 Comment


’The Henleaze Lake Story’ published by Redcliffe Press was launched at the Lake on 23rd June 2007. Written by Derek and Joyce Klemperer, it is an account of Henleaze Lake and Henleaze Swimming Club from the earliest quarrying days (1800s) through to the beginning of the 21st Century. Derek and Joyce tell the story of a magical place, warts and all, and include the

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Arts & Culture

Swimming Against the Stream

By at April 4, 2012 | 12:02 pm | 0 Comment


This book is the culmination of years of research on UK policy and practice on wild and outdoor swimming. Jean Perraton has kindly allowed us to reproduce some extracts from her accomplished book here. Click the book jacket below to view it on Amazon. Click here to find excerpts from her introduction, history chapter and section on litigation. Read on for more general

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Arts & Culture

Wild Swim Videos

By at April 4, 2012 | 11:12 am | 3 Comments


Wild swimming has featured in a number of movies in recent years, including 'Atonement' and 'Pride and Prejudice.' With the advent of online video streaming channels like Youtube, there are plenty of wild swimming videos to inspire you on your next adventure. Swimming to jazz... Swimming in the Somerset Brue in April 2007... The long trek: The swimming

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Arts & Culture

Find Guidebook Swim Places

By at April 4, 2012 | 10:49 am | 0 Comment


'Wild Swimming: 150 hidden dips' provides grid references, postcodes and direcions for 150 freshwater wild swimming spots in Britain.  An additional 80 swims are also included with grid references only. (NB You can see if your favourite area is covered on the coverage map). There are three methods to find each location. 1) Directions: Follow the step-by-step

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Getting Started

Wildlife and Nature

By at April 4, 2012 | 9:38 am | 0 Comment


With worries about climate change, obesity and urban youth crime, we need, more than ever, new and exciting ways for our children to engage with the natural world and to explore it in safe and responsible ways. Swimming is the favourite sporting activity for girls and is second only to football for boys. Perhaps opening up our rivers, lakes and waterfalls again

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Wild Swimming health, safety, risks and dangers

By at April 3, 2012 | 2:09 pm | 25 Comments

Waterfall and Pool

Not being able to swim - sounds obvious but shallow water can deepen suddenly. If you, your children or your friends cannot swim make sure you scout out the extent of the shallows, set clear boundaries and keep constant supervision. Remember that even shallow sections of fast-flowing water can knock you off your feet. Be careful with inflatables, which can create a false

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Featured , Getting Started , Health

History of Wild Swimming

By at April 3, 2012 | 1:35 pm | 1 Comments

Wild Swimming Fish

wild-swimming (vb.): 1. Swimming in natural waters such as rivers, lakes and waterfalls. Often associated with picnics and summer holidays. 2. Dipping or plunging in secret or hidden places, sometimes in wilderness areas. Associated with skinny-dipping or naked swimming, often with romantic connotations. 3. Action of swimming wildly such as jumping or diving from

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Featured , Getting Started

Health Benefits

By at April 2, 2012 | 9:21 pm | 0 Comment

Skinny Dipping

From a secular perspective the health and psychological benefits of dipping in natural waters were also long known. George Bernard Shaw, Benjamin Britten, Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale were all advocates of regular cold baths to strengthen the mental constitution and physical state. Cold immersion soothes muscle aches, relieves depression and boosts the immune

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Featured , Health

Song about Durdle Door

By at September 25, 2011 | 4:10 pm | 0 Comment


Rick Pearson has composed this lovely new folk song, inspired by a swim at Durdle Door. Here he tells us a little about the inspiration.. “Swimming at Durdle Door in November?” scoffed my dad. “You two are mad.” Perhaps we were. But back in November 2011, that’s exactly where my friend and I were headed. I’d been given the Wild Swimming book

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Arts & Culture , Magazine

Our Land campaign

By at July 4, 2011 | 9:54 am | 0 Comment


Our Land is a campaign to promote the rural beauty and countryside activties of Southern England. The website is full of hand-picked things to do and places to stay in some of the most beautiful landscapes on our doorstep in the South of England. Everything listed on Our Land is there because it promises to indulge you with local knowledge of the landscapes' distinctive

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National Events & Campaigns

Outdoor Swimming Society

By at June 12, 2011 | 10:04 am | 2 Comments


The Outdoor Swimming Society was founded in 2007 by Kate Rew, author of Wild Swim (published shortly after Wild Swimming in 2008). The Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS) builds upon 'Breastrokes', a charity swim that used to be organised in the Lake District. These no longer run but the Great North Swim now offer an exciting and challangeing opportunity for those

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National Events & Campaigns

Wild swimming for beginners – tips and advice

By at July 15, 2010 | 9:14 pm | 0 Comment

Daniel Start, author of Wild Swimming, shares his tips for taking the plunge . What is wild swimming and why do it? ‘Wild Swimming’ is the ancient art of swimming in natural waters such as rivers, lakes and waterfalls, as well as the sea - the sort of places our great grandparents learnt to swim in and the only places before swimming pools were invented in Victorian

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Getting Started , Magazine