Guest Post: Swimming the Eden


Calum Hudson, one of three brothers taking part in the Swim the Eden Expedition, tells us why he loves wild swimming so much – and shares his favourite wild swims.

We grew up swimming, fishing, kayaking and playing along the river, launching ourselves from the bottom of our garden in Langwathby. One of our favourite places along the banks was Lacy Caves just past Little Salkeld. I remember finishing school on a hot summers day and racing there on our bikes. We used to build fires on a little rocky out crop and jump off ‘The Tower’ a 20ft stack of rocks. Jumping from it was a rite of passage into our teens. Some of our happiest days were spent jumping, diving and flipping off these rocky ledges into the cool water of the river, and building bonfires in the old stone caves carved into the rock.

However this was nothing compared to the mighty Armathwaite cliff, a 40ft vertical drop overlooking the Eden. I remember hearing stories on the school bus from the older kids about jumping off it into the water. One day I’d join them. We took the train up from Langwathby, Jack, Robbie, myself and some school friends and trekked along the river. We slipped into the water on a hot summers day and floated downstream, dipping our head under the water to swim among the reeds and crept up on a Heron fishing on the river banks. We even saw a kingfisher once and an otter. These beautiful creatures would watch us swimming down the river and drift back off into their own wild worlds. Eventually we reached the cliff and swam onto the riverbank. We climbed our way to the top of the cliff, clambering over rocks, tree trunks and hauled our way up. I looked down at the Eden flowing past 40ft below, gathered my breath and took the first step off. The Eden raced up towards me and I burst into the water with a loud splash, bubbles fizzing around me as a flew down into the green murky watery world.

Over the years we explored countless pools, ledges, waterfalls, nooks and crannies. We’ve since grown up and left that world behind, Robbie to Berlin, Jack to Newcastle and me to London. In some way swimming the River Eden is a 90 mile endurance that will push us to our limits but really its about reconnecting with our childhood and paying homage to the waterway which we share so many fond memories with.


Calum Hudson is taking part in the Swim the Eden Expedition: 3 brothers, 90 miles, 1 river. Along with his two brothers, Robbie and Jack, they are planning to become the first people to swim the entire 145km length of the River Eden in Cumbria this summer. They will start on August 15th 2015 at Hellgill and swim all the way to the Solway Firth, overcoming overcome rapids, waterfalls, weirs, chilly temperatures, whirlpools and sinking sand to be the first people ever to swim the River Eden from source to mouth.