Monday, 17 August 2015

Wild Swimming

One of this summer's favourite frugal activities has been swimming. Wiltshire Council kindly provides free swimming for kids during the summer holidays, and we've made good use of the offer. 

This year the kids have also enjoyed wild swimming. Not in Wiltshire, but in the East Dart at Bellever, Devon, and further down in the River Dart itself at Newbridge, towards Ashburton -a really popular swimming spot.


It was icy cold water and both kids quickly concluded that wetsuits are definitely needed for river swimming in England. That was why I couldn't be found in the water. Rivers are just as enjoyable when you're sitting beside them, enjoying the sound of the water flowing swiftly over large granite stones and the play of the light as it shines through the trees.

Wild swimming has really become a 'thing' over the last few years - locally, a swimming area on the Avon not too far from here has become very well known, although we have yet to make our way there. With the help of Grandad and the Internet, Son seemed to easily find grid references for the two Dartmoor swimming places we visited - both were safe (as in, not too deep) and the water looked clear and fast flowing enough not to be harbouring any nasty diseases.

A good introduction to wild swimming, and certainly something we (or some of us) will pursue.

Do you know any good spots for wild swimming near where you live?

10 comments:

  1. I quite agree with you - far more enjoyable sat watching from the river bank, with a flask of tea and some knitting perhaps?!

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    1. Yep, watching wild swimming is a sport in itself!!

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  2. I've never heard it called wild swimming. We always just use more descriptive language like swimming in the creek or river or pond. At this point, I'd go for the river bank too.

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    1. Yes, wild swimming is nothing new - it just seems to have been given a label over here, and there have been a few books written on the subject.

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  3. Oh I very much want to do this. I have heard that they are re-opening the Lido in Bath. Not quite wild swimming but still outdoors. There is a Wild Swimming group on Meetup.

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    1. I've heard good things about the Lido in Bristol so that would be great if the Lido reopened in Bath - where is it? There's reportedly a good and well organised swimming area on the Avon near Farleigh Hungerford - keep meaning to get there but haven't made it yet.

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  4. I was really surprised when Rom moved to Canada to hear that he had never swum in a lake or river in the UK. But then SE England doesn't have much water! I grew up lake swimming but put it behind me after my kid got older. However, I was in twice this week when the weather heated up! Love the cool water and the lack of chlorine. Don't love the rocks and algae.

    Sarah, I found one of your recent comments on my blog. It was in the spam folder because of a problem I had previously identified: when the two parts of a person's email address are similar, such as "frugal @frugal.com," WordPress marks it as spam. That is an email address format that a lot of spammers use, unfortunately.

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  5. I think I would enjoy seating on the river bank and watching children having fun in the water. Thanks for sharing and have a blessed day.

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  6. Shoalstone Pool at Brixham is free and nearly wild! Haven't tried it yet but was a frequent visitor to the River Dart swimming holes when I live near there. x

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  7. I love Bellever forest. It's not far from us! We also like wild swimming at Spitchwick which is also on Dartmoor

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