Waterlog Reswum

    “When I had first seen the words ‘Raised Beaches’ on the map, recurring like an incantation, forming a ribbon along the western shores of Jura, I immediately wanted to...

“The next swim, from a wooden landing stage of a boathouse on a little trout loch nestling in a purple bowl of hills, was a sheer delight. This loch had a...

    “When you enter the water, something like metamorphosis happens. Leaving behind the land, you go through the looking-glass surface and enter a new world, in which survival, not ambition...

    “The Wissey rises in a moated fish pond at a farm in Shipdham near East Dereham in Norfolk and quite soon runs through the never-never land of an army...

    “The River Lark was known as Jordan, because people came from all over the Fens to be baptised by total immersion in its waters at Isleham.” Look up the...

“I had entered a swimmer’s dream. People lolled half-submerged along the top of the weir, reading or sunbathing, while others paddled themselves in coracles, swam, dived, or just sat about in...

“I left my clothes near the bridge and walked barefoot on the warm sand along the over bank upstream for a mile and drifted back down, swimming gently with the current,...

  “Approaching the Itchen along College Walk, I came eventually to the water meadows and two or three piebald horses grazing by the river. I vaulted a low fence, steadying myself...

“Hampstead Heath, and its enlightened management by the City of London Corporation, makes a useful working model of good practice both in terms of pollution and access. The Highgate Ponds, fed...

    “I returned through the meadows, swimming upriver against the gentle current to Mendham Mill, where the painter Alfred Munnings spent his boyhood.” Pulling into Mendham, past the Sir Alfred...