Waterlog Reswum

Archives

“At length I came upon a small spinney of ash by the banks, and the promising sound of a waterfall. And there, just below, was the elusive tufa pool and the sparkle of animated water chasing its tail around it…I stripped and dived in. It was so cold I might have flung myself into a bed of nettles.” After my stolen swim at Beezley, Dave slowly inches the car up the ‘cruel… Read More

“I biked down from Chalk Farm to the Royal Automobile Club at 97 Pall Mall carrying my swimming gear in my usual grey canvas rucksack…The long, green pool was a magnificent, high–ceilinged Byzantine affair, all turquoise mosaic pillars and wide terrazzo floors. The pool was edged with marble and a fine spray of tepid water played on the surface at the shallow end.” Two things in life make me feel exceedingly awkward…. Read More

“I passed through the elegant ironwork gateway of the Henleaze Swimming Club and straight into the 1920s. The lake shone like a river by banks of weeping willows and well–kept lawns dotted with little groups of sun–bathers. It was long and deep, as though it flowed between the canyon walls of the old quarry.” The dark clouds reflect my stinking mood as the train pulls into Bristol Temple Meads. After the impish fun… Read More

“I began the day with the nearest thing to a spa experience still available in the town…an early dip in the classic Sandford Lido, opened in 1935 when open-air swimming was at its height…I had the satisfying experience of being first in, diving into the smoothness and swimming a whole length alone.” Sandford Parks Lido is a seething mass of people as we push through the turnstile and stop at the bubbling… Read More

“Next morning in cloudy Cirencester, Betty, the lady at the turnstile of the heated outdoor pool, took my £2 as I crossed the little river on an old iron footbridge…I hastened into the deliciously soft, warm water and set about swimming my mile.” Tom and I are very much among company as we hand over £4.50 each and walk along the side of Cirencester Open Air pool and into the breeze block… Read More

“Earlier, we had all picnicked on Mothecombe Beach together, to the west of the estuary, and Mike and I had swum in the bay. It was a Private Day at the beach, which meant that only bona fide local villagers from Holbeton were allowed access.” With the River Erme to our left and the tide rising, we make our way quickly down to Mothecombe Beach. It’s Sunday, a public day, and so… Read More

“…the estuary was all too real and none too warm, as I swam across it on the rising tide two days later…I had crossed to the centre of the wide bay from Coastguard’s Beach. A little group of surfers clustered waist deep, waiting for the big grey rollers that surged out of the open sea, breaking on a sand bar.” The sun is up as Tom cautiously steers his Jag down the… Read More

“I also visited the charming village of Chagford, fed by the River Teign, with an outdoor cafe. It is fringed with trees down one side and – the last thing you expect to see on the edge of Dartmoor – a vigorous hedge of bamboo.” Summer has returned to Dartmoor by the time we arrive at Chagford. The passing showers have fled out to sea, leaving blue skies, the perfect adornment for… Read More

“Just downstream from Denver Sluice, a gigantic arrangement of lock gates that controls the main outlet of the Fen river system, I swam the Great Ouse, which runs out to the sea at King’s Lynn.” Our bags heavy with wet swimming gear, Well Creek and Middle Level Main Drain behind us, Tim and I drive east to Salters Lode and a date with Denver Sluice. Crossing Well Creek, we walk along the… Read More

“I drove on west … through Salters Lode and Nordelph to Well Creek, where I bathed in the Middle Level Drain in the evening sunshine.” The rumble of an HGV is the only sound I can hear as I slip off of the retaining wall and into Middle Level Main Drain. Plastic bottles, clinging to the waters edge, bob and slurp as I push myself against the current and into the main… Read More