Adam Smith: While the Windrush is not a big river by any stretch of the imagination, it does require a lot of patience and while there are some spots where one could just have a gentle dip, they are few and far between. Get in at the bridge and swim east past the church where the sycamores span the river on both sides.
However after this you are confronted with a variety of obstacles not least small sluice gates and the occaisional converted water mill where the water will run under the building!
It is possible to swim most of this river, but don't expect to get a good head of steam and be prepared to haul yourself up and walk a few hundred metres occasionally (sometimes a lot), as the water depth shrinks to just a few inches in places. Once you are out of the town, the water becomes very sinuous and suddenly you will find yourself in an extremely rural idyl.
There is a path that runs along the bank most of the way, but much of the river is through private land. As the river rarely gets more than about 10 feet wide, Swans can become a problem especially when they are with their young, there is no easy way to pass them, so care should be taken and getting out to walk a few metres down stream along the bank is often the best course. A real 'Boys-own Adventure' swim.
Swans in the Spring/Summer. Many sluice gates and where the water runs under buildings you need to be careful not to injure yourself on the hard concrete river bed. Can be very weedy in places. There are many fallen trees and old fence posts in the water, so be prepared to scramble. A suit is recommended if only to protect from the nicks and scratches you may get.