wildswim.com is not able to assume legal responsibility for it's users. While we are always keen to share our passion for outdoor swimming, all swimmers must be solely responsible for making their own assessment as to the risks involved in any particular swim. For more information on individual responsibility read the Swim Responsibility Statement in wildswim.com Terms & Conditions.

  • Lake

  • Lidos

  • River

  • Estuaries

  • Sea

  • Tidal Pools


  • Endurance

  • Journey/Crossing

  • Family Friendly

  • Dip

  • Swims

  • Jumping

  • Exploring

  • Skinny Dipping

  • Journey / Crossing

Roger Deakin's seminal Waterlog provided inspiration for me to rediscover these swimming holes across the UK. Floating: A Life Regained (Duckworth, £14.99), the book about my journey, is out in April 2017.

I've included a total of 55 swims in this collection. This does not include the private stretches of water that Roger visited, in order to protect the owners.

You can read more about my journey and why Waterlog isn't truly a guidebook over on the OSS site.

Joe Minihane

Share

Swims in this collection

  1. Henleaze Lake, Lake Road, Henleaze, Bristol

    People sit on the waiting list of Henleaze Lake swimming club, a freshwater spring-fed lake just outside Bristol, for years before becoming members. But local...

  2. Hampstead Heath Mixed Ponds, London

    The three swimming ponds on Highgate are generally for pleasure swimming in costumes only, but triathletes can now attend in wetsuits for specific sessions. All...

  3. Chagford Swimming Pool

    Riverfed solar-heated village pool situated in Dartmoor National Park. Tel: 01647 432929

  4. Cirencester Open Air Pool

    Set by a castle wall with grazing cattle nearby, this freshwater heated pool is fed by a nearby well. 27m x 14m. Paddling pool. Tel:...

  5. London Oasis Swimming Pool

    Right in the centre of Covent Garden and overlooked by flats and an 11-storey office block, this chlorinated, heated pool offers an unusual swim in...

  6. Parliament Hill Fields Lido

    Grade II listed in January 1999 as one of the finest surviving examples of a 1930s lido left in the UK. It measures 70m x...

  7. Tooting Bec Lido

    This lido is home to the thriving South London Swimming Club which swims all year round, with races every Sunday. A friendly lido, with...

  8. Ingleton Swimming Pool

    With a riverside setting this freshwater heated pool in the Yorkshire Dales National Park was originally dug out by local volunteers in 1933. In recent...

  9. Farleigh and District Swimming Club, Wiltshire

    The last remaining river swimming in the country. Founded in 1933, it averages 2000 members and provides idyllic swimming in the river Frome, sunbathing in...

  10. River Waveney, nr Geldestone

    The Waveney is Roger Deakin's river. It meanders through gentle pastures. This stretch takes you from the limit of navigation upstream to Ellingham Weir. The...

  11. Hexworthy Bridge

    Nice pool at Hexworthy Bridge on the West Dart river, deep enough to swim but with shallower areas for small children. Lots of fish to...

  12. St Helen's Picnic Place (Little Ouse at Santon Downham)

    Many families come here with their children to paddle. You can swim upstream towards Thetford but it does get a bit "weedy" - fine if...

  13. Durgan Beach

    Durgan is a tiny village with a small sandy beach available at most times although it is fairly narrow at high tide. There is also...

  14. West Bay East Beach

    Small friendly family seaside resort in West Dorset, close to Bridport. Two shingle beaches either side of the harbour. East Beach more sheltered for swimming...

  15. River Test, North Houghton

    This is a very nice shallow spot for young children and families to mess around. There is a footbridge over the river at this...

  16. Burnham Overy Staithe

    Burnham Overy is a stunning harbour. It dries at low water leaving some fabulous sandy swimming pools ideal for children old and young. The mud...

  17. Treyarnon Tidal Pool, Cornwall

    Just six seven minutes around the corner from Constantine Bay on the coast path lies a pool-size tidal pool in the rocks. The biggest has...

  18. West Dart/Swincombe Pool

    Nice pool where the river Swincombe (sourced from the infamous Fox Tor Mire) flows into the W. Dart, upstream from the stepping stones.Quite shallow, but...

  19. Devil's Bridge

    Good access from stoney beach on the northern side of the bridge, slight current which can make exit at same point difficult but you can...

  20. Hampstead Heath Men's Pond, London

    The Men's Pond on Hampstead Heath is available for year-round swimming. As the name implies, the pond is only available to male swimmers -...

  21. Horstead Mill

    Not far from where I live in Norfolk is the beautiful river Bure, and at Horstead mill the very big mill pool is very popular...

  22. Ickburgh Mill

    Quite family friendly.

  23. Hathersage Pool

    Bare in mind the Summer Timetable is biased towards locals with a swimming pass and the small pool can become tremendously busy. On the other...

  24. Mothercombe beach

    Lovely private beach, open to the public on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. White sandy wide beach, but not over-crowded. We had a delightful, long swim...

  25. Isleham River Lark

    Lovely clean deep river, very long swims possible, footpaths alongside river downstream to Prickwillow and beyond, upstream to Mildenhall, with many places to enter. At...

  26. Abbey Bridge

    An old local swimming spot, a weir under Abbey Bridge creates a pool to one side and waist-deep river to the other. There isn't opportunity...

  27. Bolton Abbey

    Enjoy the riverside ruins, and throngs of paddlers and swimmers, at Costa del Bolton. There are stepping stones and a deeper pool just downstream. Popular,...

  28. Sandford Parks Lido - Cheltenham

    One of the grand old ladies of the lido world - huge 50m pool and separate children's pool in a park like setting. Heated during the...

  29. Readymoney Cove, Fowey

    Beautiful sandy cove, with floating diving platform. Easy walk to St. Catherine's Castle with fine estuary views.

  30. Bryher

    A sheltered bay with a sandy beach. Swim out into the icy depths with your goggles over stunning kelp forests.

  31. Llyn Cwm Bychan

    Moody mountainous lake with a shallow east end, perfect for easy swimming.

  32. Blythburgh Marshes

    A cool lake fed by the River Blyth. Access is via the woods from the Walberswick road. Be aware of the mud underfoot once in...

  33. Hambridge

    One of Roger Deakin's less salubrious Waterlog dips. An old canal with a lot of algae. For the brave only.

  34. River Isle

    Roger Deakin bills this as a bucolic dip, but fails to mention the nearby A303. The river is shallow and runs fast, enough for a...

  35. Jaywick Sands

    A rough and tumble North Sea swim, with big views out to offshore wind turbines. Can get very windy.

  36. Adventurer's Fen

    The clue is in the name - you'll need to swim across one of the lodes on either side of this pool to reach it....

  37. Blandford, River Stour

    A narrow stretch of the River Stour, where Roger Deakin went in search of the 'Blandford Bomber', a biting pond skater, on his Waterlog journey.

  38. The Tufa Pool, Cowside Beck

    A hard-to-find dip from Roger Deakin's Waterlog. A small pool in the middle of Cowside Beck, next to a spinney of ash and a small...

  39. Marazion Beach

    The starting point for Roger Deakin's Waterlog swim across to St Michael's Mount. Can be uneven underfoot, with lots of seaweed.

  40. Porthcurno

    Turquoise waters and thumping waves make this a beautiful and exhilarating swim. Roger Deakin swam out to an offshore sandbar here. Dolphins can often be...

  41. Godrevy Beach

    Roger Deakin 'double dipped' here, swimming in the sea after a paddle in the nearby Red River. The latter, at the north end of the...

  42. Bamburgh Beach

    A classic Waterlog swim, Roger Deakin came here after swimming in Scotland. The waves can be big and the weather hit and miss, so exercise...

  43. Camber Sands

    Visited by Roger Deakin for Waterlog, swimming here today requires extreme caution due to shifting sands. Life guards are set to be present at the...

  44. Dungeness

    The shelving pebble beach here makes for deep, cool bathing in the summer months. A Roger Deakin favourite.

  45. Fort Hoo and the Medway

    This busy, industrial stretch of river was one of Roger Deakin's biggest feats in Waterlog. He had the help of a local boatman to help...

  46. Gargrave, Leeds and Liverpool Canal

    The only canal swum in by Roger Deakin. The water here is not as pleasant as the nearby becks and streams of the Dales, but...

  47. River Erme

    Roger Deakin rode the rising tide inland here, following the lush green channel upriver from the sea. Keep a keen eye on the tide, it...

  48. Great Ouse near Denver Sluice

    Roger Deakin described swimming here as like wading through warm tea. Access is awkward, via a steep sloping bank, while the slick mud can pose...

  49. Well Creek and Middle Level Drain

    A classic case of Roger Deakin overselling a Waterlog swim. These are somewhat 'industrial' dips, one via an aqueduct on Well Creek, the other in...

  50. Loch Tarbert

    Like Roger Deakin, you can enter the water here from an old boathouse. It's relatively sheltered compared with the rest of the island and provides...

  51. River Waveney

    One of Roger Deakin's many favoured spots on the Waveney. The water here can get weedy, but its banks are well worth exploration, with lots...

  52. Holkham

    A favoured spot of Roger Deakin during Waterlog. The waves can be wild, but the wide beach means it's often shallow. The water is cool...

  53. Covehithe Beach

    Roger Deakin came here and swam in Benacre Broad, crossing the beach to swim in the sea. Today, the brackish broad is fenced off to...

  54. River Windrush

    An oxbow bend on a pretty river in the Cotswolds. Roger Deakin swam countless loops here for Waterlog. Today though, the bend is fenced off,...

  55. River Cam, Grantchester Meadows

    The Cam is lazy river meandering through meadows just upstream of Cambridge. There are many points of entry between Grantchester and Cambridge, where swimmers and...

Supported by: