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Description by Outdoor Swimming Society on behalf of Outdoor Swimming Society

This lazy river was the site of one of Roger Deakin’s languid dips for Waterlog and revisited by Joe Minihane for his book about Deakin’s swims, Floating: A Life Regained.

Description by Jason Schreiber who added this swim

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 punts pirouette around each other.

If you are a competent swimmer you might well find it easy to beat a novice punter going upstream. A great challenge is to swim the whole meadow, which takes about 40 minutes downstream at a steady pace. A little planning - or a helpful non-swimmer - is required to ensure that towel and clothes are not strewn in too many places along the river bank.

If it gets too cold then it is easy to get out part way down. Swim early or late in the day as there is plenty of wildlife to be seen including herons, kingfishers and frogs.

This is a crowd-sourced map. Abilities vary, and conditions change. Always assess risks for yourself before getting in.

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Swimmer descriptions

  • Added: 18/07/2013

    parked up at the Lion Pub. After a short walk of 50m i was on the river side, good for family picnics or a pub lunch. there seems to be a path alongside and looking at google maps itlooks suitable if you have a nonswim friend to walk alongside. No current to speak of tonight, 8pm, water is a little cloudy and some spots have high weeds but a wove a path around them. But it is July and has been very hot. Water was lovely and warm today

    • Currents

    This is a crowd-sourced map. Abilities vary, and conditions change. Always assess risks for yourself before getting in.

    some traffic, canoeists etc.

    Be seen...use a Chillswim towbag

  • Added: 04/01/2015

    Went here on December 28th 2014. River was really fast flowing, unusual for this stretch. Had to walk upstream and float/swim back as current way too strong to swim against. Saw a canoist and lots of walkers and joggers. Water very deep in the middle, no weeds at this time of year. Easy access to the water from the numerous cattle creeps along the bank. Pretty safe and easy access. Parked at The Red Lion Pub where we went for a drink afterwards. Lovely place, good service and toasty open fires.

    This description has been flagged !

  • Added: 10/07/2018

    Its deep enough to dive in places and although shop supplies are limited there are four pubs.

    Cows occasionally block entrance to the footpath so you may have to detour. You can see hares at dusk

    This description has been flagged !

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