Gransnet forums


swimming in the wild

(35 Posts)
tanith Tue 22-Apr-14 14:09:52

Does anyone ever wild swim ,river,lake or sea? I have in the past mostly on hols with the kids but nowadays the opportunity rarely comes and I do miss it. OH hardly swims and only in a pool if its really warm so I have to be content with swimming in the sea abroad for a week now and then .
I'd really love to be able to more often .

granjura Tue 22-Apr-14 14:19:03

I am very lucky to be surrounded by lakes which get quite warm in Summer- and I love swimming wild- but always follow the shore at a safe distance, just in case. Much much nicer than swimming up and down in a pool. I wear goggles and my short flippers.

janerowena Tue 22-Apr-14 14:23:36

I used to, a lot. Now I just watch my son and his friends, I give them a lift to a small lake near us and take a book with me. We used to swim in the river that runs past Winchester college, as we lived just along the road. Before that, at a place where two rivers joined in Kent. It's a very different feeling, the water is so silky.

There is a lovely shallow river in the town not far from us where all the local children swim, but I have seen rats so would hesitate. We have a river almost at the bottom of the garden, but the stinging nettles are too bad in the summer. I think the farmer might complain if we took a strimmer to it so that we could go swimming!

tanith Tue 22-Apr-14 17:39:52

Lucky you granjura sounds so lovely. Janerowena any reason why you don't take part? I'd find it hard to resist.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 22-Apr-14 18:07:33

DS does this. It scares the bejeezuz (sp?) out of me. I think it's dangerous. Some of them do it in reservoirs. Downright stupid.

tanith Tue 22-Apr-14 20:41:26

Reservoirs is a definite no no I agree but as long as simple rules are followed its safe enough and very exhilarating.

rosequartz Tue 22-Apr-14 20:46:55

Swimming is rather an exaggeration in my case, but I do love going in the sea and was trying to swim in as many seas as possible, but we are not travelling as much now.
The Baltic was surprisingly warm and clear with little fishes swimming around us.
We always swam in the river when I was a child as we were so far from the sea.
We paddled in West Wales last month. It was very very cold.

Grannyknot Wed 23-Apr-14 07:38:25

Swimming in the wild is utterly thrilling and a routine part of growing up in many countries.

I've swum in rivers, the Indian ocean, dams, anywhere where there's water on a hot day. On a holiday in Scotland a few summers ago the group we were with had the eye popping experience of husband standing under a waterfall in his shorts, before swimming in the mountain pool. They were so shocked, it was hilarious.

NfkDumpling Wed 23-Apr-14 07:39:56

Near Norwich there's a newish country park (Whittlingam) made from old gravel workings. A small lake was given a sandy beach and an area buoyed off and kept weed clear for paddling and swimmimg. It was very popular. A couple of lads, strangers who apparently couldn't read English and seemingly were ignorant of what the buoys and ropes were for, swam in the wrong area where it was weedy - and one drowned. The little lake was immediately fenced off - and still is.
Last summer a beauty spot near Kings Lynn, again an old gravel working with a beach, saw a similar tradgedy when a local bloke drowned. At least this time access hasn't been banned.
I've swum in some beautiful places and love the silky feel of proper water but I think if wild swimming is going to be an accepted pastime much more education is needed about the dangers of cold water, underwater hazards, depth, currents, etc.

JessM Wed 23-Apr-14 07:59:00

Having worked in a water company and knowing the lengths they go to to remove pathogens like giardia and cryptosporidium from fresh water, I would not consider it.

Aka Wed 23-Apr-14 08:06:55

Golly gosh Jess how many different jobs have you had? wink

JessM Wed 23-Apr-14 08:15:09

Quite a few. Bit of a butterfly.

Aka Wed 23-Apr-14 08:19:18


anneey Wed 23-Apr-14 09:25:39

Some years ago, I was addicted to swimming in the Ladies Only Pond in Kenwood, Hampstead. Whilst swimming we would see the occasional Crane and birdlife. For us Townies it is quite something.
The water felt like silk (albeit) ridden with germs no doubt.
I don't go now as I have a Back problem and the walk would be a problem.

merlotgran Wed 23-Apr-14 09:31:20

We're surrounded by rivers here but I'll stick to boats as I don't fancy Weil's Disease.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 23-Apr-14 09:36:48

We have been known to let grandsons paddle in the Thames. Absolute terror on my part, but they loved it. (We kept a very close watch)

I paddled in the Thames as a child. Was such a treat.

rosequartz Wed 23-Apr-14 10:54:01

I do know of someone who caught Weil's disease from canal water.

DD2 fell into the stinking water at Slimbridge when she was merrily skipping across the stepping stones (just asmi called 'be careful'. I was very worried, we found a hose and cleaned her off; she was fine, luckily.

My old landlady was an all-year-round sea swimmer - her group swam every day in Devon.

henetha Wed 23-Apr-14 10:58:30

It seems really strange to me, after a lifetime of swimming in the sea, that it's now known as 'wild swimming' and is seen as something unusual.
But then, I was brought up by the sea, and south Devon has lovely beaches.

tanith Wed 23-Apr-14 11:16:59

Used to swim in the Thames a lot when I was young I'm sure it was much dirtier than now 50 odd years ago.. also swam in Ruislip Lido all the time in the Summer school holidays, they closed it to swimming many years ago such a shame we had the most wonderful days there with picnics and swimming.
I did see older swimmers taking to the sea when holidaying in Devon last year but OH thought my suggestion of swimming in my undies discreetly was a complete nono.. haha he nearly had a fit and when I did go in the sea to swim later on that week he was pacing up and down panicking in case I got into trouble so it sort of spoiled my enjoyment..

Grannylin Wed 23-Apr-14 11:26:33

I regularly swim in the estuary and the sea here in Devon but not until the sea temperature warms up.At the moment it's 11.5C. Last year I swam for the first time on July 1st and it was 13C....hoping it might be earlier this year!

janerowena Wed 23-Apr-14 11:27:11

'Janerowena any reason why you don't take part? I'd find it hard to resist.'

Going to a small lake with four teenage boys is NOT a relaxing pastime! I definitely get the impression that I would be ducked, and then I would have to attempt to dry myself before getting us all home again. After I had been taking them for some time, another mother offered to take them, and joined them. Silly woman. grin

tanith Wed 23-Apr-14 11:34:20

Ah! I see your predicament janerowena it wouldn't be very relaxing as you say but knowing it was there I'd be tempted to go along myself with someone else who could either swim with me or watch out for me from the bank.

jinglbellsfrocks Wed 23-Apr-14 12:19:06

Henetha I think sea swimming only becomes "wild" when it is done off of slightly out of the way beaches, and out of season. They seem to prefer cold water. hmm

tanith our school. "swimming baths" was part of the Thames beamed off. I hated it.

Grannyknot Wed 23-Apr-14 12:23:15

henetha I agree with you, the "wild" tag makes me laugh.

Jess years ago I worked for a dairy company and all the ecoli test findings never put me off drinking the milk grin

tanith Wed 23-Apr-14 12:59:52

I always take the 'wild' tag to mean swimming in natural water as opposed to pool swimming. I don't mind it cold the sea around this Island is never really warm so I guess its what you are prepared to endure.