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Waterlog: A Swimmers Journey Through Britain; Roger Deakin; 1999

Waterlog: A Swimmers Journey Through Britain; Roger Deakin; 1999

Waterlog: A Swimmer's Journey Through Britain; Roger Deakin; 1999; Chatto and Windus

Roger Deakin was one of the UK's foremost writers about nature, place and landscape. He was involved in the founding of the hugely influential arts and environment organisation Common Ground.

Waterlog - which is “an unforgettable celebration of the magic of water” -  is one of his most celebrated works.

“Roger Deakin set out in 1996 to swim through the British Isles. The result a uniquely personal view of an island race and a people with a deep affinity for water. From the sea, from rock pools, from rivers and streams, tarns, lakes, lochs, ponds, lidos, swimming pools and spas, from fens, dykes, moats, aqueducts, waterfalls, flooded quarries, even canals, Deakin gains a fascinating perspective on modern Britain. Detained by water bailiffs in Winchester, intercepted in the Fowey estuary by coastguards, mistaken for a suicide on Camber sands, confronting the Corryvreckan whirlpool in the Hebrides, he discovers just how much of an outsider the native swimmer is to his landlocked, fully-dressed fellow citizens. Encompassing cultural history, autobiography, travel writing and natural history, Waterlog is a personal journey, a bold assertion of the native swimmer's right to roam, and an unforgettable celebration of the magic of water.”

Source of above and more info here

This book helped revive the art of ‘wild swimming’  in the UK, and gave rise to a number of follow on books, e.g.

Wild Swim; Kate Rew and Dominick Tyler; 2009  (here) 

Wild Swimming: 300 Hidden Dips in the Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of Britain; Daniel Start; 2013 (here)

A Wild Swimming Interactive website with map can be found here