Wild Swimming Second Edition by Daniel Start
Back in 2009 Daniel Start published a lovely new book called Wild Swimming. It was essentially a cross between a proper guide book and a coffee table book detailing some of the best wild swimming spots in the UK. I reviewed it here.
Since then he’s also published a companion book detailing the best coastal wild swimming spots in the UK, and also a beautiful book to some of the best spots in France. This year sees a new edition of the original book, with 150 new swims, that’s twice the number that were in the first one
I still wouldn’t go as far as describing it as a proper guidebook as it is frustratingly difficult to use when you are actually on the hunt for a spot – the maps are basic (though there are grid references provided), and although it’s pretty much essential to have a photograph for each spot so that you know what you are letting yourself in for, this is sadly not the case. The photos that are included – and there are plenty of them – are virtually all stunningly inspirational, but they don’t cover every spot in the book. To compare with a climbing guide or a mountain biking guide for example it’s easy to compare different climbs or routes as there are universal grading scales, but wild swimming doesn’t have such a scale, not even a star-rating system, so all you have to go on is a description and a picture, and a picture paints a thousand words.
Still, if you don’t mind persevering, and cross referencing from the maps to the index, to the relevant pages, you can find your spot, and with 150 new ones to go at it’s a very worthwhile new edition of what’s an excellent book.
You can buy the book here, as well as well as explore the excellent website. Retails at £14.99.