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Wild Swim: River, Lake, Lido and Sea: the Best Places to Swim Outdoors in Britain Hardcover – 27 May 2008


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Guardian Newspapers Ltd (27 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0852650930
  • ISBN-13: 978-0852650936
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 25.2 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 291,373 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

A wonderful and joyful romp of a book. Roger Deakin would have approved. 'Wild Swim', like Waterlog, will launch a thousand swimmers. So go on. Dive in. --Robert Macfarlane, author of 'The Wild Places'

'Wild Swim' is a bit like a glossy recipe book, only with pictures of delicious lakes and rivers where you would normally find souffles and stews, and mouth-watering descriptions of dips in lochs and oceans instead of recipes. --Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

'Wild Swim' is a book born out of genuine love for its subject; serious swimmers and seaside paddlers alike should dip in. --Charlotte Ross, Evening Standard

Book Description

'A wonderful and joyful romp of a book that will launch a thousand swimmers. Go on. Dive in!' Robert Macfarlane, author of The Wild Places. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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It's the jumping that people most come to the Blue Lagoon for. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 103 people found the following review helpful By A. Deacon on 21 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kate Rew, founder of The Outdoor Swimming Society, and her team have put together a beautiful book. It combines coffee-table weight and quality with a genuine and infectious enthusiasm for swimming miles away from the chlorine and concrete of a typical municipal pool.

Having said that, of the 307 sites listed (108 described in detail), 106 (including the Serpentine) are lidos or similar. It could be argued that this is a high proportion for a book titled "Wild Swim", but even if you do not care for regulated swimming that still leaves you over 200 truly wild spots.

The book is illustrated throughout with professional-quality photographs. These tend to be arty rather than informative, but they do achieve what is no doubt the main aim of the book: To make you want to get out there and get wet. And it is probably more important to create and encourage that desire than it is to select a particular swimming destination.

The text is as good as the photography. Often the author comes across locals who have been swimming at a spot for years. She chats engagingly about the people she meets. Each conversational snippet gives us either something about the location or perhaps a new way off thinking about wild swimming. Kate is good at the little personal touches that can describe a place better than a more prosaic style.

Sample text from an old favourite of mine (Farleigh Hungerford AKA Stowford Manor Farm in Wiltshire):
After a swim you can amble barefoot up to Peter's farm for a cream tea surrounded by trailing pink roses. "Sorry no milk for a few days as the cow's had antibiotics" says a sign on the fridge.

Don't know if they still sell raw milk from that fridge - they did last time I was there. It tasted good and had a surprisingly yellow tint.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Y. Lev on 18 July 2008
Format: Hardcover
Having read all the previous reviews there is little left for me to add. This is a marvellous achievement and a great contribution towards making open water swimming accepted in the UK as, indeed it is everywhere else in the world. Congratulations to Kate for flowing (sorry..) text and to Dominick for some stunning photography
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Christiane Mitchell on 28 Dec. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a really nice book for a read or browse at home. The swimming sites aren't listed geographically though, so if you're planning a holiday, in Cornwall say, you have be constantly flicking around the book to find relevant listings. This means you almost need to make notes to make use of it. Otherwise very interesting.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Ms. J. A. Eede on 15 July 2008
Format: Hardcover
Kate Rew is quite simply a lyrical genius - a unique voice - on every page of Wild Swim you can smell, taste and feel the water and the elements she describes ... it's magical, poetic and funny at the same time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. W. Simkin on 4 Feb. 2009
Format: Hardcover
If you love swimming, this is the book for you! Brilliant - couldn't put it down. Excellent photographs too. Covers outdoor lidos, rivers, estuaries, sea, lakes all over UK. I am definately going to trying out some of these swims!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jon Machell on 10 July 2008
Format: Hardcover
"Wild Swim" is a must have book for water lovers everywhere!

If you love the outdoor life and have a sense of adventure, you will discover many stunning swimming spots that will inspire you and make you feel alive. If, on the other hand you prefer a more sedentary lifestyle, the book is worth having simply to enjoy Kate Rew's beautiful descriptions and amusing anecdotes of her trips around the UK in search of the perfect swim.

Dominick Tyler's photography is stunning and compliments the text well, inspiring the reader to dig out the goggles (togs optional) and get out there. Unlike most guide books this one really is worth reading cover to cover.
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26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By M. E. Amyatt-leir on 16 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a nicely wrirten book with some good photography, but it is not very practical as a guide book: the structure is confusing (there is no regional order) and it feels more for the hardcore, experienced outdoor swimmer than those who, like me, are looking for more fun days out or places to explore and take a dip with my family.

Also I was disappointed that after buying the book that half of the wild swims listed are outdoor swimming pools, which aren't particularly wild or that hard to find anyway!
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By John Greenhalgh on 3 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book based on an extract published in The Guardian. This book is both a wonderfully presented piece of photo art, the kind of thing I'd put on a coffee table if I had one, but also a pretty inspiring list of wild swim locations brought to life through wonderful prose. Each location is explained through anecdote rather than a technical description of the site, but this works well; it makes you want to get out there and go for it! The book is well indexed and cross referenced making it easy to find somewhere suitable.
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