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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Se baigner en paradis
This guide is both beautifully presented and easy and efficient to use. For each region of south / central France there is a tightly worded, yet descriptive overview and a very clear map, followed by concise, individual annotations for each wild swimming location. The swimming sites are also categorised under functional headings, eg canoeing, waterfalls, camping. The...
Published on 25 April 2012 by chrisd

versus
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lovely photos but some inaccurate directions
Great photos, lovely idea for a book and very inspirational. We did waste quite a lot of time however trying to follow some of the inaccurate directions. The well known places are of course easy to find, but some of the smaller ones have proven rather over-egged. We have been in the Ardeche and Languedoc this summer. Nice photos for the armchair traveller though!
Published 11 months ago by Tony no baloney


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Se baigner en paradis, 25 April 2012
This review is from: Wild Swimming France: Discover the Most Beautiful Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of France (Paperback)
This guide is both beautifully presented and easy and efficient to use. For each region of south / central France there is a tightly worded, yet descriptive overview and a very clear map, followed by concise, individual annotations for each wild swimming location. The swimming sites are also categorised under functional headings, eg canoeing, waterfalls, camping. The whole is diffused with the most gorgeous photographs, taken by the author, which make the guide a joy to use.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild Swimming Wonder, 23 April 2012
By 
This review is from: Wild Swimming France: Discover the Most Beautiful Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of France (Paperback)
Sitting in my rocking chair looking out through driving rain over a chilly grey Dartmoor landscape, I opened Daniel Start's latest book: Wild Swimming France. I was immediately entranced and transported to a dream-world of sun and turquoise water cascading into fairytale pools. Each new page elicited gasps and little excited dances, to the point that my neighbours must have wondered what I was doing. This book is pure wild swimming porn.
I have two of Daniel's other, British-based books, Wild Swimming; and Wild Swimming Coast which have proved invaluable in my explorations of local swimming spots and so I fully expected Wild Swimming France to contain similarly wonderful photos and useful information. I wasn't prepared for the range and beauty of the watery environments across central and southern France, which Daniel has spent three years discovering and swimming in.
The book covers every type of inland waterworld a wild swimmer could wish for: voluptious, turquoise Corsican river pools nestling in white rock; wide, leaf-shaded Loire tributaries overlooked by Chateaux; cascades falling straight from heaven into deep, dark basins in the land of the Cathars; aquamarine Pyrenean tarns surrounded by mountains; and a host of other rivers, lakes, watery caves and canyons to explore.
Daniel incorporates a wealth of practical information which includes lat and long coordinates for each spot together with directions and ease of access. Safety is discussed comprehensively with sensible warnings and suggestions on how to mitigate any risks, plus translations of French signs relating to swimming. There are also summaries of popular water-based activities like canyoning and canoeing, hints on where to look for your own wild swimming spots, basic maps, and details of campsites and restaurants.
As a keen wild swimmer, this book will certainly inform my next foreign holiday; it would also be fantastic for anyone visiting France who fancied making a leap into some safe or more challenging water-based activities as a part of a family holiday.
A book to give you sparkling, watery daydreams, and which will help to make your wild swimming dreams come true.

I received a free copy of this book to review.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A "must pack" for the suitcase, 4 May 2012
By 
Big Jim "Big Jim" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wild Swimming France: Discover the Most Beautiful Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of France (Paperback)
If you are heading for inland France then if you want a swim then this book is a must for you. The book is perhaps even more valuable for those visiting the south of France in high summer when the beaches get crowded and places like the Lac du Verdon come into their own. I have mixed feelings that some swims that I was convinced I was the only Briton that knew about them have (as if!?) been discovered eg the River Argens or Cirque de Navacelles but there are loads in here that I was not aware of and I look forward to investigating them. There are still a few wild swims I am aware of in the Auvergne and Jura for example that aren't in this book so considering the size of France I reckon there is enough material for another volume and I for one will eagerly buy it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book so much!, 18 July 2013
By 
K. Willshaw (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wild Swimming France: Discover the Most Beautiful Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of France (Paperback)
I won a copy of Wild Swim France (WSF) last year and promised that I would write a review after I'd tested it out on holiday in France. Well, two French holidays later, all I can say is that this book is the holy grail for anyone that loves swimming outdoors.

I chose both holiday locations on the basis of the reviews in WSF. Last year was camping at the Cascades du Sautadet on the Ceze River (just south of the Ardeche in the Rhone Valley), and this year was spent in the Ardeche at a brilliant campsite on the Chassezac River, and also in the Auvergne.

Me and my other half spent most of both holidays swimming in the places recommended in the book. Last year the Cascades were utterly fantastic except at weekends when they were packed. Having the book meant that we were able to go further upstream to a great little isolated spot where the only other people were nudists all wanting quiet and privacy. We also swam in the Gard on the book's recommendation.

This year we swam in the Ardeche including swimming through Pont d'Arc which was a great thing to do even on a cloudy day, and swam in a couple of tributaries including the Chassezac and the Beaume. We also went upstream on the Ardeche to where the geology changes from limestone to volcanic and swam in the most amazing (and intimidating!) columnar basalt cauldrons which were suggested in WSF. The best swim of all though was in a perfectly circular volcanic crater lake in Puy de Dome near Clermont Ferrand called Lac Serviere. It was so beautiful, perfectly blue with the sun shining through the water, I will look back on it as one of the most perfect swims of my life.

The instructions to find the swims are generally pretty good and easy to follow, although some of the parking spots are actually too hairy to stop at due to fast/narrow roads. We missed the Cirque du Gens because of this. However managed to swim there on a descent of the Upper Ardeche in a kayak on another day.

We were quite smug that we'd actually swum in a couple of places mentioned in the book before the book came out! All in all, this is a completely indispensable handbook for anyone who wants to find amazing swims in France, and it's also a good book to pull out in the middle of winter when everything is cold and dark and you need a mental lift. I'm already planning my next French swimming holiday, this time I think we'll head for the Clues in south-eastern France. Thanks for writing this book Daniel Start
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warm Stone Wet Skin, 4 Oct 2012
This review is from: Wild Swimming France: Discover the Most Beautiful Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of France (Paperback)
I went campervanning round France this summer. I'd wanted to explore France for ages but never had the chance. Suddenly I had the opportunity - an invitation to Provence and the use of a friend's van. But how to know where to stop off on the way to and fro?!
None of the camping books I came across were much good, but when a friend suggested this it all fell into place! We stayed at four or so of the camping locations listed here - everyone of them glorious spots by glorious rivers.
Once I'd got my head around the layout of the book (which took a while) the abundance of amazing swimming spots, particularly in southern France, became clear - we could have spent many more weeks exploring the clear waters and warm stone of France's rivers laid out in the book. There will be a next time!
It's so handy to have an instant way into the special locations that only local knowledge would usually allow. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars French Trip 2013 with wild swims, 7 May 2013
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This review is from: Wild Swimming France: Discover the Most Beautiful Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of France (Paperback)
brilliant and beautiful photos. totally envied everyone i saw in the book. will deffo be trying out a couple of the locations in June 2013 and have vowed a special holiday next year just to go from location to location. rural, historical, natural France. this is my cup-of-tea !!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a lovely book, 14 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Wild Swimming France: Discover the Most Beautiful Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of France (Paperback)
we really enjoyed looking at this book. It will be very useful when we tour France in the summer. great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful, Charming & Adventurous, 1 Aug 2012
This review is from: Wild Swimming France: Discover the Most Beautiful Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of France (Paperback)
I love this book. The pictures are fantastic, its an easy to use guide and fills you with an uplifting desire to run naked into the nearest body of water.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More naked people than in the previous books, 16 May 2012
By 
Jack (LONDON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wild Swimming France: Discover the Most Beautiful Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of France (Paperback)
France is bigger than the UK and not so crowded.

And French people are more relaxed about getting naked.

I'm not sure if this is the reason why there seem to be more naked people in this book than in Daniel Start's two previous, bestselling UK wild swimming guides. Perhaps there's another reason. Maybe he'll tell us. Or maybe I'm imagining it.

Anyway, besides its tasty cheeses and fine wines, France has got lakes, rivers and waterfalls galore. And this book will help you find them. Or just allow you to look at them in some very lovely photos. Some of which, though by no means all, have naked people in them. Don't fear, none of the nakedness is indecent. Not that there's anything wrong with being naked. But you know what I mean.

In summary, I can highly recommend this excellent book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a great guide, 15 May 2012
By 
J. G. Giles (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wild Swimming France: Discover the Most Beautiful Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of France (Paperback)
We live in Monaco, and often find getting off the Riviera to hike and swim too be a bit of a hassle/ too much of a weekend 'non-adventure' given how populated the area is. Having read Daniel's article in The Guardian and tested one of his spots north of Cannes we acquired a copy direct from him. We couldn't recommend it higher- it's a wonderful reference and a fantastic read.
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