"Waterlog: A Swimmer's Journey Through Britain"
by Roger Deakin
This book is a favourite
Reading history and reviews
Finished in 2007I heard about this from an Amazon recommendation, and it turned out to be a really fantastic read, I really enjoyed it. The premise is that Roger Deakin decides that he will embark on a tour of outdoor swimming places around Britain, taking in natural places like rivers, streams and bays as well as outdoor pools and lidos. In the course of his quest to seek out these different places he paints a picture of Britain that is very different from the modern life that I lead - it's a much older place, often hidden, and often closer to nature. I guess that a lot of people know about those places that he goes, but a lot of it was new to me. So it was much more than just swimming.
This was another one of those books that took a long time to finish, because I really wanted to savour it. There are lots of fascinating details, and I've made a separate page with some relevant links. Like Deakin I swim breaststroke almost exclusively, and reading this I felt better about that (although he reports near the end that in Australia preferred swimming strokes are drawn along gender lines, and mostly only women swim breaststroke). Most of all he excited me about the idea of outdoor swimming. I haven't, yet - but I'd like to sometime, after reading this.
Finished on 25th September 2013