Monday, 10 August 2015
Canal Views and Wild Swimming
I've spent a few magical days out in the country staying beside a canal. Although I didn't get a chance to travel on a narrow boat I did love watching them go past. Sometimes that was a close-up view too, as I enjoyed a spot of wild swimming. Rather naughtily, I found a great place to go for a dip right beside a sign that said "No Swimming". I'm a strong swimmer and was careful to head for the bank when I heard a boat approaching, so I didn't feel unsafe.
Wild swimming is something I've wanted to try for ages. Although I have gone for a dip in the sea many times and paddled in a few streams, I've never swum in a lake or river before. Okay, I know a canal isn't actually a lake or river, but it is a lot more natural than the swimming baths. It was so lovely to be in the water outdoors with the sun shining, birds singing and damselflies swooping around me. Once, a hare came down the bank and sat there, quite unafraid.
Of course the water smelt, well, like wild water tends to smell, the bottom of the canal was muddy with a few sharp stones and I did get stung on the bum by a bitey insect, but none of those things would put me off doing it again. Since I've got home I've had a look at other places to go wild swimming. The website www.wildswimming.co.uk/ has a lot of suggestions and reviews of lakes, rivers, ponds and beaches.