Wild Swimming: News, Views, History, Safety, Vacations, Locations...

Ex-Lockkeeper is planning a Wild Swim 29/07/15

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Toxic Swimming Pools? 25/07/15

The joy of wild swimming in rivers and lakes is a way of life celebrated across Europe and America. Families and friends share the freedom, fun and adventure of the great outdoors by wild swimming in refreshing natural waters. But things are quite different here in Britain.

Wild Swimming - the Joy of Life

Open water or wild swimming is often portrayed as the preserve of an eccentric, foolhardy minority as it wild swimming were some kind of extreme sport. British swimmers have been chased out of open water to be confined instead to the safer confines of the indoor pool. But is wild swimming really so dangerous? What should you believe?


It is a fact that before the construction of swimming pools during the industrial revolution all swimmers swam in the wild. Yet the freedom to enjoy fresh air and sunshine was soon brought to end. Why then were English swimmers rounded up and confined to indoor swimming pools when elsewhere in Europe wild swimming continued with approval rather than restriction?

Ex-Lockkeeper is planning a Wild Swim

The public facilities once enjoyed countrywide on river, lake and canal banks became out of bounds as swimming restrictions brought an end to what many considered the greatest pleasure in life.


The experience of swimming at an indoor pool just can't compare with the joys and freedom of wild swimming in the open air. Hung Out to Dry investigates how and why we British came to separate ourselves from Europe and America by frowning on the wild swimmer and why we continuing to restrict the liberty of the swimmer.

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The History of Wild Swimming Leicester

This book is much more than a simple history of swimming. Hung Out to Dry chronicles British culture exposing the rational behind our national obsession with constraining the wild swimmers freedom. Prepare to be intrigued and fascinated by a rich and diverse treasure trove of knowledge, as refreshing and amusing as wild swimming itself.

Wild Swimmers Hung Out to Dry

Read Hung Out to Dry and your eyes will be opened to this shamefully neglected aspect of our heritage. A change in attitude that could have arisen nowhere other than in Britain; the birthplace of the industrial revolution.

"A persuasive book... intriguing from the outset, a fascinating chronology of British swimming which goes much deeper than one might expect. Well researched and interestingly written... the historical ebb and flow of swimming popularity is quite remarkable." Swimming Times

"...a thought-provoking and stimulating book, written in an accessible, direct and conversational style. It should be of interest to every outdoor swimmer." Outdoor Swimming Society

"Chris Ayriss's idiosyncratic approach is as refreshing as the waters he loves and the ebb and flow of his story matches that of meandering stream; you never know what is round the next bend." Spring 2014 Physical Education Matters

"...a fascinating book ...very readable, informative and entertaining... excellent illustrations. Leicester Mercury

"This captivating book exposes for the first time the dramatic impact that swimmers have had on British morals and culture... Swimmers used to be common in the lakes and waterways of England. How were these sportsmen chased out of the great outdoor waters, and relocated to indoor swimming pools? Discover how pride turned to prejudice as swimmers sparked the development of British Prudery." Cornwall Today

Recommended: "Ayriss clearly loves open water swimming and his despair at the restrictions imposed on swimmers shines through... informed, entertaining and factual... The book is supported by an excellent collection of illustrations and historic photographs." H2Open Magazine

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