Best in the South West

Best in Cornwall


River Camel, Wadebridge

Location

Park by Polbrock bridge, c. 3km SE of Wadebridge. Then take the “Camel Trail” (one of those paths that used to be a railway) south for 500m. When the path starts deviating from the river you don’t. There are quite a few swims on the bends in the river.

Grid Ref

SX 013/690

Features

Lovely spot set in woodland with easy access and deep enough water for a swim on the bends in the river.

Hazards

There were quite a few branches floating around and some under the water so watch out. Hardly surprising hazards given its in woodland.

Date of Last Swim

1st July 2006 (day of England V Portugal)


Red River nr Gwithian

(A FIVE TRUNK location because if you get it right you can float and look across St.Ives bay.)
!!! PHOTO AVAILABLE ON REQUEST !!!

Location

Nearest village is Gwithian (6km north west of Hayle). Park next to the track that leads to the Car Park for Godrevy Point and follow the river until it meets the sea.

Grid Ref

SW584/422

Features

Shallow and deep water and handy for the sea (its only a few metres away). AS FEATURED IN WATERLOG

Hazards

Cadmium, copper, zinc, lead and arsenic. Well where do you think its name comes from?

Date of Last Swim

August 1999


Best In Dorset


River Stour (nr Sturminster Newton)

(A FOUR TRUNK location)

Location

Half way between Sturminster Newton and Fiddleford Mill, Dorset. Parking is easy as theres a car park for visitors to the Mill (and river swimmers).

Grid Ref

ST 795/137

Features

Well, when I went in there was an awful lot of water, but it looked like it would be a good spot in the summer with plenty of grass.

Hazards

Was quite full, infact it looked bl**dy dangerous near the Mill. Quite a few fishermen about and the cows had been busy. I have to admit it was a bit colder than I was expecting.

Date of Last Swim

30th November 2003


Best In Wiltshire


River Avon (nr Bradford Upon Avon)

(This FOUR TRUNK location)

!!! PHOTO AVAILABLE ON REQUEST !!!

Location

Several places are suitable for swimming near the lovely pub at Avoncliffe that overlooks the River Avon (but whose name I have forgotten). Approximately 1.5km west of Bradford Upon Avon.

Grid Ref

ST806/600

Features

You can swim at the bottom of the beer garden (although swimming is the one thing Digger doesn’t do after alcohol- its just unsafe and stupid). Other than that the river here is in a nice valley crossed by the Kennet and Avon canal viaduct.

Hazards

Access to the river is a bit tricky with too many bushes and scrubs. However, those friends of river swimming, the fisherman, have several terraces in the bank that prove very useful (best not to use them when they are there). The rowing boats appear even faster and unobservant than in Bedford or Cambridge.

Date of Last Swim

July 15th 2003


River Avon by M4 (near Chippenham)

(This FOUR TRUNK location)

!!! PHOTO AVAILABLE ON REQUEST !!!

Location

Only 50m south of the M4. Unfortunately, apparently its illegal to park on the hard shoulder and go for a swim in the adjacent river. So come off at Junction 17 (Chippenham), take the B4122, then B4069, in the middle of Sutton Benger head north along a C class road and park on the right shortly after the bridge over the M4. Take the footpath down to the river. You can swim to the north of the M4, but I’d recommend going under the nasty motorway bridge over the the River Avon and continue for 100m where the bank has been eroded by cows.

Grid Ref

SU 953/793

Features

Despite its proximity to the motorway this is an idealic spot. The edge of the river was a little muddy but there was reasonable shallow access. It gets quite deep in the middle. Apart from listening for the motorway, you will be entertained by the RAF Hercules transport planes flying circuits over you from nearby RAF Lyhham. I restrained myself and didn’t “moon” at them (you never know what they might drop on you).

Hazards

If you discount the RAF planes, the only other hazard was a rather territorial swan.

Date of Last Swim

14th July 2003


Farleigh and District Swimming Club

(A FIVE TRUNK location although its a shame you have to pay)

Location

At Farleigh Hungerford, just off the A366, 4miles west of Trowbridge, Wilts.

Grid Ref

ST805577

Features

Parking, nice grass (on the ground), a ladder to get in and 50m of deep water. What more do you want?

Hazards

Membership river swimming club so watch out for “debt collectors” like Rob Fryer. If you are asked to pay, YOU PAY, or else……….

Date of Last Swim

18th July 2003 (Sorry Rob, but I didn’t have you phone number)


River Frome, Tellisford Weir

(This is a FOUR TRUNK location)

!!! PHOTO AVAILABLE ON REQUEST !!!

Location

Known as Tellisford Weir its not surprising this spot is near the village of Tellisford. Access if via the footpath on the east bank of the river which can be gained from Vaggs Hill (off a minor road from the B3109) approx 5km south of Bradford On Avon.

Grid Ref

ST806/553

Features

Excellent spot for a picnic and sunbathing (watch out for cow pads and an annoying amount of litter). Good swims up stream of the weir. Seems popular with the Youth: I felt old!!!

Hazards

None really.

Date of Last Swim

July 15th 2003

This summer I did the backstroke
And you know that thats not all
I did the breast stroke and the butterfly
And the old Australian crawl
The old Australian crawl.
(Loudon Wainwright III, Swimming Song)