My review of:

Swimming Wild in the Lake District by Suzanna Cruickshank

I was pretty excited to be offered an opportunity to review this book as the Lake District is one of my favourite places in the UK.  I also have a great friend living near by so any excuse to pop up there with a tent and swimming kit in the car is always near to my thoughts.  A new book, full of swimming locations and ideas from someone that knows the area well is a welcome gift.  

The book is beautifully presented and follows a similar format to other wild Swimming guides that I’ve seen.  It’s the same size as Wild Swimming by Daniel Start and so fits nicely in the backpack.  

There are 14 chapters, each covering a different lake or mere.  We find out quite early on that Bassenthwaite Lake is the only real lake in the Lake District, the others being meres or waters.   

What I really like is, this book is written by someone who loves Wild Swimming with excellent local knowledge and clearly wants to share that passion.  The introduction offers advisory notes for beginners looking to swim outdoors and there are some excellent tips to getting started covering safety, equipment lists and some tips that you might not have thought about.  

Suzanna also provides a brief insight into the geology and ecology of the area followed by a page on biosecurity.  I think its really important to cover these topics in order that we protect our environment.  The key takeaway message being to ensure we clean ourselves down after a swim to avoid transferring and cross contamination of invasive species between lakes.  This is something we should all be aware of so it is great to see that covered in the book.  

The Lake chapters

Each lake or mere is introduced alongside a map of that lake with an inset of the whole district for some orientation.  The lake map details the swims that can then be found in that chapter.  As you head through the chapter, Suzanna provides some really useful, knowledge of each swim with references to points of interest and local history.  

Chapters are concluded with a page of “Technical Information’.  This includes, length, width, depth, how to get there and local advice on places to visit for refreshments. You can always stay within your comfort zone and grab a well earned drink afterwards.

The photography showcases the beautiful scenery to be explored here and the fun elements of embracing wild swimming in the lakes. It is a book that wants to nurture and inspire a love of the Lake District and its many great swimming opportunities regardless of experience levels and ability.  Whether you’re a seasoned outdoor swimmer or wanting to get started, this is a great book dedicated to one of our truly beautiful national parks.  You will no doubt find many great swimming opportunities contained within.  Enjoy! 

Copies of this book can be purchased from the publishers

To find out more about wild swimming experiences with me please take a look at my Wild Swimming Adventures page