Haramakis to the ready – we are cold-water swimming

Earlier this summer I was attending Camp Abyss with some of my favourite people in the world, close family and oldest of friends. Hot and exposed in the field for 3 days we needed to cool off and get wet. I turned to my new favourite discovery I have banged on about before the Wild Swim Map and the Wild Guide and found Wallers Haven was our nearest swim spot to the field.

It is a little difficult to match the spot on the road to the description given. However, we parked on the side of the (very fast) road and waited for a gap in the traffic and headed over to the bridge to investigate. We took the most difficult route in which turned into a battle with nettles and one of our party almost falling down the side into the river. Don’t do that as there is a ‘proper’ access by path a bit further up the road each way!

We walked on until we round the concrete jetty described in the map. It is a beautiful spot. Peaceful and surrounded by countryside. Weeping Willow trees dangling down over the silky water surface of the river. Minerally (?) tasting water refreshingly cold in the heat of the day. My first river swim! Having been stung by nettles almost falling in the river and spotting a ‘snake’ on the surface of the water one of our party stated that they were just there to watch. However….it was inviting enough to get all of us in having fun. This is despite our varying levels of confidence and anxiety about being out our depths etc. Some stuck to the edges for a quick float, others dived and jumped in and generally messed about. A lovely spot. Much fun. We all returned to the festival invigorated, energised and happier. I highly recommend. Take your haramaki – you will need it whatever the weather after the cold water. Keep that core warm and the rest will follow 🙂

Also published by the Seabirds Blog