Swimming in Geneva is river swimming and lake swimming. Swimming in London is lido swimming, lake swimming and river swimming, although so far I’ve not, for various reasons, managed to swim in the Thames. And over the last two summers I’ve been privileged to swim a number of times in one of the loveliest areas for swimming in this country, around the river Dart. The swimming here is wonderfully varied, from the crystal cold waters of the upper Dart on Dartmoor to the warm waters of the Dart and Avon estuaries and the fantastic sea swimming off the coast.
I’ve been introduced to these delights by two of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet, Olivia and Stuart Palmer, erstwhile of Tooting Lido, now of Devonshire Dippers. With them I’ve swum long easy swims up the Dart from their base at Stoke Gabriel to the Maltsters Arms and Sharpham Vineyard, I’ve swum the longest swim I’ve ever swum, 11k from Stoke Gabriel and back, I’ve frolicked in the champagne-chilled pools of Dartmoor and blissed out in the warm autumnal Devon sea. And this weekend, with two other swimmy friend from Tooting, I swam with them one of the great iconic outdoor swims, around Burgh Island off Bigbury-on-Sea.