Book review: ‘Waterlog: A Swimmer's Journey Through Britain’ by Roger Deakin

A celebration of all things natatorial.

WaterlogWaterlog gives an account of the late Roger Deakin's swimming expeditions during the course of a year. They are mostly wild-swimming expeditions in rivers, but he also visits the occasional lido.

Not being a swimmer myself, I found Waterlog less interesting than Deakin's two other wonderful books, Wildwood: a journey through trees and Notes From Walnut Tree Farm, but his enthusiasm for his chosen subject is infectious in places—even when he is swimming in little more than drainage ditches. As with Deakins other books, Waterlog is undoubtedly a very good read.

One minor complaint: although the sub-title of this book is A Swimmer's Journey Through Britain, it is constrained mainly to southern England, with the occasional jaunt up to Yorkshire for good measure. Scotland doesn't get a look in, and neither does the English Lake District, which I would have imagined was perfect territory for outdoor swimming. I was delighted, however, to see my original hometown of Bromborough on the Wirral, and my current hometown of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire both get a passing mention.

Writer and photographer Richard Carter, FCD is the founder of the Friends of Charles Darwin. He lives in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
Buy my book: On the Moor: Science, History and Nature on a Country Walk
…wonderful. Science and history and geography and evolution and culture all tangled up in musings while walking about the moors around Hebden Bridge.”—PZ Myers
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