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Posts Tagged ‘France’

Wild Swimming in France last summer.

wild swimming France

How I wish England had a more tolerant attitude towards outdoor swimming.

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Czech Swimming Lakes
Czech Swimming Lakes

Summer, sun, water, bathing, swimming, sport, fun, slides and other attractions, excitement, concerts – These words all describe what awaits you at the best swimming lakes in the Czech Republic. Warm weather and the onset of the holidays are a signal it’s time you should head off for a break! More…

With the hot weather of 2013 perhaps the UK could do with a few more official bathing places. There are more than 1,900 EU designated inland bathing waters in Germany, more than 1,300 in France, yet just 12 in the UK. Why is it that in England the outdoor swimmer has been hung out to dry? How can it be that despite banning swimming in rivers and lakes we still seem to experience roughly the same rate of drowning as the rest of Europe? More…

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Escaping the heat on the River Frome at one of Britain’s last remaining river swimming clubs.

There are more than 1,900 EU designated inland bathing waters in Germany, more than 1,300 in France, yet just 12 in the UK.

Why is it that in England the outdoor swimmer has been hung out to dry? How can it be that despite banning swimming in rivers and lakes we still seem to experience roughly the same rate of drowning as the rest of Europe.

Perhaps banning swimming in relatively safe and popular swimming locations pushes swimmers out of sight and into danger. Cold water swimming and education can on the other hand save lives. More…

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Wild Swimming France: Discover France's Most Beautiful Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls

In this the third in the wild swimming

series Daniel Start takes us through France on his quest to discover the perfect place to swim.

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Roger Allsopp leaves Shakespeare beach in Dover, as he sets off to swim the English Channel.

Roger Allsopp, aged 70 years and four months, swam from Dover to France in 17 hours and 51 minutes. The record  was formally held by George Brunstad in who swam accomplished it in August 2004 aged 70 years and four days. Roger from Guernsey, was inspired to take on this epic swim  by an inscription at a pub in Dover marking Brunstad’s cross-Channel achievement.

Captain Matthew Webb was the first to swim the Channel some 136 years ago, swimming from Dover to Cap Gris Nez in 21 hours and 45 minutes using the British Breaststroke all the way. His success sparked a swimming frenzy across the country, the New York Times reported: ‘The London baths are crowded; each village pond and running stream contains youthful worshippers at the shrine of Webb and even along the banks of the river, regardless of the terrors of the Thames police, swarms of naked urchins ply their limbs, each probably determined that he one day will be another Captain Webb.’ This enthusiasm proved to much of an embarrassment for Victorian society and so restrictions were imposed restrain swimmers in their exuberance. In my hometown of Leicester, river swimming  restrictions were enforced that same year, ensuring that naked boys would no longer disturb the sensibilities of respectable ladies walking to work or relaxing in the park. Eventually swimmers rounded up and contained at indoor pools and today the enthusiasm for swimming is but a shadow of its former self in the UK.

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