swimming in France


23/04/2012 by Carl Reynolds

Dan Start has produced the third in his series of Wild Swimming books, and this time the focus is France. For those of you who already have the two UK books, focussing on rivers, lakes and coast, you’ll have a good idea of how user friendly and enticing the content of the book is. Dan’s made some improvements to layout; mainly by including much clearer maps of where swims are, and his photography is wonderfully engaging – the inclusion of people in many of the shots also gives a good sense of scale.

The book focusses on the more mountainous south of France, but there is a chapter on the Dordogne and surrounding region. If you were hoping for a guide to Brittany and the north, then I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed. But. Why be so? The book almost invites you to book a Eurostar ticket to Avignon forthwith and be wet in a canyon within 24 hours.

Whether you are a swimmer in search of new places to jump in pots (or marmites as they say in French), rivers to horizontally canyon along (aqua randonnee) or are planning a self catering stay in the Ardeche, Provence, Pyrenees, Cevenne or Alps; this guide will show you where you can swim, jump and splash about in safety, in delight and in warm temperatures – the air that is, not the water. In short, Buy It.

4 thoughts on “swimming in France

  1. Peter "Ra" says:

    Ah France! Lots of space in France for rivers without city pollution etc. I went to Provence nearly 20 years ago and got taken to the rivers and waterfalls for swimming or dipping at least. It was amazing but I was surprised to find that people did not wear clothes. The people were perfectly decent otherwise and there was nothing untoward going on, I just wouldn’t go there today because us lido folk are a decent bunch! I guess that was just one remote spot and that not all places are nudist.

    The most memorable thing was having a tick removed from the top of my leg by my friend’s girlfriend after a very thorough inspection which again was taken very seriously and decently. It was quite an adventure as Dave, who had lost his driving license for drinking, had got me to drive him to France to help him win back his girlfriend who had moved back there. Much to my annoyance they refused to speak English so, apart from the incredible heat, I was exhausted trying to learn French! Sadly they did not manage to patch up their relationship and live happily ever after. Dave returned to Plymouth and built a large catamaran in which he sailed to West Africa where he died in a swamp in a drunken stupor.

    • The lido was naturist for members until about ten years or so back, so I am led to believe. Skinny dipping is best done in the wild though, in my humble opinion.

  2. Great post, I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and getting lost in the photography. I seriously do plan on taking a trip out to France and seeing these beautiful lakes and rivers myself. There’s a post on on Wild Swimming I’ve written, if you have some free time it would be great for you to check out: http://loco2.com/blog/2012/06/wild-swimming-in-france/

    • Thanks for the comment. I like your site. I just met up with a woman from Vermont called Bethany Bosch and she regaled me with tales of wonderful waters in that fair state.

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