23/09/2015 by Carl Reynolds
Out in the suburbs of Bristol is an old quarry that for a long time has been the haunt of outdoor swimmers. The watery eccentrics of Bristol have their diving boards, outdoor changing and general friendliness nestled in below the back gardens of Henleaze. Stripping off in the outdoor men’s changing area, my host, Nick, told how in the summer the folk dining in their gardens above could feast on a variety of man flesh jiggling into budgies, jammers and board shorts various; and hence the odd looking shower curtains installed to give the modest some barrier from the peeping Toms and Thomasinas above.
I’ve been wanting to swim in Henleaze for years. Dan Start, author and producer of the Wild Swimming series, told me that the waiting list for members was years, and that you had no chance of entry if you just rocked up. Henleaze members can bring in a guest or two for £6 each. Was it worth it? Oh yes! A swim in a fresh water lake is unlike the sea. You are surrounded by a green glow, you have less buoyancy, you are aware that pike and other fish inhabit the waters below you…and there is a sauna. All good clubs have them!
You can find out more here – http://www.henleazeswimmingclub.org. Top tip – find a member and go as a guest…otherwise join a long waiting list and defer your gratification.