First swim at Swanton Morley Mill

I first saw what is now my favourite local swim spot on a sunny late September cycle ride in 2012. I had just started river swimming and was looking for places to swim.

Looking over the bridge I saw a family picnicking and their children swimming and playing and dropping into the water from the rope swing. They told me they really loved this place and came here all the time in the summer, and could spend hours there. There’s a grassy bank for picnicking, a shallow sandy beach, and deeper water further out. And you can explore upstream and below the bridge.

view downstream across mill pool to bridge, glimpse of picnickers on grass
Swanton Morley Mill from the upper weir towards the bridge, with picnicking family on the bank on the left

By the time I came back they and the sunshine had gone, but I was keen to try out the pool and my recently acquired wetsuit, so I quickly changed and went in.

I enjoyed feeling less cold and more buoyed up by the wetsuit, able to stay in long enough to swim into the rushing water coming over the weir, drift down and back round a few times before having a tentative go at swinging and dropping from the rope swing.

Since then I have been back to this spot many times, summer and winter.

Swanton Morley Mill location details

view across river weir, bridge and far bank
Swanton Morley three arch bridge weir
smooth river looking downstream with bank and trees
Looking downstream from Swanton Morley three arch bridge

Swanton Morley Mill location details

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