Swim walks or runs or cycles can be an interesting thing to do once you have started outdoor swimming, and can build skills of risk assessing water entry points, as well as being a pleasant thing to do on a hot day. These can be an adventure, a fun day or a trip out, and can include everyone, whether they have a swim or not.
(Read more information for swimmers – especially useful for those who recently started swimming outdoors.)
It can be very enjoyable to look at maps and work out routes for yourself and your friends. Below are links to some swim spots in the Brecks and to a Facebook group of people who do swim walks around the country.
We are considering possible ways we could do this within the Healing Waters project, including giving interesting information about historical swim and other recreation spots from the Tales from the River project (read about both projects), and perhaps other projects such as Industrious Rivers. This is most likely to be a self-guided activity, where we give information on routes for walking, and mention places we are aware people have swum in the past and might do now. We would probably only mention current swim spots where we have formal permission to do so. We might also give some information on ways to keep safe and make an assessment before considering getting into the water (as already given to project participants and available on this website Q&A with key info on swimming safely). The project is collaborating with other projects working on access to rivers and rights of way improvements, which will help. And another strand of the Healing Waters project is to do surveys of the rivers and waters of the Brecks to identify suitable places for swimming and other recreation, and this will also look for possible swim walk routes.
The idea originated with London swimmers who took trips out on public transport to swim at various places, and then decided to put them all in a book. It has now spread out with groups doing it all round the country, and can be adapted to anywhere.
The projects referred to are explained in more detail in the Bathing in the Brecks: Outdoor Swimming past, present & future section of this website. We will discover the history and promote safe and environmentally friendly outdoor swimming in Breckland in two projects, Tales from the River and Healing Waters, part of the The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme (BFER). These began in 2020, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.