In 1996 Roger Deakin, the late, great nature writer, set out to swim through the British Isles. From the sea, from rock pools, from rivers and streams, tarns, lakes, lochs, ponds, lidos, swimming pools and spas, from fens, dykes, moats, aqueducts, waterfalls, flooded quarries, even canals, Deakin gains a fascinating perspective on modern Britain. Detained by water bailiffs in Winchester, intercepted in the Fowey estuary by coastguards, mistaken for a suicide on Camber sands, confronting the Corryvreckan whirlpool in the Hebrides, he discovers just how much of an outsider the native swimmer is to his landlocked, fully-dressed fellow citizens.
This is a personal journey, a bold assertion of the native swimmer's right to roam, and an unforgettable celebration of the magic of water.
"Deakin has written an aquatic Songlines."
– Heathcote Williams
"I jumped in with both feet and wanted to stay for more."
– Griff Rhys-Jones
"Erudite, funky and passionate, a total delight"
– Independent on Sunday
"Charmingly and elegantly written"
– Daily Telegraph
"A delicious, cleansing, funny, wise and joyful book, so wonderfully full of energy and life. I loved it"
– Jane Gardam