Rob Fryer's Wild Swimming Europe - 1600 sites
The most comprehensive wild swimming/outdoor swimming guidebook ever:
1600 sites spread over the UK, France, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and elsewhere. 350 pages, A4 size, 75 maps, 18 page index, swimming spot ratings, Grid Refs, GPS°, postcodes and disabled access.
Inspired by Roger Deakin's Waterlog, and encouraged by him personally, Rob first published this book privately to members of the river swimming club at Farleigh Hungerford, who, back in 2000, demanded Rob run off a few copies for them.
Since then it has grown in size, scope and detail every year. This edition brings maturity and includes details of yet more swims in Spain (over 350) and more maps.
To add interest, illustrations of historical and nautical events have been added to many maps.
the World's most comprehensive wild swimming guide
It now comprises 350 pages of double column A4, with 1600 wild swimming sites spread over the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Italy and many other popular holiday destination countries. Not so much a coffee table book or a book to inspire you to swim, but more an informative and critical book. With over 600 black and white pictures it could certainly be called comprehensive. Safety becomes fun with the easy-to-remember colour safety signs. The huge index makes selecting swims more precise than relying on variable reports from web contributors, as Rob has visited and rated most of the sites in the UK. There are little quirky anecdotes and stories thoughout to round off this record of 16 years' research into an entertaining summer companion.
Call it open water, outdoor or wild swimming, this book contains more information on river and lake swimming (ie wild swimming) sites than any other known publication. As well as chapter maps there are, where necessary, detailed maps, usually with postcodes(UK), to help speed you on your way to that blissful swim. As Chair of England's only river swimming club (Farleigh), Rob has assiduously sought out recommendations from members and visitors to the Club.
He believes that, like a treasured heirloom, knowing the "provenance" of a site adds to the enjoyment of swimming there. Some site histories and details of lost sites are also given (but not counted). Wherever possible the names that local swimmers use for a site have been used, and other local words mentioned. For instance: What exactly is a goyle? As chair of the River & Lake Swimming Association (RALSA) he has appeared frequently on TV, always campaigning for the freedom to swim.