One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Dip at Doublewaters

It’s a sparkling, warm day and Honey and I decide to wander down to Doublewaters for a dip. The trees are still naked and look startled to be illuminated by such bright beams of sunlight, like wild swimmers caught skinny dipping.

There’s a slight haze, and the wind swirls, carrying the bleats of newborn lambs, as we leave the open moor and enter the woods. We walk down the track through the precipitous valley and the tinkling sound of the Walkham river drifts to meet us.  We arrive at the granite outcrop that marks the confluence of the two valleys and their rivers. The pool where we swim is on the Tavy side and looks enticing, slightly opaque and green-tinted, framed by bare trees and barred shadows.

I walk straight in over slippery rocks and go under, swimming up against the current. The water is still pretty chilly and I get ice-cream cheeks today, but the warm air makes all the difference. The smell of baking leaf-mould reminds me of summer.  Floating on my back I hear quacking, but can’t see the ducks. A fish jumps with a plop. Honey is growling and digging her ball out of the shallows with her arse in the air. The sky is so blue against the silvery bark, lichen and ferns it seems tangible and I feel I can float up into it.


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