One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Sh Sh Sh Sharrah

Honey CheatsWe’ve had several days of positively spring-like weather, and so we set off for Sharrah Pool warmed intermittently by sunlight through the bare branches. Following the late freeze there isn’t so much an unfurling of leaves as a tentative peeking of leaf buds which continue to hug themselves just in case.

JJ in the Cascade

The Double Dart is not too full for the time of year and her depths are clear and amber, although there is still a suspiciously chilly-looking greenish-blue tinge around the rapids. We have two temperature takers who say 9°c and 8°c, but it feels colder than that to my stunned body which attempts to shrink inside itself as I slide in. Several of us shriek. Honey cheats by wearing her fur coat.Cheeky Gale

I swim up and am more or less acclimatised by the upper cascade, where JJ forges across and clings to the far side. The water is gorgeously foaming and sparkling in the sunshine. I go in off an incredibly slippery rock and flail past in the rapid grinning and sinking as the energy fizzes through the needles of icy heat in my skin. I pass everyone else on the way up, faces dancing with light reflected from the choppy surface, hair ruffled by the cheeky gusts of wind funneling down the gorge.

Afterwards we scoff a trio of cakes: gin-soaked lemon drizzle courtesy of JJ, chocolate from Helen, and Jackie’s colourful dried-fruit fest. I’m grateful for the warmth of my lovely Mammot hoody until Rachel, wrapped in a capacious white robe and carrying a Lightsabre, tells me I resemble a sperm.

Cake HuddleCold Hurts!


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7 thoughts on “Sh Sh Sh Sharrah

  1. Pingback: Sh Sh Sh Sharrah | wildwomanswimming - Bike Run Swim

  2. But Honey has had a hair cut so she’s not cheating really.

  3. Hello Wild Woman Swimming! I’ve recently started following your blog and really enjoy your posts about Plymouth. I’m a writer involved in a project at the moment and it’d be great to feature you if you were interested. Could I have your email address to tell you a bit more about it? Best, Hannah

  4. Wesley Ashworth on said:

    Hello, I came upon your writings by accident but found I couldn’t stop reading. What brilliant adventures! And a lovely way with words you have (sloughed?!?).Anyway I expect you are lothe to give away secret places but I was wondering where these Sharrah Cascades are as I’d love to swim there it looks beautiful 🙂
    Many thanks ,Wes

    • Hi Wesley, thanks I’m glad you enjoy my ramblings!
      We love to share our swimming spots so I’m very happy to tell you where they are. You could join the Facebook group Devon Wild Swimming if you’d like company. Otherwise the spots are all on the wild swim map at http://wildswim.com/
      To find Sharrah pool, park in the big car park at New Bridge (between Ashburton and Poundsgate), cross the bridge and walk upstream through the woods along the footpath. Don’t turn up to Holne, keep going. It’s quite narrow in places so you need decent footwear. After a couple of miles (about 40-50 mins depending on your pace) you’ll come to a fence and a stile. Climb over and walk down the glade to the river – You’ll see Sharrah Pool and the cascade at the top end. Watch out for rocks under water in the cascade. Hope you enjoy it.

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