A passionate open-air swimmer, Roger Deakin travelled around the British Isles in search of the best places for a dip. Waterlog celebrates the magic of water and the beauty and eccentricity of Britain.
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.”
“I jumped in with both feet and wanted to stay for more.”
“Erudite, funky and passionate, a total delight”
Independent on Sunday
“Charmingly and elegantly written”
“A delicious, cleansing, funny, wise and joyful book, so wonderfully full of energy and life. I loved it”
“Highly entertaining...Waterlog is a book about a cold, wet subject written with a warmth and passion it surely deserves, but has rarely had before”
“A wonderful and romantic tale told by a true English eccentric...think Ratty, think Mole, think three men falling out of a boat...enchanting”
Michele Roberts, Financial Times
“A travel book like no other, it is rich and deep with insights on modern Britain”
“Roger Deakin is the perfect companion for invigorating armchair swim. Engaging, thoughtful and candid, he also has a wonderful eye”
Peter Marren, Telegraph Weekend
“A brilliant and compelling view of Britain from a few inches above its neglected waterways”
Simon Usborne, The Independent