Wild camping, wild swimming.

In the UK there is a site, a book and a Facebook group (with 2441 members) dedicated to wild swimming. In France people don’t call it anything, they just do it. In the UK wild camping is illegal, and in France too, although it’s do-able, as we discovered, as long as you make sure the local firemen don’t spot you whilst doing their evening rounds through the countryside. And if they do spot you, it always helps to have a three year old with you and a well-hidden tent. We were spotted on our first evening and thought we were going to have to pack down and haul the tent, mattresses, bedding, foodstuff, towels and fishing net back up the rockface we’d just clambered down. In the fast-falling dusk. But our tent was so heavily disguised as a tree the pompiers didn’t see it. They saw us though. “Pas de feu, d’accord?” they shouted down from the road running along the rim of the little valley. We weren’t thinking of making a fire anyway. “Non, pas de feu” we shouted back up. They saw our little boy leaping about in the water and our old labrador peeing on a rock and realised we were just a sweet little family, highly unlikely to be getting wasted on drugs and alcohol of an evening and sending the valley up in flames. They chugged away in their diesel fire engine, leaving us to breath again and to continue our skinny-dipping. Wild swimming, wild camping, everyone should try it. Cut off from the outside world for three days with no telephone network, no internet, no house to clean or washing to do or other people to welcome/ignore/be polite to. I didn’t realise how much I would enjoy it until I tried it out. Now I’m hooked. But if you want to know where we were, I am selfishly keeping the information to myself. There’s no way I’m letting anyone, especially not 2441 Wild Swimming members, into our little secret.

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3 thoughts on “Wild camping, wild swimming.

  1. wild camping isn’t illegal in Scotland. We have the ‘Right to Roam’ anywhere so long as it’s done responsibly. Things are more restricted in England and Wales.

    • Just had a look at you blog. Gorgeous photos and great wild swimming ideas. We were swimming at the Pont d’Arc in the Ardèche Gorges just yesterday afternoon. I must do an update on my blog, thanks for inadvertantly reminding me.

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