April 2024 ‘Travel’

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In 2014, while nursing a heartbreak, I planned a trip to the Amalfi coast in Italy. Naturally I was drawn to the coastal towns and places, seeking somewhere to stay where I could swim with ease. I found a cheap room to rent which was beach-adjacent andthen planned accordingly. I stayed in a tiny fishing hamlet called Marina di Puolo andswam every day. I was able to discover other swimming spots and gems along the coast too, but one day I was tempted over to the island of Capri by a boat skipper who was trying to make sales on his trip. I told him I didn’t want to be on the water, but in it. He recommended a friend to take me swimming and I laughed him away, thinking it would be foolish. But a day later, after much thought, I took a chance and sought out the boat.

When I arrived in Capri I was instructed to knock on the “piccola porta rossa” – a little red door and ask for Luigi. It was bold, perhaps a little reckless too – but it paid off. I was taken around the island to swim in all the grottos (caves) named by the colours of the rock and sea. It was a wild and slightly terrifying experience, but when I was in the water it was just me, the sea and Capri. Since then, I have had an appetite for swim travel and when I am planning any kind of trip, I explore water and pools nearby I could visit.

This month’s issue is a celebration of swimming and travelling – from a local day trip to wild and exciting adventures further afield. Rowan Clarke chats to swim guide publisher and writer Daniel Start, we hear from author Yaara Lahav Gregory about the rivers that have ran through her life and Jonathan Cowie shares his conversation with author Gareth E. Rees who explores disappearing landscapes in new book, Sunken Lands.

I visit Scotland and Guernsey to experience some swim-travel closer to home and we also have an extra travel supplement with listings and inspiration for your own swimming travel dreams.

Ella Foote, Editor

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  • Daniel Start: Wild Thing
    Rowan Clarke meets adventurer, photographer, author and publisher of some of our favourite adventure and wild swimming books, Daniel Start.
  • Jerrie Roberts: why I swim
    73-year-old Jerrie holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest person to swim an ice mile.
  • Take your front crawl outside
    Adapt your swimming to open water: sighting and navigation. Simon Griffiths has your guide.
  • How to design the perfect pair of goggles
    What goes in to designing the perfect pair of swimming goggles? They might look simple but a lot of time and effort goes in to getting them right. We turned to award-winning designer Chris Johnson to find out.
  • Best open water goggles
    Polarising lenses with UVA/UVB filters for open water, anti-fog protection or a soft cushioned fit: whatever your priority when choosing a new pair of goggles, we’ve got you covered. 
  • Swims of the unexpected
    Jonathan Cowie shares his most memorable swims around the world, from an icy skinny dip in Sweden to a jungly river swim in the Philippines.
  • A celebration of swim travel
    Get ready to embrace the travel and adventure opportunities in swimming, says Simon Griffiths.
  • The Fell Foodie’s muesli recipe
    Packed with fibre and complex carbohydrates, muesli is the perfect breakfast for fueling your morning swim.
  • April in the swim community
    NOWCA’s Sub10 Club – encouraging swimmers to brave water temperatures below 10 degrees – surpasses last season and Mental Health Swims have even more dips for the spring. Stay up to date with our outdoor swimming community news for April 2024.
  • Something to declare: the rise of swim holidays
    As swim holidays come of age, Rowan Clarke finds out how they’re bringing us more joy than ever before.
  • Weekend swim retreat: The Pierhouse Hotel, Argyll
    Editor Ella Foote heads to Argyll in Scotland for loch dips and serious seafood at the Pierhouse Hotel
  • How I train: Peter Plavec
    Peter Plavec first started swimming six years ago. Now he is an ice and marathon swimmer and social media swim influencer with more than 100,000 followers on Instagram.
  • Period swimwear: does it actually work?
    Does period swimwear actually work, and can you trust it? We speak to an expert and put three swimsuits to the test
  • How can I train to swim long distance front crawl?
    British freestyle swimmer and open water coach Cassie Pattern has advice for a 79-year-old swimmer training to swim the Henley 5K
  • How can I avoid cramp when swimming in deep water?
    British freestyle swimmer and open water coach Cassie Patten has advice for avoiding cramps when swimming in open water and staying safe
  • Preparing for a swim event abroad
    Entering a swim event abroad? Paul Newsome, Head Coach at Swim Smooth, tells us how to arrive on the startline of your overseas event in top condition.
  • Move of the month: back extension
    This move strengthens the back muscles and gives the muscles at the front of your body a good stretch
  • Guernsey: That island feeling
    With French influence and British culture, Ella Foote discovers that Guernsey is a perfect destination for swimmers who like a place steeped in history as well as an abundance of swim spots
  • Open water swimming masks reviewed
    Panoramic vision, optimum comfort and protection from wildlife and the elements: swimming masks can offer a real benefit to open water swimmers. We explore the benefits and put four masks to the test
  • A swimmer’s guide to Split, Croatia
    On the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, Croatia’s second city has plenty to offer swimmers.
  • How to choose prescription goggles: our experts put six to the test
    Whether it’s clearly sighting a course, deciphering the lido clock or simply enjoying the scenery, having the correct prescription goggles is an essential part of your outdoor swimming kit. Simon Griffiths has your guide to the best goggles on the market, plus expert optometrist advice on how to make the right choice for you.
  • Top 6 swim-walks in North Devon
    ‘Wild Swimming Walks Exmoor and North Devon’ is a new book by Matt Newbury and Sophie Pierce. Here are some of their favourite swims to inspire a swim-walking weekend.
  • Outdoor swimming kit we love this spring
    Size-inclusive hiking and swimwear, protein-boosted breakfast cereal and a change robe designed with wheelchair users in mind: a round up of the ten best pieces of outdoor swimming kit we’ve tried, tested, and loved this spring.
  • What are sneaker waves?
    Also known as a sleeper wave, a sneaker wave is a disproportionately large coastal wave that can appear without warning.

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Feb 2024


January 2024