Swim Wild by Jack Hudson (with Calum and Robbie Hudson the Wild Swimming Brothers)
Jack, the youngest, nearly missed out on the Wild Swimming Brothers’ first adventure. Older brothers Calum and Robbie thought he wouldn’t be up to swimming the River Eden from source to mouth. Instead, they proposed he come along in a kayak to support them.
Of course, Jack wasn’t having any of that. If Calum and Robbie were going to swim, then so was he, even if he needed a crash fitness course first.
The River Eden bubbles up Black Fell Moss, Mallerstang, and flows north west, roughly parallel to the M6 towards Carlisle before disgorging into the Solway Firth. The total length is around 130km. For the brothers, the river has enormous significance as it flowed past their childhood home and they have many happy memories of paddling, swimming, kayaking and messing about both in it and on it. However, they realised that beyond the stretches near to where they lived, they barely knew the river, so the 9-day trip would give them lots of new territory to explore.
While the River Eden swim forms the backbone of this book, it’s much more than a simple expedition log. Swimming the Eden was just the start of a series of (still on-going) wild swimming adventures including crossing the world’s three largest whirlpools, and those shorter stories are woven into the text along with tributes to “Grandma Wild”, thoughts on the importance of reconnecting with nature and preserving wilderness and advice on how to create your own adventures. Jack is clearly the philosopher of the group.
Swim Wild is entertaining, well-written, easy to read and will inspire you to go out and find your own wild swimming adventures.
Yellow Kite Books