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Thames Swim No. 1 Cricklade - Water Eaton

Swim number 1 began at Cricklade, a rather grey day with a cool

breeze, so we were glad of our wetsuits-very rare nowadays and a bit

of a squeeze for some of us!

An easy entry to the water for a change, as there was a slipway, we

were quickly swept round a big meander under the A419 (formerly a

Roman road called The Ermine Way).

The Thames on this Upper stretch was narrow and winding, knee deep

and slow in parts, a bit of a swoosh in others.

There were lots of fallen trees across the river, which added a little

excitement and was a bit of a workout at times too, when we had to

clamber over them! The wetsuits and good water shoes were a

godsend, a bit of protection against the fallen trees and spikey

branches. We were only forced out once by a fallen tree and this

entailed a bit of tricky navigation over barbed wire before we could

get back in!

We soon filled our litter bags with the many plastic bottles etc. that

were caught in the fallen trees and wedged into the muddy banks: we

could have collected a lot more but didn’t have enough bags


A bit of excitement towards the end of the swim, we were forced

from the river by a couple of pairs of feisty looking swans. A very

steep scramble up a precipitous and muddy slope, we emerged onto an

open field to behold a bank of swans (the collective noun for a group

of swans on the ground evidently!). There must have been at least

fifty swans, so it was a quick entry back into the water and a short

swim to our final exit point, Water Eaton House footbridge.

This was all filmed by the BBC South team, so we featured on the 6:00 news!

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