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Digital Subscriptions > Outdoor Swimmer > March 2018 > SWIMMING IN CAMISARD COUNTRY


Melissa Davies explores the hidden swimming spots of the Cévennes National Park in south east France

Scrub and whirls of dust as far as the eye can see. At least 20 vultures hover overhead and the scorched tarmac is paperflat for miles. We’re on the plateau of Causse Méjean in the Cévennes National Park, famous for its history of protestant partisans but there’s nowhere obvious to swim here. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote on arriving in the Cévennes in 1879, ‘It was a cheerless prospect, but one stimulating to the traveller.’ Our initial feeling was the same, hostile limestone plateaus plunge vertically into gorges choked with chestnut and oak. Yet, over the next 10 days we’d come to learn how right Stevenson was as the mountains revealed their hidden swimming holes. Our cycling trip was about to become an accidental swimming holiday.

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Forget about dreary March weather! The new issue of Outdoor Swimmer is a travel special, packed full of inspiring swimming stories from around the world as well as an in-depth look at swimming holidays. Wild swimming in the city; the history of swimming the Strait of Gibraltar; full event listings to plan your summer swims; plus, nutrition, technique, event reviews, news, interviews and more of your stunning photography and swim stories.