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DEVON IS A PLACE ON EARTH

Matt Newbury and Sophie pierce pick five of their favourite wild swimming walks in dartmoor and south devon

Slightly controversially, we believe that South Devon is the unofficial wild swimming capital of the UK and while other areas might justifiably challenge this claim, there are certainly some beautiful swim spots in this glorious corner of the world. The 28 swim walks we include in our new book showcase the very best of this beautiful county, taking in wild waterfalls, secret lakes, river meadows and sandy seaside beaches. We spent almost two years researching our favourite mini adventures to share with people, capturing some very tempting photos along the way. Here are six of our favourites, which we hope will encourage you to come and visit and get exploring.

Teign gorge Circular

Distance: 4 miles

This is one of the most popular and scenic walks in Devon, taking you from a hilltop castle and down a spectacular wooded river valley with pools. From the car park at Castle Drogo, the path winds down into the Teign Gorge and along to Drogo Weir, which was built in 1928 to serve the castle’s hydroelectric plant just downstream. The 75-metre pool makes a perfect wild swimming spot, shaded by woodland and with a handy metal jetty to enter the water. Look out for dragonflies and rare water beetles. The weir serves a double purpose and also helps stock the river with salmon, and castle owner Julius Drewe built three impressive cascading pools at the lower end of the weir to allow the upward migration of the spawning salmon.

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About Outdoor Swimmer

There is wild swimming and there is really wild swimming. This issue we bring you some pretty extreme swimming from the Arctic Circle. It is thrilling stuff, but if you like your thrills a little more genteel then check out our feature on swimming walks in Devon. Elsewhere in the mag we are feeling pretty zen: breathe deeply and read our features on yoga for open water swimmers and the benefits of mindful swimming. Not all of us are lucky enough to live near the open water. For many, me included, our regular dose of outdoor swimming is from our local lido. We look at the lido revival that is taking place around the country. As well as more event reviews and event listings than ever before we also have tips on better backstroke from Terry Laughlin, how to train with paddles from Fiona Ford and Ed Williams teaches you how to bounce back from failure. Plus, gear reviews, nutrition and loads more!
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