Punting, poets, nudity, swan fights and Jesus. Our first foray into cross country swimming.


Route — Cambridge

We read about the swimming at Grantchester meadows and asked around. Simon Earles, one of the first ever people to take part in the London Swimmer told us about the Newnham Swimming club.


A recce in Summer revealed the most wonderfully British scene. A hidden gem, riverside swimming club with a lovely lawn and a tidy shed as a club house. Eccentricity all round as we realised the favoured bathing was in the nude. We stripped off and jumped in with joy -  a marvellous new route was born.

Start at Cambridge train station and run over to Grantchester Meadows. Worth looking at a detailed map as there is a nice winding route through meadows, down the side of the botanical gardens and riverside woodland footpaths.

It’s then a mile or two down the side of the river to the Orchard Team rooms where the ‘Bloomsbury set’ wrote their poems. Tea and a scones are first class.


Then to the river and a swim back up the river along the route you just ran down. As you near the end of the riverside paths – you keep going, round two bends in the river where you can’t get out. Don’t worry, keep going.

You then come across the riverside entrance to Newnham Swimming club and a small English paradise. It’s possible to join the club for £15 and it’s well worth it (if you are comfortable getting out and getting your kit off).

From there we run through Cambridge, along the backs of the colleges to Jesus Green Lido for our final swim. Often finishing with a wander back through Cambridge with a stop or two at the finest pubs (we like The Pint Shop).