Note: This trip was actually from last summer (2017). But since it has been sunny for WHOLE TWO DAYS in Newcastle, especially after all the snow, I can’t help but look forward to the summer!
It was the morning of a boiling hot summer day. I saw in the corner of my eye a couple of young men walking down my street half naked while I was reading a heavy hardcover book in the living room. I suddenly panicked, what am I doing?! The summer could be gone after this!
This is what British weather does to you – if it’s not raining, you feel like you should be out running or gardening; if it’s actually sunny and sunny for a whole two days, you feel like you’re wasting your life unless you’re at the beach or on a mountain. Tynemouth is too crowded; the Lake District is too far. We decided to go swimming in Northumberland!
A couple of hours later, we parked on the bank of River Coquet in the middle of Northumberland and jumped in. 8 o’clock in the evening we were back home cooking dinner. It was a proper micro adventure.
If you’d like to try wild swimming for the first time, I find this website quite helpful. It has a wild swimming map for the UK, articles like “best-hidden beaches in the UK”, “best wild swimming adventures in Yorkshire Dales”, and health and safety advice on wild swimming. (PLEASE STAY SAFE!)
The place we went used to be listed on the website too. Some parts of the river were pretty shallow if you only want a paddle, some were plenty deep enough to swim in. We didn’t see any plants in the water so no worry about tangling things. There was even a nice little “beach” for getting in and out easily. The best thing of all (compared to my first wild swimming experience in Buttermere in Lake District), you can see the bottom of the river and there’s no worry about monsters lurking underneath!
Two more tips. If you find this exact spot, you’ll be able to park on the grass parallel to the road. The only thing that will make me think twice before we next go again is the number of vicious flying insects and the red swollen bites they leave all over me – their brutal stingers are clearly designed for cattle!