Waterlog celebrates the magic of water and the beauty of wild Britain.

In 1996 Roger Deakin set out to swim the British Isles. He swam in the sea, in rivers, in streams, tarns, lakes, lochs, ponds, lidos, swimming pools, fens, dykes, moats, aqueducts, waterfalls, flooded quarries and even canals. This funny, wise, delightful book documents his journey. It inspired a movement, creating wild swimmers out of many readers.

Detained by water bailiffs in Winchester, intercepted in the Fowey estuary by coastguards, mistaken for a suicide on Camber sands, confronting the Corryvreckan whirlpool in the Hebrides, Deakin discovered just how much of an outsider the native swimmer is to his landlocked, fully-dressed fellow citizens.

Waterlog is a personal journey, a bold assertion of the native swimmer's right to roam, and an unforgettable celebration of the magic of water.


'A delicious, cleansing, funny, wise and joyful book, so wonderfully full of energy and life’ Jane Gardam'

'Roger Deakin is the perfect companion for an invigorating armchair swim' Daily Telegraph


  • I jumped in with both feet and wanted to stay for more.
    Griff Rhys-Jones

About the author

Roger Deakin

Roger Deakin, who died in 2006, was a writer, filmmaker and environmentalist of international renown. He was a founder member of Friends of the Earth, and co-founded Common Ground. He lived for thirty-eight years in a moated farmhouse in Suffolk. Waterlog, which was first published in 1999, became a word-of-mouth bestseller, and is now an established classic of the nature writing canon.
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