609 in 2015 and later

648 past in 2015 (updated 17-07-'15)

Finding yourself in the rivers, lakes and ponds of England

Freshwater swimming as exploration and therapy.
In the middle of the deepest lake in England I nearly lost my nerve. Wast Water is nestled in the western corner of the Lake District, an area once beloved by Romantic poets. A winding road cuts along one bank; on the other looms Scafell Pike, the tallest mountain in England. The water glints metallic, reflecting the grey, overcast sky.

Beneath me were 70 metres of icy water; I was swimming the ceiling of Westminster Abbey or Canterbury Cathedral, a nave of darkness below me, its contents—its population, perhaps its intention—unknown. I felt vertiginous and slightly nauseous. It started to rain, streaking my sight when I lifted my head from the water below. Short, choppy waves pushed at me like a playground bully. My hands turned first pearly white and then pink, numb and raw. My wetsuit, which I had not worn in the water before, felt tight around my throat. I panicked: the water suddenly seemed sinister, my limbs sluggish.

Read the full article @economist