A newly published book by Banbridge freelance photographer Paul McCambridge and Lisburn swimmer Maureen McCoy will have you diving and skinny-dipping in some of the most awe-inspiring corners of our country.
Wild Swimming in Ireland is due to hit the shelves in bookshops very soon and explores 50 places to swim in rivers, lakes and the sea as Paul and Maureen travel from county to county.
The pair are passionate about wild swimming and aim to inspire swimmers to get off the beaten track and find amazing locations for swimming, diving and snorkelling.
Among their recommendations are a dip under the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge off the rugged coast of Ulster, circumnavigating Devenish Island in the freshwater Lough Erne, exploring the rockpool at Hook Head Lighthouse, dropping from high diving boards into Galway Bay, and slipping along the Wild Atlantic Way’s hidden beaches and coves.
Complementing Paul’s spectacular photos are Maureen’s expert tips and practical information to make wild swimming safe and invigorating for everyone, whatever your swimming ability.
Paul has been a photographer for over twenty-five years.
He has exhibited his work nationally and has won many awards over the years.
He sees swimming outdoors as therapy and a way to reinvigorate the body.
In his youth Paul represented Ulster but then took a break from swimming for many years. It was in 2007 that he discovered open-water swimming.
Some of his most notable open-water swims include the North Channel Relay in 2011 with Team Camlough and the Copeland Island Swim 2010.
“I enjoy swimming - it invigorates the body and now that I don’t compete I can relax more,” he said.
“Doing this book has been great and a real pleasure.
“We have met so many good people with great stories along the way.”
The pair plan to keep driving around Ireland over the next year or two to gather more ideas for a further book.
Maureen is an award-winning long distance open-water swimmer, having swum in the sea, loughs and rock pools with her brothers since she was a small child.
In 2009, just after her fortieth birthday, she fulfilled her childhood ambition to swim the English Channel. She enjoys outdoor swimming throughout the year and says she always keeps a swimsuit in her car – just in case. She trains ‘come hail, rain, sleet or snow’.
Wild Swimming in Ireland will be available in bookshops soon, or can be ordered from Amazon.