Mike (far left) and Mark (far right) Join Swim The Eden  | Photo:  James Silson

Mike (far left) and Mark (far right) Join Swim The Eden | Photo: James Silson



90-mile river eden swim

Our journey would lead us for 90 miles across the wide, rolling river basin known as the Eden Valley. This valley stretches all the way from the feet of the Pennines to the roving slopes of the Lake District fells. Once the medieval staging ground for the raids of the border reivers, the scenery is still scarred from old battlefields and scattered with sites of historical interest, including the ruins of well-kept pele towers and castles...
— Jack Hudson, Swim Wild (ch.2 Matriarchs)

ALMOST A YEAR in the making, the 9-day/90-mile Swim the Eden expedition was a chance for the brothers to return to their roots and revisit the swimming spots they loved so much as kids. It was also, admittedly, an opportunity for them to swap the humdrum clockwork of their respective cities (Newcastle, London, Berlin) for the easy rhythms of the natural world. The fact that, in escaping the grind, they could simultaneously raise money for the Swimming Trust was just the icing on the cake - they had to go through with it!


In hindsight, the Eden swim turned out to be immensely fun and Jack described a great loss the morning after they finished, when he woke up to the realisation that he wouldn't be seeing his brothers or their support team. It took them 9-days to make it from the peaty bogs and gorges of Black Fell Moss, down the steep dale of Mallerstang, through the green Vale of Eden, across the Eden Valley to the squelching tidal flats of England’s eastern coast, where the Eden joins the River Esk and enters the Solway Firth.

The whole swim was filmed by the human Swiss Army knife, James Silson. He kayaked along beside the brothers, occasionally supported by Jack's good mates David Renton and Sandy Kerridge, strapped with drones, GoPros and all manner of clunking film paraphernalia. Then there were the ever-trusty, food-packed chariots driven by mum and dad, as well as brownies and cakes brought by Beth and other friends. More great examples of the kind of folk who suddenly surprise you with their generosity, whilst also going the extra distance to get you through tough times.

Follow this link to read more about the Swim The Eden expedition.