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



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, Ch.2 Matriarchs, Swim Wild

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 as kids. It was 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 they could also raise money for the Swimming Trust was the final decider - they had to go through with it.


The Eden swim turned out to be great fun. It took the boys 9 days in total. They started in the peaty bogs and gorges of Black Fell Moss. Then they wound down the steep dale of Mallerstang and floated through the green Vale of Eden. They swam all the way across the Eden Valley and passed through Carlisle and ended on the 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 alongside the brothers, supported at intervals by Jack's good mates: David Renton and Sandy Kerridge. Then there were the ever-trusty, food-chariots driven by Mum and Dad, as well as Jack’s girlfriend Beth who baked brownies and cakes to keep the boys blubbered-up…

More examples of those kind folk who get you through tough times.

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