Preconceptions about places we’ve never been are formed in a multitude of ways: what we read, watch or hear about it, and sometimes even the people who are from there – whether we like them or not. Occasionally, there are areas we have no idea about. For me, that was a section in the heart of England: the south Midlands. Then I went to swim there.
“What’s this area called?” I had asked Bryn Dymott, my swimming guide for the day. Bryn had met me off the train in St Neots, Cambridgeshire, and had rapidly transported us into … well, just where had he taken us?
“Swimmer’s paradise,” he said. “Or rather, river-swimmer’s paradise. We don’t have the sea.”
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