The Outdoor Swimmers’ Handbook

The Outdoor Swimmers' Handbook, by OSS founder Kate Rew, is open for pre-orders now, and published on June 9th 2022.

Exciting announcement! The Outdoor Swimmers’ Handbook, by OSS founder @kate_rew, is published on 9th June and is available to pre-order.


The Outdoor Swimmers Handbook is a really important, inspiring book, written by someone at the heart of the outdoor swimming movement that – over the last fifteen years – has encouraged millions of people to experience the wonders and friendships of Britain’s rivers, lakes and seas. Rew’s book combines hard-won, deeply researched information on how to swim safely and joyfully out-of-doors, with vivid first-hand accounts of swims in astonishing places and with remarkable people.

The Handbook has a democratic purpose; to give anyone the confidence and the inspiration to begin to swim. In 2007 I said of Rew’s first book, Wild Swim, that it was ‘sure to launch a thousand swimmers’. I dramatically underestimated! Swim England recently estimated there to be 7.2 million outdoor swimmers in Britain. What a revolution for the good! Even as we long for open water, however, our rivers and seas suffer plagues of plastic, slicks of sewage. A culture is no better than its rivers (to adapt a line from the poet WH Auden) and our rivers are in trouble. Outdoor swimming is not only joyful, it’s also political: a declaration of action for access to cleaner, healthier blue spaces in these islands.

Read on. Dive in…

‘This is like an overheard catch up of everything that’s been learnt and experienced in the last 16 years of The OSS,’ says Kate, ‘everything that we, as a community, have learnt about understanding rivers, lakes, sea – about the physiology of cold, planning swims, night swims, and how to swim better. I am super excited to have been able to group it all together in what I hope is a really accessible, beautiful fun to read book. It’s a very poetic kind of handbook, with beautiful community photography (thanks to all the contributors!) and illustrated field guides. So many swimmers have helped create this movement and form and articulate this knowledge over the years – may it help make water accessible to millions more.’

So many swimmers have helped create this movement and form and articulate this knowledge over the years - may it help make water accessible to millions more...

The Outdoor Swimmers’ Handbook, by OSS founder Kate Rew, is open for pre-orders now, and published on June 9th 2022 (Rider, £22).