Diving into a lake or a river is not something you would normally think of doing in Britain. I've swam in lakes on holidays abroad and it is not only fun, but incredibly relaxing, especially when it is 30 degrees - and you don't have the waves splashing against and pulling you in one direction.

Margaret Dickinson has put together Wild Swimming Walks, which looks at lakes, rivers and seas in the South East where you can do exactly this, plus a lovely trek to go with it.  Her book features several locations around Essex and East London, many of which are only a train journey away.

There's the Hatfield Peverel Circular, which provides a peaceful rural setting through the Essex countryside offering several swims and goes through Chelmsford and Colchester.

For those wanting something a bit more central then there's The Serpentine in Hyde Park, one of the oldest swimming club in Britain. Their pool is open everyday to the public during the summer and you can enjoy some of the sights around Hyde Park, St James Park and Trafalgar Square.

If you are wanting a dip in the river, the Manningtree Circular, which goes through Colchester, has been described as a "delightful" experience. The book outlines a stroll through Constable country where people can enjoy a swim at various points in the river Stour.

Finally for those wanting a casual walk along the beach and a swim in the sea, the Kirby Cross to Frinton and Walton-on-the-Naze is ideal in the summer. The walk offers both inland across the countryside as well as along the sandy beaches and of course you can jump into the sea at any time.

Margaret's book offers 28 locations so there is plenty of choice and they would make a great summer day out.

Details: wildthingspublishing.com