Author Topic: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits  (Read 456 times)

Woodland Mike

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Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« on: September 10, 2018, 08:37:44 PM »
Many naturists are also skinny dippers and enjoy wild swimming. There is little more refreshing than a swim in a river, pond or lake after a day of activity.
My parents used to take me camping when I was a kid and my dad always thought a good cold water wash in a beck was a great start to the day. At the time I was not as keen as the water always felt cold (I was a skinny wimp – possibly and probably) and very few camp sites had hot water. Hot showers were a rarity. I much preferred a river dip after a day of activity when my body temperature was high.
I was (from 7) also a keen canoeist, but that would be kayaking these days, so I always had confidence with water and like my grandma had learnt to swim at the same time as learning to walk. I believe that all kids should be taught how to cope with water as it is like learning to cross a road. Swimming or water confidence is a lifesaving thing and not just a fun thing. Knowing how to cross a road is a lifesaving thing and who the heck would just do that for fun?
Wild swimming is something I took up in later life when I reached my late teens, but is something I still do as the urge to enter water is so strong. The freedom of floating and drifting is something thousands and perhaps millions of folk enjoy every day in the UK (and beyond). On my wild swims I usually take a face mask as the delights of what you can see under the water are worth the extra weight, even on a walk of 60miles.
But I had and have a belief that such should be enjoyed as close to being in a natural state as possible. When I visit a site for the first time or after a long time my priority is knowing what is underfoot, so I always wear something on my feet. Idiots may have visited a great spot and left broken bottles or thrown their disposable barbeque with rusting metal spikes into the water. I have had to remove a metal spike from a person’s foot and that spike went through the soft bits and emerged on the far side. Fortunately that happened once and most sites are safe, but I like to be sure. So when I wild swim I choose to be in a natural state, that is, naked with perhaps just my footwear. There are no fish in the UK that enter the urethra, unlike some tropical catfish that then grow to the size of apples. The UK is safe for proper skinny dipping.
So where is this leading me to? Well to cut my tale short………..there is a nudist campsite nearby in Doncaster called Candy Farm and it has the best wild swimming place I know. But users of that campsite rarely go as it is a walk of a few miles over open terrain. That open terrain is so rarely used there is hardly a person to be seen.  I cycle around there and only once met someone and he objected to me riding my bike.

jbeegoode

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2018, 11:24:41 PM »
There is so little water around here, but many swimming pools in backyards. Just a place to sit in the water, or soak ones feet is a treat. Dammed lakes are generally the bodies of water fit for swimming. When there is enough water, there is a problem of too many people gravitating to the places. If you have a quiet wild swimming hole, it needs to appreciated, savored, you are fortunate.

The big lakes have beaches to access and a water craft will bring one to a more secluded private place.

Still, with blood thinned from desert living, you'll see many a sissy, who thinks that the water is cold around here and refrain from getting in.

Water on a hot day, washed over a naked body, gives such a pleasure and relief from teh heat as it dries off i the air. 110F suddenly feels wonderful.
Jbee
Baja Arizona 
Barefoot all over, all over.

Safebare

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2018, 01:25:41 AM »
Excellent post Woodland Mike. It brought back many memories for me.
I was lucky enough to have many opportunities for adventures in nature growing up. Lots of them involved skinny-dipping and generally running around naked. Dad wasn't much of an outoorsman. He hated camping, but understood the importance of getting the boys out in nature. Growing up in a decidedly middle class neighborhood, we had a beach house and two close neighors had camp/lake houses. None were much to look at, but held great opportunities for exploring.
I say that I went to high School in Houston, but I grew up at the beach. I was about 7 or 8 when I discovered the wonder of trunks free swimming and later surfing. I would walk a short distance down the beach, in front of a working gas well, strip off and enjoy the surf a sand without any bother.
My friend, Guy, would invite me to his family's lake house, near Livingston. We started out by shucking or suits once in the lake, but then veture out into the woods. I remember explaining the practice to his dad. We called it 'going bot'. Maybe we just wanted a code so we didn't have to admit we wanting to run around naked. Guy's sister and her friends, including my older sister, povided us a lot of entertainment. Mind you, we were only 8.
At Camp TECABOCA, or Texas Catholic Boys Camp, nudity was no big deal. We would hang around the bunkhouse, play games and relax without worrying about clothes. On hindsight, I think we were supposed to be in our underwear for rest time, but several of us felt more comfortable without the tighty whities. We would take the canoes up river to a nice swimming hole, shuck our outfits for a proper swim. The camp is still in operation, but they undoubtedly tightened their rules to protect the prurient interests of their charges.
Maybe all of the naked time in my youth set the stage for the naturist I became.

Stay Safe,
Safebare

nuduke

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2018, 06:45:44 PM »

How do you find suitable wild swimming places, W. Mike?
John

jbeegoode

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2018, 01:44:35 AM »
Yea, I too inquire...and please, set Nuduke up with one! ;D
Trip Report!
Jbee
Barefoot all over, all over.

Woodland Mike

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2018, 03:44:52 PM »
I forgot the picture.

Woodland Mike

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2018, 03:59:00 PM »
Finding a place to wild swim is often down to luck, but as more and more folk are getting the bug there are more and more books and websites. This is especially true in the UK. Places my parents took me to 50 years ago when few folk ventured off the beaten track are not the quiet secluded places they were. Where once you could properly skinny dip and any company that happened to turn up would likewise skinny dip, these days folk tend to don costumes. Even worse is the costumed person with a disposable bbq.

eyesup

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2018, 08:32:48 PM »
To find a hidden pond or lake around here I have to head into the mountains and then they tend to be small. Dry lake beds will fill after a big storm but are not deep enough to swim in. I’ve run across pools in the rocks that are deep but they are watering holes and can be nasty to swim in.

Sounds like you have a jewel to treasure. A lucky find.
Is it spring fed? It looks bracing!

Duane

nudewalker

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #8 on: September 15, 2018, 02:57:33 AM »
Much of what was not farmland in my neck of the woods was open pit or strip mines. Often water got impounded as small streams or springs fed water into ponds. Often the land owners would stock the ponds with some fish so armed with poles we would head out to fish and if they were not biting or if we got hot off with the clothes and in for a swim. I've only been back to the old stomping grounds once in the last few years and I must say that those ponds are not as inviting as they once were.

My go to now is to kayak to secluded places on some of the quieter lakes (electric motor only) which are more for fishing than recreation.  A good swimming hole is a wonderful find!
"Always do what you are afraid to do"-Emerson

BlueTrain

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #9 on: September 15, 2018, 12:56:35 PM »
There was a nice pond only a couple of blocks from where I lived in a small town in West Virginia. It was semi-artificial, having been improved for use by a local sporting goods store to demonstrate boats. It also happened to be across the road from a great aunt and uncle. Although I find the term "wild swimming" to be funny, it was a little spot of wild very near home. It was on a dirt road, too. A few boys would swim in it, a couple even skinny-dipping, but I wouldn't even stick my toe in the water. That was 60 years ago. Today, the road is paved, there are businesses on both sides of the road and there's nothing wild about it. The ownership changed hands and it's fenced off, sidewalks and all, and is for fishing only. Otherwise, there were no places to swim anywhere around there except for the city pool. That's where I went to swim and get sunburned.

We moved to the country when I was still in high school. I had hopes of seeing the old swimming holes where local boys would skinny-dip but was disappointed. I don't know where I had heard about skinny-dipping. There used to be a mill with the accompanying mill pond but only a bare trace remained of it by the time I lived there. There used to be water mills everywhere in the east, most having disappeared, usually without a trace, although there are a few around here in Northern Virginia in parks. Anyway, the only place to swim in the country was a spot on a creek that was not within walking distance. I think it was maybe ten miles away and it was not clothing optional.

There was a nice river near where I went to college and I took my wife there years later. She swam nude! I'm really not much for swimming myself but my wife goes every day when the pool that we belong to is open. She would go if it were snowing if the pool were open--maybe.

Davie

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #10 on: September 15, 2018, 01:39:54 PM »
The last place I'd swim is in a disused gravel pit. Every year many go in a few never get out. They can be deep (and the depth unknown) and cold. I'd much rather a stream or a natural lake with a shelving bottom or of course the sea, and that can be risky endeavour if the tides and currents are not known.

I'm not a spoilt sport, I've swam in lakes rivers and the sea but never old gravel pits or possibly even or equally worse, the local cut.

Davie  8)

eyesup

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2018, 09:22:14 PM »
I've read those sentiments in other posts. The general consensus is that abandoned gravel pits or open mines that have filled with water are dangerous.

Go to a lake.

Duane

Bob Knows

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2018, 06:56:17 PM »
I've read those sentiments in other posts. The general consensus is that abandoned gravel pits or open mines that have filled with water are dangerous.

Go to a lake.
Duane

When I was growing up the river was fast, polluted, and dangerous.   The nearest lake was 40 miles away.   A nearby abandoned gravel pit was a popular beach and swimming place.   I never heard of anyone drowning at the gravel pit.   Several young people drowned in the rivers. 
Human bodies are natural, comfortable, and green.
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BlueTrain

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2018, 11:23:15 AM »
There was and I guess still is, a pond, called Black Pond, that was listed in one of those books listing places for nude recreation. It was on private property, though, and even on the grounds of a private girl's school. I went there once and there were a few people nude and couple of people in the water. But one winter several years ago, someone fell through the ice on the pond and drowned. I suspect that security might be a little tighter there, now. It may have been an old quarry or gravel pit, too.

This place was very near the Potomac River in Great Falls, Virginia, which is upriver from Washington, D.C. Across the river is a rocky and tree-covered island that I visited a few times that was also a good place to be nude. It was difficult to get to, impossible when the water was up, like it is now, but still sufficiently private and secluded enough for 'safe' outdoor nudity. Good views of the river, too. But sometime in the last 30 years, that girl's school I mentioned, The Madeira School, built a large building that overlooks both the pond and the river side of the island. So those places are rather less suitable than they used to be. But parking is an issue anyway. That part of the river is popular with kayakers.

nuduke

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Re: Doncaster, England and old gravel pits
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2018, 12:14:18 PM »

Yes, Davie
I have read up on wild swimming being as I'd like to do some sometime, and it is a technique one has to adopt.  Care is needed to be aware of cold and the physiological effects such as gasping when one first plunges in.  Many wild swimming sources just don't even entertain wearing a normal costume (and, of course, none advocate nudity that I have read), they say you need a wet suit. Deep quarries are another danger to be aware of.  I am not a strong enough swimmer to brave any situation so like you, I would need to look for somewhere with a firm bottom and a shallower drift to enter the water.  I have never acquired the nack of diving so again that tends to determine the sort of environs that might offer a swimming place.
I think I need to do more a bit more research to see if I can find places for next spring or summer.
There was a great one off BBC4 TV programme a few years ago where Dr Alice Roberts learned to wild swim and eventually swam nude in a moorland tarn.


John