In the summer months, many people swim in the river at Grantchester. A favourite entry point is in the meadow below the Red Lion where children climb up ropes hanging from a tree on the opposite bank and drop into the water. A history of wild swimming in the area can be found here. Swimming in the river is obviously done at your own risk but guidance for adults and teenagers can be found here and for parents and children is here.

3 thoughts on “Swimming

  1. Judith Gardom

    I have just heard that Kings College is soon going to ban swimming from Grantchester Meadows, on the grounds that it erodes the banks. Given the degree of erosion caused by the cattle, I am surprised that swimming is regarded as a serious factor, and I wonder what the evidence is.

  2. Kate

    Hi there,
    A friend recommended Grantchester as a great place to go wild swimming. I’ve just seen an article about swimming being banned there recently though. Do you know what the official situation is? We wouldn’t want to make the journey and then find out it’s not possible.
    Any advice, very gratefully received.
    Many thanks,

    1. Josh Newman

      Hi Kate,

      King’s College do not own the river, and have not banned swimming there. However, they have said that – for now at least – people on the Meadows are not allowed getting into the water from the college land. There are however places in Grantchester, Trumpington and Newnham (Cambridge) where you can access the river that isn’t King’s College land.

      The situation has come about due to a lot of antisocial behaviour on the meadows over the last two summers, and also because of the erosion of the river banks: swimming and boat launching have been at the very least a factor in this.

      So do come and visit, and swim if you are interested, but please do so in a way that respects others and leaves the beauty of the area intact for residents and for other visitors.


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