Man swims length of Britain

Cold water swimming (File)
Cold water swimming (File)

London - An adventurer has become the first person to swim the length of Britain after emerging from the chilly seas at the northeast tip of Scotland on Monday.

Sean Conway took 135 days to swim 900 miles (1 450 kilometres) up the west coast of Britain from Land's End, the southwest tip of England, to John O'Groats.

The Zimbabwe-born 32-year-old has spent 90 days in the sea since June 30, with the rest out of the water due to bad weather.

Conway thought the challenge would take two and a half months rather than four and a half.

Sporting a wetsuit and a bushy ginger beard, he was immediately sprayed with champagne after swimming into John O'Groats harbour and walking ashore.

"I found out that no-one had done it before and that just inspired a bit of imagination in me," he told BBC television.

"The water was very cold.

"The toughest part was getting stung in the face by jellyfish. I've had to grow a ridiculous beard to help me. Dealing with the cold water, I get seasick as well a lot, so a lot of drinking salt water wasn't fun."

Conway had previously cycled from Land's End to John O'Groats in 2008.

Last year he cycled round the world.

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