The Big, Mad Splash Around Britain


After a year of planning, training, and learning to swim, Paula’s Big, Mad Swim Around Britain attempt ended not with a bang but with rapid inhalation, racing heart and a complete inability to move safely through the water.

The sea, sadly, was not Paula’s friend and after a few panicked weeks of facing up to the terror of being in and on the water constantly, it became clear that continuing with the swim was not in the interests of anyone’s safety (basically, she was having panic attacks in the water and beginning to drag everyone down with her!).

In true Must Try Harder style though, the adventure will continue, as Paula splashes her way around mainland Britain, trying all the water sports (both official and completely made-up) that she possibly can and talking to everyone who will listen – and some who won’t – about mental health.

The Swim was a flop; let’s hope the Splash makes waves!

After a year of planning, training, and learning to swim, Paula’s Big, Mad Swim Around Britain attempt ended not with a bang but with rapid inhalation, racing heart and a complete inability to move safely through the water.

The sea, sadly, was not Paula’s friend and after a few panicked weeks of facing up to the terror of being in and on the water constantly, it became clear that continuing with the swim was not in the interests of anyone’s safety (basically, she was having panic attacks in the water and beginning to drag everyone down with her!).

In true Must Try Harder style though, the adventure will continue, as Paula splashes her way around mainland Britain, trying all the water sports (both official and completely made-up) that she possibly can and talking to everyone who will listen – and some who won’t – about mental health.

The Swim was a flop; let’s hope the Splash makes waves!

From April 2018, follow Paula ‘Must Try Harder’ McGuire, as the recluse turned adventurer takes on her toughest challenge yet – attempting to become the first person ever to swim all the way around mainland Britain.

A recovering aquaphobic, who spent 30 years unable to break a sweat without worrying about drowning, Paula will test herself beyond the limits of reason – and safety – to show that, while anxiety makes life hard, adventure makes living possible.

From Land’s End to John O’Groats and all the way back around, this novice swimmer will tackle Britain’s unforgiving coastline, powered by a passion for mental health awareness, cake, and hopefully a few friendly seals along the way.

Support her. Join her. But, whatever you do, please don’t splash her*!

* She really doesn’t like that.

The Big, Mad Splash Around Britain in the media

Special Edition of Standard Issue Magazine

BBC Out for the Weekend

BBC World Service

The Adventure Sports Podcast

BBC The Social

The Blether with Paul Graham and Friends

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