Wild swimming, the act of swimming in natural bodies of water, is a tradition that’s as old as the hills, and the UK, with its stunning variety of lakes, rivers, and coastal spots, is an absolute paradise for it. Let’s dive into some of the best wild swimming locations that the UK has to offer.
River Dart, Devon: Spitchwick Common, New Bridge, is a popular wild swimming spot on the River Dart. With grassy banks for picnicking and both shallow and deeper sections, it’s suitable for swimmers of all ages and abilities.
Llyn Idwal, Snowdonia: Located in the Ogwen Valley, the trail to the lake starts at Ogwen Cottage on the A5. Remember, the water can be quite cold, so it’s best for short, invigorating dips!
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye: Found at the foot of the Black Cuillin mountains near Glenbrittle, the pools can be reached via a car park on the single track road from Carbost.
Hampstead Heath Ponds, London: The Hampstead Heath Ponds are on the eastern side of Hampstead Heath, not far from Highgate Village. There are three ponds: the Men’s Pond, the Ladies’ Pond, and the Mixed Pond.
Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands: The south side of Loch Ness, near the village of Dores, is often recommended for swimming due to the relatively slow-moving waters.
The Cornish Coast, Cornwall:
- Kynance Cove: This is located on the Lizard Peninsula and is part of the National Trust.
- Porthcurno: Near Land’s End, this beach can be found 3 miles away from the town of Penzance.
- St Ives: Porthminster Beach is a great spot for a dip, located just a short walk from the town centre.
Remember, wild swimming is a fantastic experience, but it’s important to do so safely. Always check the depth and current of the water before diving in, beware of local wildlife, never swim alone, and make sure you’re prepared for colder water temperatures.
From the tranquil rivers to serene lakes and vast seas, the UK is a wild swimmer’s dream. So, whether you’re an experienced swimmer or a curious beginner, these locations offer a taste of the wild swimming adventures that await you across the UK. Happy swimming!