Swimming is a great pass time in the summer, but swimming pools can often be overcrowded, full of children, and a bit boring. If you want to spice up your swimming experience, check out the best wild swimming spots in the UK!
20. Goldiggins Quarry, Cornwall
Hidden in Bodmin Moor, this quarry is home to a deep and shining pool. You will have to access it from the Minions (a Cornish village) by walking across the moorland. But it is worth the journey! Once there, you will find clear waters and high quarry cliffs for thrill-seekers.
19. Walpole Bay Tidal Pool, Margate
Hidden at high tide, Walpole Bay Tidal Pool is a four-acre section of the bay that is perfect for anyone looking to swim. Be warned though, in the winter months, the North Sea waters make this a chilly place to take a dip!
18. Hampstead Heath Ponds, London
Hampstead Heath Ponds will cost you a few quid to get in, but there are 3 separate swimming lakes – ladies, men, and mixed – and they are run by the City of London Corporation. Enjoy this city-based haven and cool off after a long London day.
17. Beckenham Park Swimming Lake, London
This one feels a little less wild as you have to pay to enjoy it, but for any less experienced swimmers, you may feel safer swimming somewhere monitored. The lake has a wooden jetty and is surrounded by long grasses and hills which make the London lake feel reasonably isolated.
16. River Isis, Oxford
Take a trip to Port Meadow, a stretch of land roamed by cows and horses, and take a dip in the section of the Thames known as the Isis. If you enter the river at Godstow you will find the remains of a former bathing place.
15. Blue Lagoon, Wales
This is Wales’ worst-kept secret. This former quarry has been flooded by the sea and is now a sparkling deep pool that shines bright blue. It is deep enough that you can dive in, and is perfect for kayaking too.
14. Appletreewick, Yorkshire
The idyllic and unreal Appletreewick village is as you’d expect. You can walk through the village down to the River Wharfe, and there you will find all kinds of rope swings to get you into the river. Surrounded by the rolling Yorkshire hills and greenery, it’s the epitome of British wild swimming.
13. Kailpot Crag, Ullswater, Cumbria
It is no surprise that somewhere in the Lake District wound up on this list. The epic lakes of the Lake District are well known and so often get very busy come summer. However, over on the east side of Ullswater, there is a small lakeside beach or exciting cliff which provide access to the tourist-free side of the lake.
12. Linhope Sprout, Northumberland
Linhope Sprout is genuinely straight out of a fairytale. The 18-metre waterfall crashes down into a pool surrounded by woodland. The pool itself is just big enough for you to wade in on a warm day and enjoy that Main Character life.
11. Falls of Falloch, Crianlarich
Fancy swimming under a snow-capped mountain? The Falls of Falloch is set just under the mountain Ben Lui and is surrounded by woodland and a ten-metre waterfall. The pool is known locally as Rob Roy’s Bathtub and makes for a relaxing alfresco swim.
10. River Dart, Devon
If you get the train to Staverton village, you’ll be able to enjoy a gentle section of the river Dart. It is relatively deep and secluded, with small beaches for you to use. There’s even a great jump into the river if you travel past the weir.
9. River Thames, Berkshire
Not too far from London, travel to Pangbourne and head upstream. There you’re right on the edge of the Chilterns and there’s a great stretch of water with clear water, chalky banks, and no sign of civilisation.
8. River Waveney, Suffolk
If you visit the town of Bungay in Suffolk, you can enjoy the two-mile loop which travels around Outney Common and ends again at Bungay. The town around is lovely and quaint, and you’ll find lots of places to rest up after a long swim.
7. River Lugg, Herefordshire
Visit Bodenham and you will be spoilt for choice with long beaches and river pools. The Lugg is an idyllic river that travels through both England and Wales, and swimming in it is truly calming, surrounded by lovely scenery.
6. River Trent, Derbyshire
Just a mile upstream from Ingleby, near Derby, the river has carved out a series of holes and grottos into rocks. There, hermits and saints have lived supposedly since the 6th century. You can enjoy a quiet lagoon just off the river, a perfect and safe place to explore.
5. River Stour, Kent
The best place along the Stour to swim is in Fordwich, one of the smallest towns in England. If you follow the river along you will find a lovely secretive area of the river. Perfect for those looking for privacy and peace whilst they swim.
4. Lower Ddwli Falls, Brecon Beacons
Over in the southwest of the Brecon Beacons, there are some of the most incredible waterfall pools in the country. You could make a day of visiting them if you followed the five-mile journey of the Fechan and Mellte rivers. This one, however, has a huge open pool and a beautiful waterfall and is just upstream from a rope swing.
3. Loch Caoldair, Western Cairngorms
Scotland is full of lochs, and you are able to swim in most of them. This loch is on the western edge of the Cairngorms and is only a mile or so away from the road, yet feels completely wild. There are lots of trees surrounding the water, and even a small beach.
2. Llynnau Mymbyr, Snowdonia
In amongst Snowdonia’s highest peaks, these lakes are also known as the Capel Curig Lakes. They’re about 3/4 of a mile long and are approximately 30 feet deep. The lakes are just outside Capel Curig and have views of the mountains all around.
1. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye
The most gorgeous place on this list, the Fairy Pools are surrounded by pink-tinted waterfalls, and have an underwater arch that you can swim through. It’s unlikely to be very warm, but the pictures you’ll get and the memories you’ll make will be worth it!