best wild swimming spots in the UK

20 of the best wild swimming spots in the UK

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

Cornwall wild swimming
Source: Phoebe Harper

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 

Kent wild swimming
Source: The Isle of Thanet News

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 

London wild swimming
Source: Secret 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

london wild swimming
Source: Londonist

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 

Oxford wild swimming
Source: Oxford Mail

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 

Wales wild swimming
Source: Wales Online

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 

Yorkshire wild swimming
Source: Ellis Brigham

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 

Cumbria wild swimming
Source: Karl and Ali Geograph

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

Northumberland wild swimming
Source: The Hiking Photographer

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 

scotland wild swimming
Source: Bald Hiker

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

devon wild swimming
Source: Devon Live

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 

river thames wild swimming
Source: Thryve

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 

suffolk wild swimming
Source: Wild Swimming

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 

wild swimming uk
Source: Daniel Start, Wild Swimming

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 

wild swimming derbyshire
Source: That Adventurer

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 

wild swimming kent
Source: Trip Advisor

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 

wild swimming wales
Source: Flickr

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 wild swimming
Source: Visit 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 

wild swimming wales
Source: Llynau Mymbyr

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

isle of skye wild swimming
Source: Trip Savvy

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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *