Now that we are well into summer and with many of us not able to go abroad this year, there is no doubt that we are searching for any activity which gives us that holiday feeling. So, if you are stuck in Bristol, why not go and search for some wild spots to dip into the water. Here are 9 amazing wild swimming spots near Bristol to try out.
1. Farleigh Hungerford Swimming Club
Address: Farleigh Hungerford, Bath BA2 7RS
Founded in 1933, Farleigh Hungerford Swimming Club is the oldest membership-only wild swimming club. For those who like to be adventurous, then you will be glad to hear that they have a diving board and two rope swings over the stream. It is also situated by the beautiful Farleigh Hungerford Castle, giving you plenty of options of things to do if you fancy getting out of the water. With membership at £12 a year for unlimited visits, it’s a steal. But if you are only planning on going once, you can also purchase a day ticket for £2.
To get there, it takes a 40-minute drive. Alternatively, you can get the train from Bristol Temple Meads to Keynsham and then walk around 7 minutes to get on bus number 94 at Freshford Church to The Pastures. From there, it is a 20-minute walk to the club.
2. Clevedon Marine Lake
Address: 170 Old Church Rd, Clevedon BS21 7TU
Although not exactly ‘wild’, Clevedon Marine Lake is a great outdoor location to go to if you are wanting to go swim in the sea. It is particularly great for those who may have been inspired by watching the recent Olympics as the 200-metre-long saltwater lake is used by many to train and perfect their swimming skills. Clevedon Marine Lake even has a floating platform which you can dive off. If you stay till the sunset after your swim, you will be able to see a picturesque phenomenon of the water turning pink and red!
It takes a half an hour drive or a bus journey on the X9 bus from Anchor road to get there – it’s super easy, really.
3. West Lydford
Address: West Lydford, Somerton TA11 7JP
West Lydford is a 100-metre river an hour’s drive away from Bristol. West Lydford will cater to whatever style of a day at the beach you enjoy as they have a rushing weir and bridge to jump off as well as shallow areas to swim and relax in. You can also become one with nature as the river is surrounded by calming weeping willows and water lilies. West Lydford also offers a community orchard which you can visit close by.
To get there takes an hour’s drive on the A37. You can also opt to get the train from Bristol Temple Meads to Taunton and then change at Castle Cary. Get off and get the number 1 bus to Horsepond and again, change to get on the 667 bus to Cross Keys. After a 10-minute walk, you will arrive.
Address: The Oak House, Bath Rd, Swineford, Bitton, Bristol BS30 6LW
If you have wanted to discover a more rural part of Bristol, then go down to Bitton, where you will find a spot connected to the River Avon surrounded by wildflowers and steam trains. It also has a wooden pontoon to jump off into the water.
You can take the cycle path from Bristol to Bath and stop halfway, where you will see a path crossing over the river – Bitton.
5. Claverton Weir
Address: Ferry Lane, Claverton, Bath BA2 7BH
On the outskirts of Bath is Claverton Weir, a long waterfall across the River Avon. Seeing and listening to the waterfall alone will transport you away to a hot holiday destination. You can also walk along the waterfall, where you will be greeted by peaceful meadows and colourful canal boats.
It takes about a 35-minute drive or an hour journey on public transport. Take the train from Bristol Temple Meads to Bath Spa and then get the D1 Discover bus at Manvers Street to Village. After a 3-minute walk, you will arrive. Alternatively, if you are feeling energetic, you could get off at Bath Spa and cycle to Claverton in about 22 minutes.
6. Saltford Weir
Address: The Shallows, Saltford, Bristol BS31
Another location on the edge of Bristol, Saltford Weir, has a number of rope swings and plenty of surrounding secluded grassed land where you can enjoy a picnic whilst soaking up the sun. Right by Saltford Weir is also The Jolly Sailor restaurant, where you can enjoy a meal and drink after your swim.
You can access the spot from central Bristol through a bike path or you can get the X39 aquae bus to The Shallows, which will drop you 5 minutes away.
7. Henleaze Swimming Club
Address: Lake Rd, Bristol BS10 5HG
Henleaze Swimming Club is an alternative members-only wild swimming site. However, all members can take a maximum of two guests with them for no extra cost. So, if you are clever about it, a group of you can go on a real bargain.
To get there, it takes a 15-minute drive – a decent Uber journey, especially if you split with your friends – or you can grab the number 1 bus to Southfield road then walk about 15 minutes.
8. Conham River Park
Address: 53 Conham Hill, Bristol BS15 3AW
Located on the River Avon, Conham River Park is a quieter swimming spot where you can surround yourself with picture-perfect wildlife. It also has steps to access the river, perfect for those who do not fancy jumping in. As well as this, Conham River Park has a path running beside it which you can walk in 45-minutes, a great additional activity to consider.
It will take a maximum 20-minute car journey or a ride on the 44 city lines east bus from Penn Street to Church Road, which will drop you off a 15-minute walk away.
9. Abbots Pool
Address: Abbots Leigh, Bristol BS8 3SE
If you live in the centre of Bristol, then Abbots Pool will be your closest wild swimming location as it’s a short distance away from the famous Suspension Bridge in Clifton Village.
For this reason, it’s only a 10-minute drive from central Bristol, or you can choose to cycle or walk to it along the National Cycle Route.
From calm rivers to choppier marine lakes, whatever kind of swimming experience you fancy, there is a wild swimming spot perfect for you to visit on a hot summers’ day. So, what are you waiting for? Pop on your sun cream and gig out your deep-buried hat and swimming costume!