6 of the best wild swimming spots in the UK
The UK is home to some of the best spots for wild swimming. There’s nothing like the thrill of an outdoor dip – the bite of cold water, the meditative strokes and the rosy glow that follows.
Here we reveal our pick of the UK’s best wild swimming spots.
The UK’s best wild swimming spots
Sharrah Pool, Dartmoor
Sharrah Pool in Dartmoor National Park is one of our favourite wild swimming spots in the UK. This experience is far more than just a swim – consider it an immersion in nature.
After parking at New Bridge car park, you’ll head off on a woodland amble that takes just under an hour. Feel the pressures of the modern world melt away as you follow this route, through ancient woodland and past a tumbling waterfall, with the flowing River Dart providing a peaceful soundtrack to your stroll.
Eventually, you’ll come across a clearing in the trees, revealing the spectacular wild swimming spot. With stunning views of the surrounding woodland, this is one swim you won’t forget. There’s plenty of space on the banks for lazing in the sun afterwards.
Blue Lagoon, Abereiddi
Surrounded by rugged rocks and dramatic coastline, you’ll find Aberiddi’s Blue Lagoon in Pembrokeshire.
Once a former slate quarry, ruins are dotted around the lagoon and hint to its industrial past. Now flooded by the sea, the lagoon provides a popular spot for a wild swim.
The pool boasts a bright aqua colour thanks to the slate and offers a deep and bracing plunge! For those not so keen on jumping in, the surrounding clifftop offers great views of the area.
Serpentine Swimming Club
Serpentine Swimming Club is perfect if you’re looking for a wild swim in London. It’s also a favourite of Liz’s. She often visits the club when she’s in the capital.
Located in Hyde Park, members can enjoy a dip outside all year round. The facilities open at 5am each morning, providing plenty of opportunity for early risers to fit in a swim before heading to the office.
The club holds races throughout the year, with a highlight being its annual Christmas Day race. It’s a bracing way to mark the festivities, while meeting new friends and putting your technique to the test.
While the water temperatures are particularly chilly in winter (the lake has been known to freeze), in summer it can reach a pleasant 20°C.
Lower Ddwli Falls, Brecon Beacons
Lower Ddwli Falls is the go-to place for a wild swim surrounded by dramatic scenery.
The falls is part of a series of natural forest plunge pools, located along the Rivers Melltes, Nedd Fechan and Hepste in the south-west of the Brecon Beacons. So stunning is the natural scenery, this part of the world has earned the name ‘Waterfall Country’, and features more than 20 pools.
Lower Ddwli Falls is a large, open pool that’s located at the bottom of an arching waterfall. It’s surrounded by forest and is ideal for enjoying a refreshing dip on sunny days.
Plus, with a number of campsites nearby, it’s perfect for families and adventure-seekers who want to get away from it all.
River Waveney, Bungay, Suffolk
Located around Outney Common, on the northern tip of Bungay, you’ll find a peaceful and idyllic swim spot.
This 3km loop of the River Waveney features a number of wild swimming areas for a cooling dip. With clean, clear waters, it’s the ideal spot to spend an afternoon picnic with loved ones.
This gentle river is also a popular spot for canoeing, and with Outney Common Caravan Park nearby, you can enjoy a longer stay and make the most of the peaceful surroundings.
Kisdon Force, River Keld, Yorkshire Dales
Nestled in a woody gorge in the Yorkshire Dales, you’ll find Kisdon Force.
Here you’ll find two waterfalls – upper and lower – that make up this spectacular beauty spot. You can access the waterfalls from a pathway just off the Pennine Way – one of the UK’s most famous long-distance walks, stretching from the Peak District to just inside the Scottish border at Kirk Yetholm.
Wander down the path, spotted with wild flowers and herbs, until you reach the waterfalls. Here, you can dip into the plunge pools and enjoy a refreshing cool off. The lower waterfall is the larger of the two and arguably the most spectacular.
Remember that wild swimming is always at your own risk.