Skip to content
Balance Board Starter Kits From £120. SHOP NOW

Hand Finished in East Anglia, UK | Since 2015

Join now for 10% off your first order!


7 best wild swimming locations in the UK

by Gemma Tadman 12 Aug 2022 0 Comments
7 best wild swimming locations in the UK

Take a dip in nature’s pools and float on the high

There isn’t much better than the feeling of being embraced by water; the cool, fluid hug that makes you feel one with the Earth, away from the distractions of daily life. And that’s exactly how wild swimmers describe the experience of plunging into seas, lakes, rivers and other natural bodies of fresh or salty water. 

The word ‘natural’ is key here, with wild swimming describing the simple act of swimming (or even dipping in and out) in any natural body of water. The main thing is that there are no man-made structures, only Mother Nature’s work.

Wild swimming gained great popularity during the pandemic and UK lockdowns, with it offering people with once-active lifestyles an energetic outlet, as well as excitement to others who had felt cooped up inside for too long.

7 Best Wild Swimming Locations in the UK and Health Benefits

What are the benefits?

Although UK COVID restrictions are long gone, wild swimming has maintained its popularity, with numbers of people incorporating it into their daily or weekly routine. And as well as being an exhilarating escape, the activity gives swimmers other health benefits, too.

Outdoor swimming in open water is a fantastic all-round activity for increasing fitness and strength, but research also shows it has restorative benefits, especially cold-water swimming. It can result in better skin, with sea water especially being rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium and sodium – natural substances proven to invigorate the skin and even improve conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. 

On top of this, regular cold wild swims have been shown to strengthen immune function. When your body is exposed to cold water, even just for a little while, your body’s immune system kicks into overdrive, with increased circulation, blood flow, and release of white blood cells and antioxidants. 

Wild swimming can also bolster your cardiovascular system, increase libido, stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system and lift your mood. Many wild swimmers talk about the ‘high’ they get from cold water, this is because, when immersed, your body will release endorphins, dopamine and serotonin – chemicals that make us happy and reduce feelings of depression and anxiety.

7 Best Wild Swimming Locations in the UK and Safety

How can we do it safely?

Whilst there are several great reasons for plunging into the water, before doing so, you must consider the dangers and always keep them in mind. Oceans, lakes, rivers and other bodies of water are all at the mercy of the elements, and that means you are too. Waves can suddenly loom over you, tides and currents can change and hypothermia is always a risk, but especially in the colder months. 

Accidents can happen quickly and it’s easy to get into difficulties, so don’t swim out too far from the shoreline or bank, go in a group and make sure they can always see you. If the water is particularly cold, it’s important to let your body adapt – take baby steps and slowly increase the time spent swimming with each session. Once you’re out the water, make sure you change out of wet clothes as soon as possible and get your body warm – drink some hot tea and put on some cosy, dry clothes.

Natural water is a wonder, but it’s also unpredictable, so never go alone, keep an eye on the weather, the waves, currents and tides, and know your own limits.

Where are the best locations for wild swimming?

Now, the fun part – deciding where to go! Here are our favourite places to wild swim in the UK. 

7 Best Wild Swimming Locations in the UK - Tollesbury, Essex, England

1) Tollesbury, Essex, England

Located in the small town of Tollesbury, you’ll find a hauntingly beautiful peninsula at the mouth of the wide Blackwater Estuary. The 243-hectar nature reserve is the perfect place to walk and wildlife watch, and an even lovelier place to swim. When the tide is coming up, head out to the marshes from Tollesbury Marina on a kayak or paddleboard, moor your vessel on one of the little exposed strips of marshland and jump into the water.

7 Best Wild Swimming Locations in the UK - Falls of Falloch, Crianlarich, Scotland

2) Falls of Falloch, Crianlarich, Scotland

What better background to a wild swim, than a cascading waterfall? You’ll find the Falls of Falloch (known locally as Rob Roy’s Bathtub – after a legendary Scottish outlaw) in the shadow of snow-capped mountain Ben Lui, surrounded by woodland and just off the West Highland Way. Access the plunge pool and waterfall via a bumpy farm track and enjoy lolling around in the cool water for a few hours – you won’t be disappointed. 

7 best wild swimming locations in the UK - Llynnau Mymbyr, Snowdonia, Wales

3) Llynnau Mymbyr, Snowdonia, Wales

You’ll find these twin lakes on the outskirts of the town Capel Curig on the road to the Llanberis Pass (A4086), backdropped by stunning Snowdonia over the impressive Snowdon horseshoe. The lakes are around three quarters of a mile long, with a depth of 30 feet, with a delta halfway along the north shore splitting the two. Plunge into the waters and enjoy the rugged mountain scenery beyond, and, if you have time after your swim, why not tackle a mountain hike? [link to hiking article]

7 best wild swimming locations in the UK - Treyarnon Tidal Pool, Cornwall

4) Treyarnon Tidal Pool, Cornwall

If you find yourself in Cornwall, head to Treyarnon Bay, a 10-mile drive from the resort town of Newquay. There, at low tide, you’ll find a gorgeous pool nestled within the rocks that overlook the sandy beach. It’s ideal for swimming lengths and, on the cliff side, deep enough for jumping. The natural swimming hole is filled by the outgoing tide, so don’t be tempted to jump in when the tide is rising – the pool will rapidly disappear beneath the waves, making it unsafe for swimmers.

7 best wild swimming locations in the UK - Blue Lagoon, Pembrokeshire, Wales

5) Blue Lagoon, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Who needs to go to Iceland to experience their famous Blue Lagoons, when we have one on our very own doorstep? Head to Pembrokeshire in Wales for a beguiling Blue Lagoon, that was once upon a time a quarry. Mother Nature has worked her magic here, as the former quarry was long ago flooded by the sea to give a seemingly bottomless pool of azure water surrounded by rocky cliffs and sandy beaches.

7 best wild swimming locations in the UK - Torrin Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

6) Torrin Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

You’ve likely heard of the Isle of Skye’s famous ‘fairy pools’ near Grenbrittle – they are beautiful, but in summer, completely awash with tourists, making them less than ideal for a peaceful wild swim. Instead, go further south towards the village of Torrin – head 5.5 miles off the narrow road from Broadford to Elgol on the eastern shore of Loch Slapin, and you will find the wondrous Torrin Pools set within gorgeously wild landscape. A pre-warning: your dip will be very cold, since the water flows straight off the hills and over icy cold marble, but the views make the temperature worth it. The summit of Bla Bheinn is truly mesmerising. 

7 best wild swimming locations in the UK - Kailpot Crag, Ullswater, Lake District

7) Kailpot Crag, Ullswater, Lake District

We couldn’t possibly share wild swims, without including the famous Lake District, could we? A favourite destination for swimmers, summertime in the Lake District is always very busy. Stay away from the crowds, and take yourself to Ullswater’s quieter eastern side instead, which, importantly, does not have a main road running alongside it, making it a lesser accessed spot for a swim. There are a few ways to get to Kailpot Crag – walk from Sandwick or Howtown to the steep, craggy cliff, and from there, jump straight in to the deep, clear waters. Or, if you would prefer not to jump, you can also start your swim from the small lakeside beach that borders the water.


Please bear in mind: Wild swimming can be dangerous – know your limits, whatever swimming experience you have, and check for any hazards before taking the plunge. It’s best to simply paddle, or walk along the bank, if you are not confident in your abilities or the elements. Please also be mindful of locals and wildlife who live near the water and leave the area as you found it – free of litter and damage.

Prev Post
Next Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Thanks for subscribing!

This email has been registered!

Shop the look

Choose Options

Edit Option
Back In Stock Notification
Product SKU Description Collection Availability Product Type Other Details

Choose Options

this is just a warning
Shopping Cart
0 items