England is getting loads more wild bathing spots – and these 6 are near London

These rivers, beaches and lakes will soon all be officially designated for wild swimming

Ed Cunningham
Written by
Ed Cunningham
News Editor, Time Out UK and Time Out London
Rottingdean Beach, near Brighton
Photograph: Shutterstock

From lidos and outdoor pools to wild swimming spots, London has plenty of excellent places where you can indulge in a swim in the open air. But more places to open-water swim are always welcome. After all, haven’t you seen how busy Hampstead’s ponds get on sunny days?

Fortunately, England just got a bunch more officially-designated wild bathing spots. Earlier this week it was confirmed that 27 more places across the country – ranging from rivers and beaches to lakes – will be getting bathing status before the summer.

While none of those bathing spots will be in London, several are only a short distance away. So if you’re willing to grab a train or hop in a car, you’ll have rather a few more open water swim spots within reach.

As noted by the Guardian, however, just because waterways have official bathing status doesn’t mean they’re actually clean – it just means that the Environment Agency has to monitor them for pollution levels. So, erm, take a dip at your own risk.

Six of the new wild swimming spots are either in the Home Counties or boast solid transport connections to London. And one of them’s even in the Thames! Well, much further up and well upriver of London’s gunk. Here are all the new official places to swim near the capital. 

England’s new official bathing spots near London

  • Manningtree Beach, Essex (train to Manningtree, then walk)
  • River Cam at Sheep’s Green, Cambridgeshire (train to Cambridge, then bus)
  • Wallingford Beach, Berkshire (train to Cholsey, then bus)
  • Goring Beach, West Sussex (train to Durrington-on-Sea, then walk)
  • Worthing Beach House, West Sussex (train to Worthing)
  • Rottingdean Beach, East Sussex (train to Brighton, then bus)

Did you see that this London street has been named one of the most beautiful in the world?

Plus: east London is getting a brand-new pedestrian bridge.

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