After being cooped up indoors for months, what could be better than stripping off and breaststroking serenely through a watery wilderness? The UK is full of beguiling (if chilly) expanses of open water, ready and waiting for adventurous types to throw their shivering bods into for a spot of outdoor swimming. And now travel restrictions have eased up a little, we can finally get out and explore the country’s impressive array of wild swimming spots.
Whether you’re a hardy bather ready to brave the cold or just after a quiet place to cool off on a sweaty summer’s day, the UK brims with beautiful places for a quick dip, from tidal lagoons and rural rivers to sandy lochside beaches and waterfall plunge pools. Relatively new to the game and don’t know where to start? Read on for our round-up of the very best places to go wild swimming right now. Better dig out your cossie… or maybe make that a wetsuit.
And if you’re in London and looking for somewhere for a spot of paddling, check out our round-up of the very best wild swimming spots near London.
Please note: Wild swimming can be dangerous. It’s best to avoid taking the plunge if you’re not a strong, experienced swimmer. Please check for potential hazards before you swim. Bear in mind also that travel restrictions vary across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and that many facilities and businesses in the towns and villages we mention may be closed at the moment. Please be mindful of the people who live locally, check whether car parks and toilets are open before you set off, do not leave litter, and adhere to social distancing guidelines at all times.