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Finding that perfect spot for wild swimming in the UK is magic. Between the ages of 9 and 13, I used to swim competitively. You couldn’t keep me out of water. No, not even an English sea on a cold, windy day. Nowadays it’s slightly harder to tempt me into the cool water, but as soon as I’m in the sea or a pool and back swimming I remember how much I love gliding through the water. The thing is, swimming lengths in a public, indoor pool just doesn’t quite have the same attraction as wild swimming and swimming in the sea.
When you lift your head out of the water to breathe you just see others swimming in the lane next to you, a bored-looking lifeguard or some dirty looking tiles. When you go swimming in the open you see birds ahead, fish below and coves just waiting to be explored.
Over the past few years, wild swimming has tempted me. I do remember one day spent during a summer holiday years ago where we walked through fields stumbling upon a secret river bend full of crayfish and the perfect wild swimming opportunity.
Whilst I have no idea where that actually was, I do know where these fantastic wild swimming spots in the UK are, and I’m planning to finally get some more wild swimming under my belt.
Lower Ddwli Falls, Waterfall Woods, Brecon Beacons
In amongst the mist of the Brecon Beacons, near Ystradfellte, you’ll find around 20 pools along the 5 mile stretch from Fechan river to Mellte. Lower Ddwli Falls is one of the best. The great arc of the waterfall sprays water through the surrounding trees creating rainbows everywhere you look on sunny days. You’ll have the chance to swim in this pool surrounded by moss and ferns
Wild swimming in the Fairy Pools of Glen Brittle, Skye
If you’re brave (or crazy!) enough to handle the freezing cold water of Scotland then the Fairy Pools on Skye make for a magical way to wake yourself up in the morning.
Loughrigg Tarn, Lake District
Loughrigg Tarn is a small, natural lake in the Lake District. One of the more secluded lakes in the region, this one’s barely visible from the hills so if you’re hoping for a quiet swim this might be one of your best shots! We stayed at a campsite right outside here during our camping weekend in the Lake District. The campsite doesn’t have showers but it does have this!
Goldiggins quarry, Minions, Bodmin Moor, Cornwall
This wild swimming spot is extremely picturesque. Formed from a spring in an old quarry, the jade water glistens in the sunshine and there are areas for jumping off rocks into the water, space for picnics and a spot of sunbathing when you’re all tired out.
River Trent, Anchor Church, Ingleby, Derbyshire
The incredible caves of Anchor Church just a mile upstream from Ingleby near Derby make an adventurous wild swimming spot. The river has carved out a series of inlets you can explore and the best wild swimming is to be had in the quiet lagoon just off the river. It’s great for children to explore too.