16, June 2022
Where to wild swim in the UK this summer
Wild swimming – our favourite way to cool off, connect with nature and soak up the sights of the great British countryside all at once. In the UK we’re lucky that some of the most incredible dipping spots are right on our doorstep, and now that warm(ish) summer days are here again, more and more of us are adventuring out and diving in. Endorphin seekers – these are some of the best rivers, lakes and lagoons to tick off your swim list this summer (and all year round!).
Faerie Pools, Isle of Skye
With crystal clear waters and wild, mountain scenery, swimming in this series of pools and waterfalls is as magical as its name suggests. A word of warning – these waters stay icy all year round, so a wetsuit is a wise idea.
It doesn’t matter where you go in the lakes, you’ll never be short of scenic swimming spots. Buttermere, which literally means 'the lake by the dairy pastures’, is high on our list thanks to its dramatic backdrop and clear water. Steep underwater edges mean this one is suited to the more seasoned swimmer.
Buttermere, Lake District
Take in the iconic views of the Snowdon horseshoe when you dip in these tranquil twin lakes, located next to the village of Capel Curig. This is a popular spot for canoeing too, so BYOB (bring your own boat!) and make a day of it.
Llynnau Mymbyr, Snowdonia
First, let’s appreciate the idyllic name of this quaint Yorkshire village. Set along the River Wharfe, one of the most popular wild swimming spots in the Dales, Appletreewick is where you can get some peace and quiet. Think grassy banks, rocky pools and a rope swing for making a splash.
Appletreewick, River Wharfe, Yorkshire
They might be just off the coast of Cornwall, but the Scilly Isles feel like a different world completely. White sandy beaches, turquoise waters and untouched coastlines make this one of the most incredible places to swim. Rushy Bay, on the sheltered southern tip of Bryher, is a calm cove, tucked away from the wild waves of the north.
Rushy Bay, Bryher, Isles of Scilly
A favourite of Roger Deakin, i.e. the pioneer of the British wild swimming movement, the River Waveney is the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer’s day. The two mile stretch that loops Outney Common is a haven of clear water, grassy banks and plenty of wildlife to watch while you wade.
Outney Common, River Waveney, Suffolk
Blue Lagoon, PembrokeshireA flooded quarry turned swimmer’s paradise, Wales’ Blue Lagoon is a unique dipping spot hidden away on the Pembrokeshire coast. Venture 10 minutes from Abereiddy Beach to find these calm, turquoise waters, then spend the afternoon strolling along the National Trust protected Abereiddy to Porthgain coastal path.
Heading out on the North Coast 500? You’ll find this beautiful bay when you get to Loch Inver, and with its white sands and rugged scenery, it would be rude not to stop for a swim. It may look tropical, but waters here can stay pretty chilly all year round – it is Scotland after all.
Achmelvich beach, Sutherland
Wild swimming safety
We know it can be tempting to dive right in, but if you’re new to swimming on the wilder side there are a few safety measures to keep in mind. Before you go, read these handy guides by the RNLI and the National Water Safety Forum.
Already planning your next adventure? (We know we are!) Take Faith In Nature along for your post-swim rinse – our products are naturally-derived and 99% biodegradable, so they won’t harm the beautiful spots we all love to swim in.