Incredible UK wild swimming spots that you must visit

The summer solstice can slip by like a warm bottle of wine in the supermarket, but what better way to make the most of the last sun than by soaking in nature, Where the Crawdads style, and soaking in the wilderness?

In addition to the endless physical benefits, outdoor swimming is an extremely good way to relieve stress by cultivating mindfulness and anchoring you in the present (‘cuse the pun’).

From swimming tranquil rivers to idyllic ponds, bring your swimmer, beach shoes and picnic gear, along with your most adventurous self – here are some The best outdoor swimming that Mother Nature has to offer.

This is a carefree and fun way to live (but can also be a little paranoid about eating algae).

1. Blue Lagoon, Pembrokeshire, Wales

Sparkling blue water isn’t just limited to the Balearic Islands, people. Nestled in the cliffs above Abereiddy Beach, you’ll discover Pembrokeshire’s magical blue lagoon, surrounded by sandy beaches and cliff tops. While it can be a bit colder than the Mediterranean, crowds flock to the 25m-deep man-made quarry every summer to swim, kayak or simply enjoy coastal walks wonderful. Whether you choose to head out into the open-air waters, book a delta tour, or stay dry and admire the views from the shore, this is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts as well as adventurers. adventure seekers. For those who are not brave by heart, bring a wetsuit.

2. Beckenham Park, London

This delightful Georgian pool in the heart of Beckenham Place Park has been lovingly restored to its former glory over the past few years, welcoming bathers and watersports enthusiasts from across the city. town and beyond. If you’re looking to escape the rush of muscular London life, spend the morning here in perfect solitude, except for a few furry friends who also flock to the area to wet their wings. . Who can blame them! Book in advance to secure your spot (open Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 7am to 3pm).

3. Grantchester Meadows, Cambridge

If you’re already into baseball, pack your swimwear and head to Lord Byron’s famous bathing area, about a 30-minute walk from the city center, where there’s a picturesque stretch of the River Cam lined with rows of water. willows and accompanied by birdsong waiting.

After cooling off in the river, recline on a deck chair under an apple tree at Orchard Tea Garden, a favorite haunt of the Bloomsbury Set, who have come to picnic, swim and discuss their work. in this corner of England, where time stands still. The ultimate relaxation in the summer!

4. River Derwent near Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

As the afternoon wears on, spending hours at this quintessentially English venue is like a tonic for the soul. With Chatsworth House as the setting – believed to be the inspiration for Pemberley in Jane Austen’s Proud and prejudice – Wild swimming doesn’t get more romantic than this. Until, of course, you ruin the pleasant silence with a cannon. Must be complete!

5. River Wharfe at Bolton Abbey, Yorkshire, England

The River Wharfe lies in front of the majestic Bolton Abbey ruins. Brimming with charm and variety in character, it’s a late-era drama and the perfect place for boating and picnicking. Just a word of warning – absolutely avoid the nearby Strid at its narrowest point. The full force of the river flows through this rocky channel of unknown depth, and underground currents and underground ledges are notoriously dangerous. Cling to the shallows near the stone steps next to the monastery ruins.

6. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye

One of the most popular attractions on the Isle of Skye, the enchanting fairy pools live up to its name. Adorned in pink and blue thanks to the presence of quartz in the rock and surrounded by some of Britain’s finest mountains, it’s easy to see why these storybook waters draw visitors from all over. In the world. Bring your goggles and wet clothes though, this wild swimming spot can be fanciful but also freezing cold. Class up, water pupae!

7. Lough Shannagh, Morne Mountains, County Down, Northern Ireland

An open lake surrounded by the stunning Morne Mountains and boasting crystal clear, cool waters, Lough Shannagh is sure to provide an unforgettable dip. Wim Hof ​​Who?

8. Hampstead Ponds, London

No wild swimming guide would be complete without a mention of this popular bathing spot. With your choice of three locations – men’s and women’s ponds, Kenwood women’s ponds and Highgate men’s ponds – you can escape the sweltering city heat with a dip in the pools. This 250-year-old house before catching some rays in one of London’s most beloved parks. The men’s and women’s ponds are open year-round, so if you want to dip your toes in cold water therapy, this is the place to try.

9. Barcombe Mills, East Sussex

This 5km stretch of river near Lewes is ideal for fishing, boating and swimming due to the lack of currents. Surrounded by vast fields and grassy banks, you can easily soak and bask in the sun on a distant afternoon.

Bring plenty of picnic gear and sunscreen and enjoy the day with the family, or head to the nearby Anchor Inn for a great riverside lunch. Those looking to get their boating fix can hire boats from the pub for £8 an adult for an hour.

10. Rydal Water, near Ambleside, Lake District

For a serene early morning dip combined with one of the most scenic hikes in the Lake District, grab a leaf out of Wordsworth’s book and head to Rydal Water. It is said to have been the great poet’s favorite place to relax and take in the natural surroundings, and when you experience the view for yourself, it’s easy to see why the calm waters and birds This particularly beautiful trail inspired much of his poetry.

At 15 meters deep and only 1 mile long, this lake is one of the first to warm up in the summer, making it a great place to go if you’re new to wild swimming. Once you’ve got your appetite, stop by Grasmere for some of their world famous spicy sweet gingerbread.

As always, take care when swimming outdoors and follow standard safety guidelines:

  • Don’t jump into the water without checking the depth and obstacles
  • Make sure you know how you’re going to get out before you enter
  • Never swim alone
  • Prepare warm clothes before and after swimming
  • Never swim in urban rivers, stagnant lakes or shallow reed areas
  • Wear shoes if you can
  • Watch out for blue-green algae that can irritate your skin and make you sick if you swallow the water
  • Make sure you’re allowed to swim

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