The 5 Best Places for Wild Swimming in the UK The 5 Best Places for Wild Swimming in the UK

The 5 Best Places for Wild Swimming in the UK

Whatever kind of swimmer you are, it's important to focus on the basics – learning, training, and improving your performance and your health.

But we sometimes get so caught up in the mechanics of swimming that we forget one important fact:

Swimming is a natural activity – and it has been for thousands of years.

There's a gorgeous natural world out there. And swimming is one of the best ways to experience it.

So if you're the kind of person who appreciates the great outdoors, you owe it to yourself to swim in one of these breathtaking UK locations at least once in your life.

Ready for some natural beauty? Here are 5 of the best wild swimming spots you'll find across the UK:

Llynnau Mymbyr, Snowdonia

In the sweeping valleys and foothills of Northern Wales lie the twin lakes of Llynnau Mymbyr, covering three quarters of a mile of natural waters with a depth of 30 feet.

It's a well-known local swimming area that's been a go-to venue for all kinds of outdoor pursuits – from diving and kayaking to fly fishing and paddleboarding.

And if you're looking for a wild swimming spot with a view, you couldn't ask for a better one. Green hills and open skies as far as the horizon – and fresh natural water in every direction.

Lake Windermere, Lake District

With more than 11 miles of open water stretching from Lakeside to Waterhead, Lake Windermere is the largest lake in England – a body of water so large that every single visit can feel like an entirely new swimming experience.

It's a popular holiday destination for swimmers, boaters, and water-skiiers – and it's also been the venue for the Great North Swim and the Three Lakes Challenge.

Hatchmere, Cheshire

Just a few miles outside Frodsham, you'll find the cosy waters of Hatchmere, a small expanse of natural water that forms part of the Hatch Mere Nature Reserve.

It's an unusually shallow place for wild swimming, with a deep end that goes down to just 3 metres – which makes it the perfect spot for cautious swimmers or families with kids who prefer to wade.

It's also a place that's been the centre of some wild swimming controversy. After the Wildlife Trust restricted access to the mere, a group of motivated swimmers started a campaign to regain their wild swimming freedom – a campaign that was instrumental in the creation of the River and Lake Swimming Association.

Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye

With vivid blue pools formed from natural rocky waterfalls, the Fairy Pools is one outdoor swimming spot that truly lives up to its name.

But don't let the soft name fool you. These mountain-fed streams and pools in Northern Scotland are especially cold – which means only the bravest wild swimmers and their trusty wetsuits will have a chance of dipping their toes in.

Loch Ness, Scotland

We couldn't finish a round-up of the best UK swimming spots without a mention of the most famous one of all.

Stretching for 23 miles across the beautiful Scottish landscape, it's one of the largest bodies of water in the country – and one of the most popular destinations for adventurers and holidaymakers.

But just like any other huge body of water in the UK, it won't be warm. So bring your wetsuit – and don't swim out too far!

Did we miss one?

We're always excited to find secret new swimming spots. So if you know a local outdoor place that's great for swimming, send us a message or share a photo with us on Instagram – we'd love to hear about your wild swimming adventures!

More articles in Swim