Wild swimming has never been more on trend. In recent years, there’s been countless newspaper articles written about the benefits of it and a growing number of advocates for it on social media. Where exactly are the best places to go wild swimming in the UK then? Of course, we can’t really claim to know every single, hidden gem, wild swimming spot in this country but we can point you in the direction of some very good ones.
Swimming in natural spaces, such as lakes and rivers, around the UK is a great way to feel at one with this country’s natural environments. Keep on reading to discover our round-up of the UK’s best wild swimming locations. From leafy London to spectacular Scotland, this list of the United Kingdom’s top destinations for intrepid swimmers is sure to inspire some water-based adventures.
Lake Windermere, Lake District
It probably goes without saying that you want to have the most enjoyable and stress-free wild swimming experience possible. This will happen if you find yourself in the presence of Lake Windermere (one of the most famous lakes in the Lake District area).
The longest natural lake in England has a reputation that precedes itself. If you’re heading here with your swimming kit, expect refreshing temperatures and staggering views of the surrounding landscape.
Dipping your toe into the waters of Lake Windermere is all fun and games. However, if you’re looking for a much more competitive stage to make a splash on then be sure to get yourself signed up for the Great North Swim.
River Trent, Derbyshire
The River Trent, unsurprisingly, isn’t named after the talented football player Trent Alexander-Arnold. The name “Trent”, it’s thought, actually comes from a Celtic word possibly meaning “strongly flooding.”
It is a stretch of water where you can enjoy the remarkable Anchor Church, a series of caves in a Keuper Sandstone outcrop. This, we reckon, must be one of the most postcard-perfect wild swimming spots on our list.
Around a mile upstream from Ingleby near Derby is where you’ll find the chiseled rock caverns that look like they would make suitable living quarters for nymphs and sprites. Over the years, the caves have had major human intervention. Back in the 6th and 7th century, it was even home to hermits and monks.
The swimming here will make for a grand, and memorable, experience. The quiet lagoon here, one that sits just off the river, will make you feel like you’re amongst the pages of a fairytale.
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye
The Fairy Pools may sound like its come straight out of The Chronicles of Narnia and, at its very best, it certainly looks like it has with its lucent sapphire pools on the River Brittle and amazing backdrop. The Pools’ otherworldly beauty attracts visitors to Skye from across the globe, all of them seeking the perfect angle from which to capture a social media moment near the underwater arch.