Consett Magazine

The Five Best Wild Swimming Spots in the UK

Wild swimming has become a real hit for people up and down the country in recent years, primarily as a way to look after mental health.

That’s come at a time when more people are struggling with the likes of mental health, alcohol problems and even drug issues, seeking out addiction counselling to get their life back on track. 

Wild swimming is often recommended by counsellors as a healthier coping mechanism for the stresses and strains in life that lead us to picking up a bottle or our mental health spiralling out of control, and it can be truly life changing, and almost an addiction in itself once you buy into it.

Wild swimming has changed so many people’s lives, so if you’re looking to give it a try, or you are a swimmer that’s looking for some new hotspots, here are five of the best places in the country to give it a go…

Lake Windermere, Cumbria

It’s perhaps no surprise we’re starting with the Lake District, and even less of a surprise to know that it’s fantastic for wild swimming. 

Windermere is England’s largest natural lake and a prime location for many wild swimming enthusiasts. It’s a bucket list destination in the country for many and offers 10.5miles of clear, inviting waters. 

There are multiple access points, but it’s the Ambleside end which is most popular with swimmers. Not only are the waters nice and clear, but the surroundings of rolling hills make it a truly splendid spot to enjoy a restorative swim.

River Wye, Herefordshire

The Wye is known for its gentle currants and clear waters, with Symonds Yat one of the best spots for a dip. It’s ideal for families and less experienced swimmers as the waters are shallow.

The riverbank provides lush woodlands and meadows, creating a beautiful backdrop to really get lost in and relax as you swim and refresh in the cool, clean waters.

Llyn y Fan Fach, Brecon Beacons

For those seeking a more adventurous wild swimming experience, Llyn y Fan Fach in the Brecon Beacons is a must-visit. This remote mountain lake, nestled beneath the dramatic peaks of the Carmarthen Fans, offers a truly magical swimming experience. The crystal-clear waters of the lake are fed by mountain streams, creating a cool and invigorating swim. The surrounding landscape, with its rugged beauty and panoramic views, adds to the enchantment of this wild swimming spot. Llyn y Fan Fach is also steeped in Welsh folklore, adding a touch of mystique to your swim.

Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye

For any avid wild swimmer, a trip to the Isle of Skye and the Fairy Pools really are a must. It’s a truly enchanting space with crystal-clear pools that are fed by waterfalls that cascade down the Cuillin Mountains. 

The Fairy Pools are located in the Glen Brittle Valley and are almost otherworldly. There are multiple pools that provide something for all abilities, with nice shallow areas as well as

River Dart, Devon

The River Dart in Devon offers some of the most scenic wild swimming spots in the UK. Dartmeet, where the East and West Dart rivers converge, is a popular starting point for swimmers. The river’s clear, clean waters and gentle currents make it ideal for a relaxing swim. The River Dart flows through the enchanting Dartmoor National Park, providing a stunning natural backdrop of ancient woodlands, rocky outcrops, and rolling hills. Sharrah Pool, a secluded spot further downstream, is particularly popular with wild swimmers. The peaceful, unspoilt beauty of the River Dart makes it a perfect place to reconnect with nature and enjoy a refreshing swim.

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