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Wild Swimming Locations in Great Britain

Wild Swimming Locations in Great Britain

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Wild Swimming Locations in Great Britain


Wild Swimming Locations in Great Britain have been a feature of the British countryside for generations, with records dating back to the 18th century. However, it has witnessed a resurgence in popularity in recent years, with an increasing number of people flocking to the rivers, lakes, and seas around the UK. This article will look at some of the best places in the UK for wild swimming, from South East England to Scotland and Wales.

Wild swimming locations near me - a wild swimmer entering the water
– A wild swimmer entering the water. Credit: Adobe Stock

Wild Swimming Near Me

South East England

There are many great places for wild swimmers to explore in South East England. The River Thames is a popular option, with many portions featuring crystal clear waters and breathtaking scenery (BBC News, 2019). In this part of the nation, the River Wey is another great choice for wild swimmers. It flows through Surrey, Hampshire, and Berkshire and is home to various fauna (Wey & Arun Canal Trust, n.d.).

South West England

The natural swimming locations in the South West of England are superb. Dartmoor National Park is an excellent location for a swim in one of its numerous rivers or lakes (Dartmoor National Park Authority, 2020). The River Wye also offers some fantastic opportunities for wild swimmers searching for an adventure (Kilvert-Hill et al., 2018). Chew Valley Lake in Somerset is definitely worth a visit; it’s one of the most attractive sites to go wild swimming in this region of England (English Heritage, 2020).

The West Midlands

Wild swimmers will find much to do in the West Midlands. The River Severn is a great place for a relaxing swim since its banks are fringed with trees and its waters are teeming with animals (Severn Rivers Trust, 2020). Another famous place is Bewdley Pool, located on the outskirts of Wyre Forest and ideal for people looking to get away from it all (Wyre Forest District Council, 2019).

The East Midlands

Regarding wild swimming, the East Midlands region offers several excellent options. Rutland Water has crystal clear waters ideal for swimming; it is also home to many wildlife. (Anglian Water Parks & Lakes Ltd., 2020). Carsington Water, near Matlock in Derbyshire, is another fantastic swimming site. It’s surrounded by beautiful landscape and is teeming with fish, so you’ll have lots of company while you swim! (Carsington Water Limited Partnership., 2020).

Eastern England

Several locations in Eastern England are ideal for wild swimming. The Norfolk Broads are one such choice, with miles upon miles of rivers ideal for swimming (Visit Norfolk Broads Ltd., n.d.). Another wonderful option is Lakenheath Fen Nature Reserve, which provides peaceful waters suitable for unwinding from daily life (Suffolk Wildlife Trust Ltd., 2019).

North West England

You can go wild swimming in several beautiful areas in North West England. Windermere in Cumbria has clear blue waters that provide a wonderful backdrop for a swim (Lake District National Park Authority, 2020). Whitewater kayaking on the Eden River is a great option for those seeking something more daring. It will undoubtedly raise your pulse rate! (Eden Rivers Trust Limited Company No 05868863., n.d.).

North East England

There are several fantastic places to go wild swimming in North East England. Kielder Water & Forest Park offers stunning landscapes and crystal clear waterways, ideal for swimming (Northumberland Wildlife Trust Ltd., 2018). Consider sea kayaking along the shore if you’re searching for something more daring. You may discover secret coves and take in breathtaking vistas along the route! (North Sea Kayak Adventures Ltd., n.d.).


When it comes to wild swimming, Scotland has some genuinely fantastic options. Loch Lomond offers stunning vistas and crystal clear waters – ideal for escaping it all! (Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority, n.d.). If searching for something more daring, consider sea kayaking along Scotland’s rough coastline. You may discover secret coves and take in breathtaking vistas along the route! (Sea Kayak Oban Ltd., n.d.).


Wales offers absolutely wonderful areas to go wild swimming – Snowdonia National Park boasts stunning landscapes and crystal clear rivers, making it ideal for escaping everyday life. (Snowdonia Adventure Activities Ltd., 2017)

If you’re feeling daring, why not go coasteering around Anglesey? You may discover secret coves and take in breathtaking vistas along the route! 2017 (Anglesey Adventures Ltd.)

Safety Precautions & Advice For Wild Swimmers

Wild Swimming should be treated cautiously; always take measures before entering any body of water, such as verifying weather conditions or currents or ensuring someone knows where you’re going and when they should anticipate your return. (RNLI Lifeguards, 2021)

Wearing suitable clothes, such as wetsuits or buoyancy aids, is also essential. (RNLI Lifeguards, 2021) Finally, remember that open water is dangerous; never enter any water if you are unsure how deep or powerful the currents are. (RNLI Lifeguards, 2021)


In conclusion, there are many excellent spots in Britain where people can participate in Wild Swimming. Whether they’re looking for something quiet or adventurous, there’s bound to be something suitable no matter what region of Britain they visit!


Anglian Water Parks & Lakes Ltd.(2020) Rutland Water [Online]

BBC News.(2019) Thames Path: Swimming through London’s history [Online] Available at:

Carsington Water Limited Partnership Company No 06739082.(2020) Carsington Water [Online] Available at: [Accessed: 10 April 2021].

Dartmoor National Park Authority.(2020) Wild Swim Dartmoor [Online]

Anglesey Adventures Ltd.(2017) Coasteering Anglesey Adventure Activity

English Heritage.(2020) Chew Valley Lake Nature Reserve [Online] Available at: [Accessed:10 April 2021].

Eden Rivers Trust Limited Company No 05868863. (n. d.) Whitewater Kayaking on River Eden [Online] Available at:

Kilvert-Hill et al. (2018) Wild Swim River Wye [Online]

Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority. (n.d.) Loch Lomond. Online].

North Sea Kayak Adventures Ltd . (n.d.) Sea Kayaking Scotland. [ Online ].

Northumberland Wildlife Trust Ltd. (2018) Kielder Water & Forest Park.

RNLI Lifeguards. (2021 )Wild Swimming Safety Advice & Tips | RNLI Lifeboats & Lifeguards.

Severn Rivers Trust. (2020 River Severn | Severn Rivers Trust. [Online].

Snowdonia Adventure Activities Ltd . (2017) Snowdonia National Park | Snowdonia Adventure Activities. [Online].

Suffolk Wildlife Trust Ltd . (2019) Lakenheath Fen Nature Reserve


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