Where can I wild swim near me?

January 30, 2024 2 min read

outdoor swimming

The most popular swimming spots in the country have their reputation for a reason. Loved for their stunning locations and clear water, the venues below are just some of the UK's best. For more great places to swim outside in England, Scotland and Wales, pick up a copy of The Outdoor Swimming Guide.

Kailpot Crag

Along with other truly mesmerizing swimming spots, Kailpot Crag is nestled amongst the untouched forested banks of the Ullswater river in the Lake District. Based approximately 1km from Sandwick, this area of astonishing natural beauty features deep clear water and the opportunity for cliff jumping. With surrounding areas featuring ancient gnarled trees, this area is perfect for picnics or just to relax and rest after a swim.

Llynnau Mymbyr © Shutterstock / Valery Egorov

Llynnau Mymbyr © Shutterstock / Valery Egorov

Llynnau Mymbyr

Situated in the north of the Snowdonia National Park, Llynau Mymbyr is a vast, sunglasses-shaped lake managed by the Plas y Brenin Outdoor Centre. Paid, supervised sessions are available here which are ideal for newcomers to open water swimming, however the lake is also open to unsupervised swimmers. The boulder littered banks mean a slight scramble is required to access the water, but once over the rocks these stone platforms serve as solid bases for getting in and out of the water.


The Chatsworth Estate discourages swimming on the estate, but families still flock to the wide, gentle Derwent as it flows through the parklands.  With grassy banks, shady trees and sandy shallows to paddle in, the river is the perfect place to pass a sunny afternoon. The river is easily reached from the footpaths that pass through the estate; it is a short, downhill walk from the Carlton Lees car park or can be reached by following the river from Chatsworth House.

Cadover Bridge

In the heart of Dartmoor, Cadover Bridge forms one of the more popular pools on the River Plym. Flat, grassy banks provide access to the clear and shallow water, meaning this is a great place to bring children for a paddle. However, watch out for slippery rocks on the river bed. Surrounded by scenic moorland views, this is an idyllic place for a day spent sunbathing.

Brockwell Lido © Fusion Lifestyle

Brockwell Lido © Fusion Lifestyle

Brockwell Lido

Affectionately nicknamed Brixton Beach, the large art-deco Brockwell Lido is council-owned, Fusion managed, and enjoys fierce local support. You can enjoy a cold-water swim at any time of year, in busy summer months, you may struggle to find a spot to lounge amongst London’s most glamorous swimmers. But, on cooler winter days, you can warm yourself up in the cedar wood sauna. The Lido Cafe is a popular brunch spot, so be prepared to wait for food.

Cotswold Country Park & Beach

Cotswold Country Park & Beach comprises two lakes formed through gravel extraction, dotted in stretches of enchanting Cotswold farmland. Sandy beaches lead to a crystal-clear lagoon, with shallows for paddling as well as deeper sections to stretch your legs in. Booking is required to visit this family-friendly spot, and with an inflatable waterpark, various watersports, crazy golf and go-karts there is plenty to keep the family entertained. Alternatively, the grassy banks and verdant farmland which surround the spot create a tranquil place to relax.