Best Open Water Swim Spots

The best open water swimming spots tried and tested…

Whether you’re a beginner looking for your very first Loony Dook or Easter Dip, or you’re one of the many people who have tried open water swimming for the first time, we’ve put together a quick-fire guide on our favourite places to swim.


Portobello, Edinburgh, Scotland

A thriving seaside town within the city of Edinburgh, Portobello is a perfect place to try cold water swimming. It’s a popular swimming spot year-round, providing safety in numbers. The promenade is host to an array of cafes, just a stone’s throw away from the water, so there’s sure to be a warm drink to be found once you’ve finished your dip.


Capernwray Dive Centre, Lancashire, England

Capernwray Diving Centre is frequented by divers and swimmers alike. Swim over submerged boats and other attractions put there for divers to explore in this flooded quarry near Morecambe.


Wild Lakes, Narbeth, Wales

Wild Lakes in Narbeth are a wonderful winter swimming option thanks to their wonderful facilities. Not only is there a cosy tipi cafe for after your chilly swim, but there are also a host of other activities to try should they take your fancy…


Tellisford, Frome, Somerset

Deep enough to jump into, this sloping pool-cum-large-weir is the ideal wild swimming destination for both seasoned swimmers and those still doggy paddling.


king advantage of a waterfall swim.




River Dart, Devon

The river Dart runs through Devon, but by Totnes is a standout swimming spot for serious swimmers. The famous Dart 10k starts here and ends near the sea, so hardy types can give that a go, whereas upriver by Staverton is a more relaxed stretch to plunge into, with steps handily carved into an overhanging oak tree.


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River Thames, between Pangbourne and Goring

The Thames may not conjure ideas of bucolic wild swimming, but before it reaches London, it truly is the picture of country living with many spots to swim in. Head for Lower Basildon and park by the church, then romp down the path which opens into meadows and fields bordering the river. Here, you'll find many little inlets to wade in from. It's peaty, so swimming shoes make a difference and you'll be sharing the water with swans and the occasional boat.


St Nectan's Kieve, Cornwall

For a small entrance fee (and with the help of some kind locals to show you the route), the waterfall at St Nectan's Kieve is a heavenly place to go for an idyllic swim. For some, it really is a heavenly place as it is a known holy place with prayer flags and a shrine room, but don't let that distract you from taking advantage of a waterfall swim.

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