Best UK Wild Swim Adventures

Saturday, March 23, 2019

One of the best things about wild swimming is the way it comes hand in hand with adventure. The more spectacular swim spots often require a bit of daring and perseverance to find, and the journey to get to these places can be as mesmerising as the water itself. Dreaming of secret coves and wild camping by your own private waterfall? Well then, here are just a few wild swimming adventures to get you started.

1. Snowdon
This Welsh mountain is a water lover’s paradise. Dive in to the deep river pools and cool off under waterfalls on the Watkins Path, then carry on ascending up the mountain and down the other side to swim in some of Snowdonia’s famous tarns. I especially enjoyed Glaslyn which was steeped in shadow by the time we got there and very mysterious. If you like a bit of mystery, take some time to hunt down Snowdonia’s hush-hush infinity pool, a closely guarded secret by those in the know.

Watkins Path Waterfalls
2. Isle of Skye: The Mermaid Pool
This emerald pool is nestled deep within a cave and can only be reached on foot during a spring low tide. Alternatively, if the tides aren't on your side, you can do as we did and kayak around to the entrance of the cave. Pull your kayak up above the tideline, ensure you’re wearing appropriate footwear and stick on your headtorch. There are two entrances and you want to take the left one. The path in to the cave is steep but extraordinarily ‘grippy’ so be brave and carefully ascend upwards. After this, travel in a little further and make sure to look around and admire the incredible rock formations. The path then sharply descends in to a little blue pool at the bottom. Jump in and enjoy.

3. Pedn Vounder Beach
Make your way to the village of Treen and roam across the cliff tops to find this closely guarded local’s secret. Leave your flip flops at home as there is a sharp scramble down the cliff to reach this hidden cove safely. When the tide goes out, a turquoise lagoon is revealed. If you are a strong swimmer or have a paddle board or similiar, you can venture round to the secret sandy inlets that are squirreled away in the coastline between Pedn and Porthcurno. Be careful on Pedn that you don’t get caught out by the incoming tide however, as the entrance to the cliff path is below the high tide line.

4. The river Dart
Dartmoor’s rugged and wild moorland is the perfect place to engage in a bit of wild swimming. The river dart snakes and tumbles its way through the landscape and there are plenty of natural pools and waterfalls in which to dunk after a day’s hiking. Pack your bag, hike in to the moor and set up your tent by the river ready for a bit of wild camping. Then in the morning wake up to complete solitude and go for a skinny dip before breakfast.

5. Glen Etive
This rust coloured river snakes its way in to the Etive loch on the shores of which it is still possible to wild camp. Whilst you’re here take a dip in the freezing loch and then dive, jump or cannonball in to the gorge further up the river. If you’re lucky you’ll have visitors for dinner in the form of the many deer that roam the landscape here. They walked across our camp in the evening and made quite a picturesque scene as they leapt their way across the river. Less welcome dinner visitors were the clouds of midges that appeared at dusk. Grrr.

Loch Etive
River Etive


  1. Love seeing more photos of wild swimming in snowdonia (you really need to visit some more) - but prob a good idea not to mention the infinity pool. It's someone's drinking water and they're not to keen on people swimming in it! Can't wait for next blog post!

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