Without stating the absolute obvious, we aren’t gifted with a lot of hot sunny days in the UK. However, when we are the entire country gets out the deck chairs, shorts and sun cream to celebrate the glorious British sunshine.
While some of us are happy to stay in the city or lounge on the beach, others prefer to take the plunge and make a splash in some incredible outdoor swimming locations across the UK.
If you’re thinking of trying something different this summer, or simply fancy mixing up your swimming routine during the warmer months, here are 10 of the best outdoor swimming locations across the UK to get you inspired for summer!
#1 Kailpot Crag, Ullswater, Lake District
Ullswater is one of the most popular spots in the Lake District, especially for tourists and cliff jumpers! At Kailpot Crag you’ll find exceptional spots to jump into the deep, crystal clear water. The lake is also west-facing meaning it is perfect for sunset swimming or even for a romantic evening date. During peak times, the car parks can fill up quickly so if you are after a more secluded spot you may have to commit to a walk along the lake to get away from the crowds.
#2 Linhope Spout, River Breamish, Northumberland, England
This wonderful spout in the heart of Northumberland’s National Park is about a mile and a half from the car parks at Hartside Farm but the high flume is certainly worth it. The six-foot ledge makes Linhope Spout perfect for dive bombing, acrobatic jumps and dives for any thrill seekers. But the spectacular waterfall also offers amazing views for picnics and a perfect opportunity to walk through the national park.
#3 Bude Sea Pool, Cornwall, England
Built in the 1930s, Bude Sea Pool is a part-natural, part-manmade pool filled by the tides of the Atlantic Ocean. Entrance into the pool is free and it is open all year round. Since it offers free and safe bathing for swimmers of all ages, there is no surprise that it is the number one visitor attraction in Bude! The pool measure 91 metres long and offers a unique experience of being in the sea, without experiencing the extreme effects of the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a win-win!
#4 Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland
As the name suggests, Fairy Pools are a group of crystal clear blue pools on the River Brittle. If you can withstand the cold temperatures, a visit to this spot is truly magical. From the nearest village of Carbost, It is about a 2.4km walk to the first set of pools and then the adventure begins! Work your way up the river to explore all of the pools dotted around the 40 minute (non-stop) walk.
#5 Traeth Llyfn, Abereiddi, Pembrokeshire, Wales
In the Traeth Llyfn Bay, the Blue Lagoon is about 15 minutes away from the Pembrokeshire National Park coastline. This turquoise flooded quarry is an idyllic and stunning spot perfect for jumping and swimming on a lovely summers day. Based on the North-West coast of Wales, this secluded bay offers sandy beaches, lots of secret coves, and old ruins above Porthgain.
#6 Dunwich Heath, Minsmere, Suffolk, England
Dunwich Heath is an untouched landscape along the Suffolk coast perfect for long dog walks and jumping off sand dunes. The colourful beach scrubs tower over the sandy beaches and offer a unique scenery unlike many other beaches. This long stretching coastline really does makes this beach perfect for a long swim in the sea!
During the 1940s, Dunwich Heath was one of the heaviest defended parts of the Suffolk coastline and a small amount of wartime archaeology remains today. So for any history lovers, this spectacular coastline also has a lot of history to explore.
#7 Appletreewick, River Wharfe, Yorkshire Dales, England
The village of Appletreewick is situated alongside the River Wharfe and offers a great outdoor river swimming spot suitable for all kinds of outdoor swimming activities. There are opportunities for fly fishing, rope swimming, swimming, or just a light dip! The surrounding areas are also the perfect place for a picnic and a long walk along the river. Appletreewick is in the Craven district or North Yorkshire and is about 12 miles out of Skipton.
#8 Thermae Spa, Bath, England
Bath’s Thermae Spa includes a stunning rooftop outdoor pool filled with warm, mineral-rich waters which dates back to similar experiences that the Celts and the Romans indulged in over 2000 years ago. This outdoor location boasts spectacular city views over the wonderful skyline of Bath. The Thermae Spa is, admittedly, a more luxurious outdoor swimming location than other hot spots we have listed. But it is nonetheless one of the best in the United Kingdom, and as a bonus it’s heated all year round!
#9 River Frome, Somerset, England
The swimming spot on the River Frome in Somerset is immensely popular in the summer as among the local communities there is a long tradition of wild swimming that dates back to the 1930s. The river rises near Witham Friary, and there are lots of spots to pick from including the Bull’s Bridge Upstream Arches, Blatchbridge Mill Weir, and Tellisford Mill Mill Steam.
#10 Waterfall Woods, Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales
The Lower Ddwli Falls in the south-west hills of the Brecon Beacons, have some of the most incredible waterfall plunge pools in Britain. During a long days walk you can explore the 20 pools along the five miles stretch of the Mellte an Fechan Rivers. This part of Wales is known as ‘Waterfall Country’ and for good reason! The tallest waterfall has an outstanding 27-metre drop adding to the already magical and peaceful surroundings. These beautiful woods are located in the centre of the Brecon Beacons National Park and it really is one of Britain’s most jaw-dropping spaces.
What are your favourite outdoor swimming spots? Did we miss any? Comment below to let us know!