Wild swimming spots

Try your hand at wild swimming when you book your stay with Best Western. Here’s the perfect guide to all the best wild swimming spots in the UK.
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Swimming is one of the most mindful forms of exercising you can do, and what better place to do it than in the beautiful outdoors? Here are our top picks of places to take a refreshing dip.

River Wharfe

Head to the Yorkshire Dales for a wonderful day of wild swimming. The River Wharfe is the perfect spot – there’s gentle rapids, pools and the entire river to swim in. Head for Burnsall or Appletreewick if you want to picnic along the banks after your swim. At Loup Scar, bite the bullet and take a leap into a plunge pool. There’s even a shop selling rubber rings if you fancy a float!  Janet’s Foss and Catrigg Force are other beautiful options in the Dales if you want to sample a few swimming spots.

Check in to The Craiglands Hotel about half an hour away from Burnsall for your stay in Yorkshire.

Hampstead Heath 

Hampstead Heath has three ponds for you to choose from (ladies, men, and mixed). The pools are open year-round, perfect for when you want to cool off in the summer or if you want to take a bracing dip in the winter months. If you’re in town for a few days, you could also try the Serpentine in Hyde Park. Or its annual Swim Serpentine event with distances from half a mile to six.

Book a room at the Swiss Cottage Hotel when you visit London.

River Waveney

River Waveney in Suffolk is the perfect spot for a bit of wild swimming. The river loops around the beautiful green area of Outney Common, so you’ll have somewhere to dry off in the sun after you’ve been for a dip. There are other spots along the Waveney also worth a try – such as closer to Bungay and Homersfield. If you don’t want to just swim there are places to hire a canoe locally too.

Stay with us at Brome Grange Hotel when you visit Suffolk.

St Nectan’s Kieve

Nestled in the forests of Cornwall, St Nectan’s Kieve is truly otherworldly. There are local legends of faerie sightings so keep an eye out when you go for a swim in this beautiful plunge pool filled by a slender waterfall. There’s a tearoom nearby serving Cornish cream teas if you need a warm-up or a treat. Yum!

Porth Veor Manor has plenty of rooms if you decide to join us in Cornwall. It’s about an hour away in Newquay – so you can also swim or body surf in the Newquay waves to get your water fix.

Three Shires Head

Three Shires Head is one of the prettiest places in the Peak District, and perfect for a spot of wild swimming. Two small waterfalls fill the small pools available so it’s more of a plunge and a laze around to cool down in the heat of summer and from your walk than a swim, and you’ll be surrounded by the picturesque landscape of the Peak District. It’s a popular spot in the summer, so it’s not the kind of spot you are likely to have all to yourself.

Book a room with us at the Buxton Lee Wood Hotel if you want to explore the Peak District and other wild swimming opportunities.

See more wild swimming recommendations including from the head chef at Ambleside Salutation Hotel & Spa, WorldHotels Distinctive Mike Durkin who often enjoys a dip in Lake Windermere.

Please be aware that wild swimming can be dangerous if you are not used to the cold, while some places may have strong currents or other hazards and may be best avoided if you are not a strong, confident swimmer.

Before you set out make sure you are aware of weather conditions, water levels, exit and entry points, and anything else that might affect your safety.

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