Grab your swimsuit and splash into the magical world of wild swimming. Taking a dip in a lake, a river or the open sea is a wonderful way to wash away stress and find a freedom in nature. Also, outdoor swimming is just as good for your physical health as for your mood – cold water has been proven to boost your immune system, improve your circulation and give you a natural hit of endorphins. There’s nothing like the feeling of emerging from a river or the ocean with tingling skin and a clear mind, but be warned – wild swimming is seriously addictive.
Whether you want to swim for exercise year round or just drop off the deck of your glamping spot on a hot summer’s day, outdoor swimming is also a wonderful way to explore Britain’s wildest corners. Once you start seeking out the UK’s quiet, reed-edged rivers, shady forest pools and hidden waterfalls, you’ll be astonished at the beautiful, crowd-free wild spaces you can find.
Not sure where to start? You could make wild swimming the star of your next escape - many of Canopy & Stars’ places to stay are near lovely swim spots, or even have their own accessible lakes or rivers on site. If you want to meet like-minded swimmers and explore new local spots, try joining your local outdoor swimming club – the outdoorswimmingsociety.com lists 100 social swim groups across the UK. Wildswim.com and wildswimming.co.uk both list amazing spots to swim at in Britain, from the quirky ‘pots’ – river plunge pools – of the Lake District to hidden Scottish beaches and deep Cornish quarries.
Follow the wild swimming tips below to keep safe, then just jump on in – the water’s lovely.
Sian Lewis is the author of The Girl Outdoors - a great site for anyone who loves adventures.
We're majority employee owned, which means we all get a say in how the business is run.
Our Charitable Trust uses 24% ownership of the company to support environmental causes
We're committing to raise £50,000 by 2027 to help protect nature in our national parks.