Wild Swimming Around The British Isle

That swimming in the Olympics has been all well and good over the last few days, but why do they have to be confined to a pool? I want to see a race through the sea the length of Copacabana Beach! Here’s BuzzFeed’s pick of fantastic spots around Great Britain for you to take a wild dip…

1. Fingal’s Cave, Scotland

Fingal's Cave, Scotland

Flickr: zambog / Creative Commons

Flickr: 80868612@N03 / Creative Commons

Flickr: 35158201@N02 / Creative Commons

This stunning basalt column formation on the uninhabited Scottish island of Staffa is a magical spot to take a dip. Various cruise and charter companies offer trips to Staffa from the mainland, and it’s well worth the day out.

More information here.

2. Treyarnon Bay, England

Treyarnon Bay, England

Flickr: heatheronhertravels / Creative Commons

Flickr: heatheronhertravels / Creative Commons

Flickr: mikewarren / Creative Commons

The secluded and breathtaking beach at Treyarnon in Cornwall offers a lovely swimming cove and even more contained rock pools, perfect for swimming with younger children, or floating with a stunning view of the actual shoreline.

More information here.

3. Porth Chapel, England

Porth Chapel, England

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Acceleratorhams / Getty Images

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This lovely low-tide beach in St Agnes is the ideal spot to spend a day of secluded sunbathing. Spend some time laid out on the sand and splashing in the clear blue sea, then take a picnic lunch to higher ground for a lovely view.

More information here.

4. Port Gaverne, England

Port Gaverne, England

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There’s no shortage of picturesque swimming spots in Cornwall, but Port Gaverne surely offers one of the best. With rock pools and tiny coves to explore, the northern Cornwall inlet is the perfect place to cool off.

More information here.

5. Nanjizal Bay, England

Nanjizal Bay, England

Flickr: johnjamieson / Creative Commons

Flickr: johnjamieson / Creative Commons

Flickr: johnjamieson / Creative Commons

This remote beach is the perfect place to swim away from the crowds. The lovely shallow pools are great for wading, and it’s a smart spot for seal watching as well.

More information here.

6. Ceibwr Bay, Wales

Ceibwr Bay, Wales

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This calm and private swimming cove is a must for curious explorers, and just a mile’s walk from the unique Witches Cauldron rock formation.

More information here.

7. Croyde Bay, England

Croyde Bay, England

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Whether you’re keen to surf or stay close to the shore exploring rock pools and secluded swimming spots, Croyde Bay is a lovely place to head out to sea for a day. Near the edge of the bay, you’ll find the Baggy Point Caves, where you can swim and explore in shade.

More information here.

8. Fairy Pools, Scotland

Fairy Pools, Scotland

Flickr: evocateur / Creative Commons

These insanely lovely pools on the Isle of Skye must be on your wild swimming bucket list. Waterfalls and stunningly clear water make it a great spot to for wading and splashing, and it’s perfect for photos.

More information here.

9. Stair Hole, England

Stair Hole, England

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The hidden coves at Lulworth are a positively unique and gorgeous spot for some relaxed wild swimming. The secluded swimming hole is tucked away from the main shore, but still offers access to the sea if you start to tire of being a big fish in a little pond.

More information here.

10. Porty Yr Ogof, Wales

Porty Yr Ogof, Wales

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Flickr: 27301284@N00 / Creative Commons

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Swim in these spooky caves at Wales Brecon Beacons National Park for a unique and solitary dip.

More information here.

11. Kynance Cove, England

Kynance Cove, England

Flickr: jamesstringer / Creative Commons

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This National Trust protected beach is a true gem of the Cornish coast. With sandy beach sandwiched between the ocean and a small pool, there’s plenty of opportunity to swim and lay out under the sun.

More information here.

12. Birling Gap, England

Birling Gap, England

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If you fancy some surfing, this stunning beach in East Dean is a brilliant spot for catching waves, plus there’s plenty of space for sunbathing and lots of rock pools to explore and have a relaxed swim.

More information here.

13. Thornwick Bay, England

Thornwick Bay, England

Flickr: trikersticks / Creative Commons

Flickr: trikersticks / Creative Commons

Flickr: trikersticks / Creative Commons

For prime swimming on the Yorkshire coast, plan a day on the beach of Thornwick, where you can snorkel, explore caves, and have a leisurely float in the secluded bay.

More information here.

14. Porth Wen, Wales

Porth Wen, Wales

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Swim among the ruins of the Porth Wen Brickworks at this unique cove. Spooky and mysterious, the site is the perfect place for a peaceful and memorable day on the water.

More information here.

15. Abereiddy Blue Lagoon, Wales

Abereiddy Blue Lagoon, Wales

Flickr: niallclairewatson / Creative Commons

Flickr: spike_dennis / Creative Commons

Flickr: niallclairewatson / Creative Commons

Abereiddy beach is a lovely and quiet rural swimming spot, and just a bit north of the beach you’ll find the stunning “blue lagoon” harbour for an even more private and unique experience.

More information here.

16. Plodda Falls, Scotland

Plodda Falls, Scotland

Flickr: djnisbet / Creative Commons

This stunning hidden waterfall and pool near Tomich is the perfect spot for a peaceful swim and communion with nature. The hike there is just as lovely as the destination.

More information here.

Can you believe that Lady Bower was left off this list? We, for one, are fairly disappointed by the overlook. Never mind! If you love spending time in the great outdoors, why not get a qualification in it? Check out Outdoor courses here today!


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