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Llyn Cau, on the Cadar Idris mountain - <i>Llyn Cau, on the Cadar Idris mountain</i>
Llyn Cau, on the Cadar Idris mountain

If you’re looking to cool off with a relaxing dip this summer, but want to try something a bit more interesting than a swimming pool, wild swimming could be for you.

Whether you’re taking to the sea or to an inland river or lake, there’s little more refreshing and natural than enjoying this fantastic activity.

Swim in the tarns of Snowdonia

This national park in Wales offers some spectacular spots for wild swimming in the form of plentiful small lakes, which are known as tarns or llyns. With their stunning wild surroundings, these freshwater pools are located at numerous spots as you make your way up the mountain and provide an ideal setting for an enchanting and unusual swim, as well as there being many other lovely lakes located around the national park.

Some particular favourites include the valley lake of Llyn Dinas at the foot of Snowdon or the heart-shaped Llyn Glaslyn halfway up. There’s also Llyn Cau on the Cadair Idris mountain and the slightly easier to reach Llyn Padarn, which can be accessed by road and has a nearby surf shop where you can hire a wetsuit.

If you want to explore all the wonders of the Snowdonia National Park, book a break at Bryn Gloch Caravan Park, with plenty of places to park up a caravan or pitch your tent as well as superb amenities and peaceful surroundings.

Enjoy a dip in the River Derwent in Derbyshire

A visit to the grand stately home of Chatsworth House, with its spectacular gardens, might not seem like the ideal opportunity to do some wild swimming. However, slip away from the crowds, and the River Derwent which runs through the estate is a perfect place to take a dip – there are even tree swings to make a more rapid entrance to the water. It’s the perfect way to cool off after exploring the house and gardens.

For visiting Chatsworth as well as exploring the rest of the Derbyshire Dales or the Peak District, you can pitch up or park your camper van or caravan at the peaceful family-run Beech Croft Farm, perfect for getting away from it all.

Take the plunge into the Firth of Forth

If you’re looking for a more different and daring wild swimming experience, why not join in the annual New Year’s Day ‘Loony Dook’ near Edinburgh in Scotland? Not for the faint of heart, the event involves plunging into the Firth of Forth’s freezing waters at South Queensferry. Though it may not sound like the most appealing experience, over 1,000 people took part this year – do you think you might brave the cold next January 1st?

Enjoy a stay at a 4-star park near Edinburgh when you book a break at Meadowhead's Mortonhall Caravan & Camping Park, where you can stay in a comfortable holiday home or a wigwam, or bring your own camper van, caravan or tent.

Wild Swimming Safety Tips

Wild swimming can be a great way to enjoy the water, but without the safe environment of a swimming pool you should be sure to heed some additional safety tips.

  • Wear something on your feet, as well as a wetsuit if it’s particularly cold

  • Start slowly! If swimming in a lake is a new experience to you, stick close to the shore when you first get in, and make sure you know how you’ll get out again

  • Don’t jump in without checking first – you never know where you might find sharp rocks or something else under the water that could injure you

  • Watch out for boats or any other vehicles on the water

  • Don’t swim alone – bring along a friend and keep an eye out for each other

The Firth of Forth - <i>The Firth of Forth</i>
The Firth of Forth

Keep these safety tips in mind and you're sure to have a great time wild swimming in natural surroundings!