If you fancy a freshwater swim, you don’t have to jump in a plane to the Maui waterfalls or crystal calm Swiss lakes. Here in the UK, we’ve got an abundance of incredible wild swimming spots. From hidden waterfalls to awe-inspiring lake landscapes, we’ve got it all within driving distance of our holiday parks.
So, grab your trunks and get ready to brace yourself in some crystal clear fresh waters. Don’t forget a towel!
St Nectan’s Glen
Trethevy, Tinagel, Cornwall
We’re not holding back with this list of wild swimming spots. First up, we’re heading to a sixty foot waterfall in a renowned Area of Outstanding Beauty. St Nectan’s Glen sits amongst magical woodland, which is a great day out even if you’re not ready to get wet.
Along the route, you’ll encounter not one but three stunning waterfalls! The most famous of which is something straight from the pages of a fantasy story, where the River Trevilet overflows through an incredible hole eroded through the rock. The results of thousands of years of erosion, the waterfall rushes through a keyhole-shaped cavern in the rock.
It is believed that St Nectan’s Glen is watched over by the spirits of past guardians and friends of the Glen. Visitors to the glen often seek solace from the hustle and bustle of daily life and hope to get a glimpse of the area’s hallowed spirits.
What better way to cleanse the soul than to take a dip in St Nectan’s Kieve (the waterfall’s pool)? Feel the peace settle upon the woodland and keep your eyes peeled for wildlife in this stunning area of natural beauty. It’s also worth heading down to the waterfall pools at Rocky Valley for a swim by the sea.
St Nectan’s Glen has great facilities including public toilets and a café, so you can swim safely in the knowledge that a warm cuppa isn’t too far away. Visitors to St Minver Holiday Park can reach the glen in just half an hour through rolling countryside and peaceful woodland.
Video Courtesy of CornishPasty
Linn of Tummel
Nestled in the heart of Perthshire, where the River Garry and Tummel meet, you’ll find the next wild swimming spot on our list. The Linn of Tummel is located just half an hour’s drive from Tummel Valley Holiday Park and is the ideal place for a spot of Highland wild swimming.
In Gaelic, the world “linn” translates to “deep pool” making these ice cold waters perfect for a bracing wild swim. Unlike the historic setting of St Nectan’s Glen, the Linn of Tummel is actually quite a modern addition to the UK landscape. The site was originally home to the Tummel Falls, an epic waterfall. Altered by the hydroelectric scheme that was brought to the region in the mid-20th century, the meeting point of the two rivers formed these deep pools, which are perfect for an outdoor swim.
If you’re heading to Tummel Valley Holiday Park this summer, why not take the 30-minute drive through the beautiful Perthshire countryside?
Rheidol Vale Falls
Believe it or not, the Rheidol Vale Falls isn’t from the pages of a Tolkien novel. In fact, the Vale Falls sits in the awe-inspiring gorges, overlooked by the breathtaking Welsh mountains. The water is calm and serene, but watch out for the sudden Mynach Falls.
Don’t forget your walking boots! There are plenty of amazing rambling spots in this area including footpaths from the villages of Ystumtuen and Devil’s Bridge.
Railway enthusiasts will also love the Vale of Rheidol Railway, which runs through the incredible Welsh countryside. This heritage railway is over 100 years old, retaining the original charm of the steam train’s heyday.
The vale can be reached in less than 20 minutes by car from Brynowen Holiday Park, so you can enjoy an exciting day out and outdoor swim within easy reach of your caravan or luxury lodge.
Video courtesy of NaturCymru
Popular with wild swimmers throughout the summer months, Spitchwick is the perfect spot to take a dip if you’re holidaying at Torquay Holiday Park this season. Just seconds from the A38, you’ll find this idyllic river which boasts a series of fantastic wild swimming spots.
Part of the river Dart, Spitchwick is a great spot to head when the sun shines for a picnic and a quick dip. Also known as Deeper Marsh, this area has been a popular bathing spot for generations. If you’ve had enough of sea swimming, then why not head to this freshwater spot and enjoy the bracing cold waters of the River Dart?
Video courtesy of lordofthegrass
Rayrigg Meadow Jetty, Windermere
We couldn’t share a piece about wild swimming in the UK without exploring the crystal clear waters of the Lake District. One of the most famous wild swimming spots in this World Heritage Site sits just minutes from White Cross Bay and Fallbarrow holiday parks, and a short drive from Limefitt Holiday Park.
Jump from the jetty into England’s largest lake. There’s plenty of space to swim lengths in this epic spot, overlooked by the rolling hills of this Area of Natural Beauty. Watch out for boats if you head further from the shore. After your wild swim, warm up with a hot drink in our favourite beer garden at The Angel Inn in Bowness-on-Windermere.
Video courtesy of Ghostneo
The final wild swimming spot on our list is another Lake District location. Less than 20 minutes’ drive from all three Lake District holiday parks, Rydal Bower sits in a narrow dark cleft between rock walls and rushing waterfall. One for confident swimmers, Rydal Bower is over 4m deep, making it a popular spot with cliff jumping.
This area has a sense of magical wonder – the perfect spot to escape daily life and take some time to be alone or with loved ones in nature.
Video courtesy of Peter Lowe
Staying safe while wild swimming
Before you embark on your next al fresco dip, we highly recommend checking out the Wild Swimming website‘s section on Safety in Freshwater to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe in the water.