BY ALICE WILBY
Looking for an enchanting escape without leaving the country? Exhilarating and often bracing, Wild Swimming is the ultimate adventure for any keen swimmer who can’t bear to be confined by a chlorinated pool.
We pick five of our favourite places to go wild swimming this bank holiday.
Bude Tidal Pool, Cornwall
Built on Bude beach in the 1930’s the pool is topped up twice a day by tides from the Atlantic Ocean. It’s open all year round and it’s slightly craggy windswept vista gives one the impression of setting out to sea, making it the prefect safe place for a gentle introduction to wild swimming.
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland
From an underwater stone arch to crystal clear waters and dainty waterfalls, the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye certainly live up to their magical name. No surprise then that this stretch of the River Brittle entices wild swimmers from around the world. Smart folk may want to wear a wet suit, as this Scottish water can get a wee bit nippy.
Watkins Path Waterfall, Snowdon
Those heading to off to enjoy the beauty of Snowdon this weekend can kill two birds with one stone. Why not finish off your breathtaking walk with a breathtaking dip in these series of pools and falls on Cwm Lian at the bottom on the Watkins Path.
The River Thames, Pangborne, Berkshire
Now, call me biased because this is the stretch of river I grew up on, but The River Thames at Pangborne is easily one of the most picturesque places for wild swimming you can find close to London. A stones throw from where our Take Me To The Water editorial was shot, you can swim a large stretch of the river without any buildings cluttering the banks. Safe in the knowledge that, once done, the country pubs of Pangborne or Goring and Streatley will be waiting to welcome you.
Hampstead Heath Ponds, London
Internationally renowned as one of London’s most charming leisure spaces, the bathing ponds on Hampstead Heath have been keeping the city’s residents cool for years. The Ladies and Men’s ponds are also the UK’s only lifeguarded open water swimming facility open all year round.
How to get there