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Best wild swimming spots in Scotland

Updated: Mar 14

Your Ultimate Guide to exploring off-the-beaten track wild swimming spots scattered across Scotland.


Wild swimming popularity has increased over the years and it's no surprise why. Dipping yourself in freezing cold water has become a trend recently and includes benefits such as improved immunity, boosted circulation and even weight loss!


Wild swimmers are desperately searching for their next wild swimming spot; exploring secluded coves as well as rivers and lochs.


In this article, we share with you some of our favourite wild swimming spots located in Scotland.


Image of Hell's Lum in Scotland


1) Glen Etive


The drive to this gorgeous place is fantastic and the views are out of this world. If you're lucky, you may even be able to see some deers around the area! There are waterfalls to take a look at and enjoy, and the water is chilled perfectly for a quick dip!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Glen Etive


1) Where is Glen Etive located in Scotland?

Glen Etive is situated in the Highlands of Scotland, near the famous Glencoe Valley. It is renowned for its stunning scenery, including rugged mountains, cascading waterfalls, and serene lochs.


2) Can I camp in Glen Etive?

Yes, camping is permitted in designated areas within Glen Etive. However, it's essential to follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code and practice responsible camping by leaving no trace, respecting wildlife, and avoiding damage to the environment.


3) Are there any hiking trails in Glen Etive?

Yes, Glen Etive offers numerous hiking trails suitable for all levels of experience. Visitors can explore trails ranging from easy strolls along the glen to challenging hikes up surrounding mountains like Buachaille Etive Mor. Remember to prepare adequately for your chosen hike, including checking weather conditions and carrying essential supplies.


Places to stay near Glen Etive


Image of Glen Etive in Scotland


2) Inversnaid


These amazing sandy beaches around Inversnaid offers visitors the chance to swim in one of Scotland's most famous bodies of water.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Inversnaid


1) Where is Inversnaid located in Scotland?

Inversnaid is situated on the eastern shore of Loch Lomond, within the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park. It is renowned for its natural beauty, with rugged landscapes, dense forests, and stunning views of Loch Lomond.


2) Can I visit the Inversnaid Waterfall?

Yes, visitors can access the Inversnaid Waterfall, also known as the Arklet Waterfall, which cascades down into Loch Lomond. There is a footpath leading to the waterfall, offering picturesque views along the way.


3) Are there accommodation options in Inversnaid?

Yes, there are accommodation options available in Inversnaid, including hotels, bed and breakfasts, and self-catering cottages. Additionally, the nearby Inversnaid Hotel provides a convenient base for exploring the area and enjoying outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife spotting.


Places to stay near Inversnaid



Image of Inversnaid in Scotland


3) Falls of Falloch


If you're travelling between Glasgow to Glencoe and Fort Williams, then you definitely need to stop off at these waterfalls for a quick pit stop and dip. The waterfall includes a decent sized basin where you can go for a swim. We also recommend checking at the caged viewpoint as it gives Jurassic Park vibes!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Falls of Falloch


1) Where are the Falls of Falloch located?

The Falls of Falloch are situated near the village of Crianlarich, in the Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Scotland. They are easily accessible from the A82 road, making them a popular stop for visitors exploring the Scottish Highlands.


2) Can I hike to the Falls of Falloch?

Yes, there is a well-maintained footpath leading from the parking area to the Falls of Falloch, offering visitors the opportunity to hike and enjoy the natural beauty of the surrounding area. The hike is relatively short and suitable for all skill levels.


3) Is swimming allowed at the Falls of Falloch?

Yes, swimming is allowed at the Falls of Malloch. We also recommend visitors admiring the waterfall from designated viewpoints and enjoy the scenic beauty of the area.


Places to stay near Falls of Falloch



Image of Falls of Falloch in Scotland

4) Plodda Falls


A breath-taking waterfall which can be tricky to descend and climb back if conditions are wet. The pool is filled only by a small trickling stream. The water is known to be absolutely freezing, so if you do plan to take a dip, bring a wet suit!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Plodda Falls


1) Where are Plodda Falls located?

Plodda Falls are located near the village of Tomich, in the Glen Affric area of the Scottish Highlands.


2) What makes Plodda Falls a hidden gem?

Plodda Falls are considered a hidden gem due to their remote location within the ancient Caledonian forest. Tucked away in Glen Affric, the falls offer visitors a peaceful and scenic spot away from more crowded tourist destinations.


3) How do I get to Plodda Falls?

Visitors can access Plodda Falls by following a well-marked trail from the car park near the village of Tomich. The trail leads through the enchanting Caledonian forest and offers scenic views before reaching the waterfall.


Places to stay near Plodda Falls



Image of Plodda Falls in Scotland

5) Seacliff Beach


Regarded as one of the best beaches in East Lothian; Seacliff Beach is the perfect place for those wanting to visit a secluded beach and have a quiet dip. There are many rock pools for visitors to enjoy, and can be rewarded by views of Tantallon Castle and Bass Rock.


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Seacliff Beach


1) Where is Seacliff Beach located?

Seacliff Beach is situated near the village of North Berwick in East Lothian, Scotland. It is nestled along the coast of the Firth of Forth, offering stunning views of the sea and surrounding cliffs.'


2) Is Seacliff Beach accessible by car?

Yes, Seacliff Beach is accessible by car, with a small parking area available near the beach. Visitors can park their vehicles and take a short walk to reach the beach, making it convenient for a day trip or beach outing.


3) Are dogs allowed on Seacliff Beach?

Yes, Seacliff Beach is dog-friendly, making it a great destination for pet owners looking to enjoy a day by the sea with their furry companions. However, it's essential to keep dogs under control and clean up after them to maintain the cleanliness of the beach for everyone to enjoy.


Places to stay near Seacliff Beach



Image of Seacliff Beach in Scotland


6) Hell's Lum


Hell's Lum is a unique cove and cave complex which is a collapsed sea cave only accessed through a gaping hole in the Cullykhan Bay cliffs. One there, visitors can enjoy a refreshed and peaceful dip.


Image of Hell's Lum in Scotland

7) Achmelvich Bay


Beautiful white sand and clear water are what visitors can expect when spending a day at Achmelvich Bay. The water is very shallow and is easy to swim in, plus it's not even that cold!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Achmelvich Bay


1) Where is Achmelvich Bay located?

Achmelvich Bay is located on the northwest coast of Scotland, near the village of Lochinver in the Scottish Highlands.


2) What makes Achmelvich Bay a hidden gem?

Achmelvich Bay is considered a hidden gem due to its remote location, pristine sandy beach, clear turquoise waters, and stunning surrounding scenery of rugged coastline and rolling hills.


3) How do I get to Achmelvich Bay?

Access to Achmelvich Bay is by car or public transportation. Visitors can drive along the A837 road from Lochinver and follow signs for Achmelvich. There is a car park near the beach for visitors.


Places to stay near Achmelvich Bay



Image of Achmelvich Bay in Scotland


8) Castle Stalker


Swim whilst admiring the beauty of Castle Stalker; what better view could you ask for?! However, please remember that Castle Stalker is private property, so don't attempt to swim up to the mini island!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Castle Stalker


1) Where is Castle Stalker located?

Castle Stalker is located on a small island in Loch Laich, near the village of Port Appin in Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It is situated amidst stunning scenery, surrounded by water and picturesque landscapes.


2) Can visitors access Castle Stalker?

While Castle Stalker itself is privately owned and not open to the public, visitors can admire its beauty from the shores of Loch Laich or nearby viewpoints. Guided tours may be available on certain occasions, but access to the interior of the castle is restricted.


3) Is Castle Stalker accessible by car?

Yes, Castle Stalker is accessible by car via the A828 road, which runs along the shores of Loch Laich. There is a small car park near Castle Stalker where visitors can park and enjoy views of the castle from the shoreline.


Places to stay near Castle Stalker



Image of Castle Stalker in Scotland

9) Traigh Mhor


Traigh Mhor is a stunning beach with amazing views, and is well worth the journey to get there! It is very scenic and quiet with some cool wildlife to see too. If you're in the area, it's worth visiting for a lovely pleasant swim with hardly anybodyu around!


FAQs/Things to know before visiting Traigh Mhor


1) Where is Traigh Mhor located?

Traigh Mhor, also known as Big Beach, is located on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. It is situated on the west coast of the island, offering stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean and surrounding landscapes.


2) Is Traigh Mhor dog-friendly?

Yes, Traigh Mhor is dog-friendly, making it a great destination for dog owners to enjoy a walk along the sandy shores with their furry companions. However, it's essential to keep dogs under control and clean up after them to maintain the pristine beauty of the beach.


3) Can I access Traigh Mhor easily?

Access to Traigh Mhor is relatively easy, with parking areas available nearby and paths leading down to the beach. However, visitors should be prepared for potentially windy and rainy weather conditions typical of the Outer Hebrides, especially during the winter months.


Places to stay near Traigh Mhor



Image of Traigh Mhor in Scotland

We hoped you enjoyed discovering the less known wild swimming spots which are scattered around Scotland. We are confident that visiting some of these hidden gems will make your Scotland trip even more memorable!


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