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Best Wild Swimming Spots in the UK

Updated: Jan 3

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

Wild swimming popularity has increased since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's no surprise why, the benefits of wild swimming are incredible! With that comes the increase in visitors, however some of these spots listed in this article are still tucked away from the public and are perfect for a peaceful swim.

Here are 10 of the best wild swimming spots in the whole of the UK, perfect for a chilly or even a warm (rare in the UK!) day.

Image of Thirlmere Infinity Pool in the Lake District

Enjoy one of the quietest and peaceful walks in the Lake District, with some amazing waterfalls and pools (the pools are shallow too so perfect for the younger ones!). The water is so clear at Black Moss Pot, and you'll be awarded with some stunning views across the fields more notably Scafell Pike.

Not only is Black Moss Pot a great place for a cold wild swim, it's also great for those wanting an enjoyable hike! Why not enjoy a morning walk through the Langstrath Valley and then return to the Langstrath Inn for a well deserved beverage?

For those staying at the nearby campsite, it's only a short walk from it so it's the ideal spot to get there early before everybody else turns up! It's an amazing spot for everybody of all ages to enjoy.

East Gill Force is an amazing little gem of two waterfalls which lead down into the river scale and has one of the cleanest waters in the UK. There is quite a bit of a steep descent in order to get to the waterfall, so do take that into consideration before visiting the falls!

For those wanting to visit East Gill Force, the good thing is that it's really easy to get too. You can simply park up on the side of the road and walk down a short step of falls (which are quite steep) in order to get to the falls. Why not have a sit on one of the benches and have a cute little picnic?

East Gill Force really is an amazing spot to come for a secluded visit to a waterfall, as well as enjoying a bit of wild swimming! It's only a 10 minute walk from the nearby village Keld, which we would definitely recommend visiting since you're in the area.

Galleny Force is an attractive waterfall located in a wonderful setting, and isn't too far from Stonthwaite for those which are in the area. Even though it's only a short distance from the nearby campsite, it's still relatively quiet and hidden for a quick dip. It's not the biggest spot to swim in, but it's certainly the most quietest.

Galleny Force are beautiful waterfalls and are a must-visit if you're around the area. However it's worth noting that the paths are very uneven and quite tricky in place, however it's very much worth the trek up the valley to see them!

Since the Galleny Force Waterfall is located right next to a large campsite, you may want to avoid visiting in school holidays if you want some peace and quiet at the falls. Also, if you find the main pool slightly busy, keep walking up the path and you'll find further pools with nobody in!

Glenashdale Falls has been around for over 20 years, and we're still surprised how it's still not a popular attraction in Scotland! There is even a newly-built viewing platform which is just over the falls to give a very clear view of the double falls. The falls part into a plunge pool which is perfect for a quick dip.

We recommend doing the walk as you'll get to see Glenashdale Falls as well as Giant's Grave. Our preferable way of doing the way is to do it anti-clockwise which allows you to have a long steady walk to the waterfall and then onto the Giant's Grave with a steep descent.

Glenashdale Falls is spectacular especially after a day of heavy rain, and is often described as one of the best in Scotland (though not many people know about it!). It's a great photo opportunity for all you photographers out there, and it's definitely one to visit the next time you visit Scotland.

The Lumb Hole Falls is a stunning example of true Yorkshire beauty. It's very easy to get to with a pleasant walk, and at the end is this stunning waterfall which cascades into the plunge pool below. Perfect for a dip!

Lumb Hole Falls is beautiful even when there are strong winds and horizontal rain! It's mostly known for its gorgeous deep pool which drags in visitors in the summer, even though there are a few signs indicating no swimming is allowed. It is privately owned so please respect the gem if you plan to visit so that it doesn't get closed permanently!

It can be quite difficult to get to the actual pool but it is absolutely worth it! The waterfall is very picturesque so if you're a photograph we recommend scrambling down to get the perfect snap!

The pools at Nantcol Waterfall are definitely up there with some of the best. If you're staying at the nearby campsite, there is a lovely spot to paddle especially for the younger ones. However as you walk further up the falls there is a beautiful pool which is much deeper and once you get to the big pool shown below the pool there is perfect for a good old swim!!

The waterfalls at Nantcol are absolutely amazing, and we definitely suggest having a dip if you're brave enough! There are some lovely walks around the site and we highly recommend watching the sunset over Snowdonia from the rocks at the top of the waterfall!

For those staying at the nearby campsite, you'll be pleased to hear the river flows through the campsite with a cute picnic island in the middle where the river splits into two. There is no phone signal here at the campsite so it really is the perfect place to relax and go off grid.

The Three Shires Head is a brilliant spot with lovely waterfalls and pools to swim in! Although it is freezing 90% of the time, it is definitely worth it. The pools are deep enough to have a swim however we do not recommend diving in.

Described as an awesome hidden gem, Three Shires Head has risen to fame since the pandemic but you'll still find it relatively quiet! It's only 35-40 minutes walk from the main walk, in which you'll be greeted with stunning views as well as wildlife.

The pools at Three Shires Head are deep enough for a little swim however we strongly advise diving in. It's a great day out when the sun is shining however after a day of heavy rain it looks absolutely amazing!

You'll be greeted with a long series of fantastic pools when you visit the Tongue Pot in the Lake District. It's known for being the spot for some proper high jump diving, however there are many small pools scattered around perfect for a brief dip.

Whilst hiking along the River Esk you'll notice there are a series of amazing pools along it, and the one which stands out the most has to be Tongue Pot. Located beneath a historic packhorse bridge is this hidden gem which has grown in popularity thanks to its opportunities for some classic high jump diving!

Tongue Pot is the most dramatic out of the pools along the River Esk, as the highest jump offers visitors a chance to dive to 5m deep with many small pools scattered around. It's no wonder people are flocking to the Lake District in order to find this hidden gem!

Image of Tongue Pot in the Lake District.
Photo taken by @nattalie_blackk via Instagram.

Watkin Path is a little gem is a must-visit for all wild swimming lovers. It's only a short walk from the car park, in which you'll be able to experience some great plunge pools for a cold water dip on a warm day. Don't worry about getting there early to secure your spot; there's plenty of pools to find and have either for yourself, or share with others.

An amazing walk up around Gladstone Rock will take you to these gorgeous waterfalls and plunge pools in Snowdon. The walks is very scenic, and takes you through woodlands with house ruins until you are presented with breath-taking mountain views. If you have the right footwear, the whole walk should take you around 30-40 minutes.

It's safe to say Watkins Path is a must-visit for those who absolutely love wild swimming. It's only a short walk from the car park where you can experience some great plunge pools for a breezy cold water dip on a warm summers day!

The Buttermere Infinity Pool is stunning. The water is glisteningly clear and took on a light green hue when exposed to the sun. Behind it is a decent-sized waterfall that would be a great place to take a dip even without the view.

It might have more visitors than last year, but if you go at the right time, you'll have it all to yourself (ideal for that iconic Instagram posing photo!). Since the COVID lockdowns, unique hidden gems such as the Buttermere Infinity Pool have been discovered and shared across social media, which isn't necessary a bad thing considering the grief it can sometimes bring!

This location's only drawback is its small pool and tendency to get crowded on sunny weekends and during school breaks. Having the pool to yourself is where the magic happens (similar to the below photo!).

There you have it! These are 10 of the best wild swimming spots located across the UK, perfect for your next adventure! Whether you plan to do a road trip around UK or are visiting for the summer, you should definitely check out some of these swimming spots.

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