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These are the UK’s best spots for wild swimming, apparently



Truly serious wild swimmers have been plunging into the UK’s open waters all winter, come rain or shine. But as the sun starts to peak through the clouds, it’s almost time for the less hardcore among us to join them. 

So, where can you enjoy the best natural dips that the UK has to offer? The people at South Western Railway have dived into some data and discovered the top ten very best wild bathing spots in the UK. Their ranking is based on the sentiment of online reviews, the average water temperature and accessibility. 

According to SWR, the very best wild swimming destination is Kailpot Crag at Ullswater Lake in the Lake District. With an overall score of 95 out of 100, it’s ranked number one for its ‘breathtaking nature’, ideal positioning for a sunset swim and its ‘exhilarating diving opportunity from the high, rocky cliff’. And the cherry on top is that it’s completely free. 

Second on the ranking was Nolton Haven Beach in Haverford West, Wales. The water here is apparently great for both chilled swims and thrilling watersports. It was given a weighted score of 84 out of 100 with researchers pointing out the beach’s ‘serene and untouched shoreline composed of sand and pebbles, with rocky cliffs and rock pools on either side’. 

The 36-acre Vobster Quay in Radstock, Somerset completed the top three. This pool is regularly checked and maintained to ensure optimum water quality for everyone from beginner swimmers to expert scuba-divers. 

The UK’s best wild swimming spots, according to South Western Railway 

  1. Kailpot Crag, Lake District
  2. Nolton Haven Beach, Haverfordwest, Wales
  3. Vobster Quay, Radstock
  4. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland
  5. Devil’s Point Tidal Pool, Plymouth
  6. Buttermere Lake, Lake District
  7. The Valley of Desolation, Yorkshire Dales
  8. Swanage Beach, Dorset
  9. Hopeman East Beach and Bay, Elgin, Scotland
  10. Blue Lagoon, Abermawr, Wales

Take a dip with Time Out 

There’s nothing like a bracing swim in the great outdoors. While there are lots of worries over how safe wild swimming really is, there are plenty of gorgeous spots vetted by the Environment Agency and we’re set to get 27 more. For more natural bathing spots, check out Time Out’s selection of the most beautiful across the country

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