The Best UK Wild Swimming Destinations

Swimming is a feature of summer wherever you are, but there's nothing quite like wild swimming – taking the plunge in the UK's most picturesque lakes, rivers and even waterfalls, or on its most isolated stretches of coast. Take your pick: we've put together a selection of the best UK wild swimming destinations where you can enjoy a refreshing dip and an instant mood boost, and stay over for a night (or a few) in first-rate accommodation, ranging from remote cabins and country house estates to pubs with boutique rooms and dog-friendly cottages!

Dittisham Hideaway

With spacious treehouses, cleverly shepherds lodges, and a vintage Airstream, this South Devon getaway offers wild swimming aplenty, including a quartet of coves – Sugary, Compass, Forest and Mill Bay (Kingswear) – plus Strete Gate Beach, Galmpton Creek and Stoke Gabriel. Back at Dittisham, warm up in a hot tub.

Westward House

An elegant three-bedroom holiday home bang on the shores of Windermere with a private jetty, canoe and kayak hire available nearby, and as much wild swimming as your heart desires. There's everything you need for an active (or relaxed) break, making this scenic spot ideal for family or friends.

Piglets Boutique Country Stay

This award-winning B&B in Essex boasts five beautifully kitted out and uber-comfortable guest rooms and its own natural swimming pond with plenty of decking for lounging. They also offer fab breakfasts, various sharing platters for lunch and dinner, and an 'honour bar'.

Graig Wen Cottages

These dog-friendly cottages in Snowdonia, North Wales sleep two to six people and boast breathtaking views. And for wild swimming? Take a dip in the river, a waterfall plunge pool, or even a mountain lake. On a clear evening, be sure to look up and check out the twinkling stars. Oh, they offer glamping, too.

Fisherman's Cottage

This charming seaside cottage sleeps five and is a stone's throw from Whitstable Beach – just perfect for a bracing swim before lunching on the famous oysters. Back at Fisherman's, the interior is whitewashed and the style is nautical and tasteful, while outside, there’s a decked courtyard with seating.

Storrs Hall Hotel

Enviably located on the shores of Windermere, this country house hotel is home to 36 individually designed bedrooms – 29 in the main house, six lakeside hot tub suites, and the exclusive Boathouse. When it comes to wild swimming, they offer free a introduction each week. Check out sister property Lindeth Fell, too.

Fritton Lake

You can enjoy plenty of water-based activities at this dog-friendly estate on the Norfolk/Suffolk border, from boating and kayaking to paddle boarding – and of course, wild swimming! Choose from boutique rooms, self-catering woodland lodges and cottages.

Heath Farm Holiday Cottages

This collection of cottages is located in acres of rolling Cotswolds countryside, meadows and woodland, and there's an on-site spring-fed lake that's perfect for wild swimming. Opt for Walnut or Chestnut and you'll have your very own hot tub in a private garden.

Alkington Grange Barns

Get ready for a top holiday at these Shropshire holiday cottages with plenty of facilities. Choose from five lovingly converted Georgian barns sleeping between two and 12 – ideal for couples, families and get-togethers. For wild swimming and water sports, check out nearby Alderford Lake.

Talton Lodge Barn

This quirky and unique 18-century barn conversion in South Warwickshire sits in acres of parkland, woodland, orchard and gardens, and comes complete with a biotop natural swimming pond. Sleeping eight, there's also a manor house and the Kitchen Garden glamping site.

St Michaels Resort

Perfectly positioned next to Gylly Beach with its calm waters that are ideal for wild swimming, this hotel in Cornwall is also home to a restaurant, spa, fitness centre, tennis courts, and self-catering apartments – plus, it's dog-friendly. Don't forget to check out the wild swim retreats on offer each year.

Den by the Stream

An adults-only, dog-friendly, eco-conscious cabin set in a private meadow that's next to a stream, of course! Out and about, explore the Welsh town of Cardigan and visit the Bay to see dolphins and seals. Hand-built and off-grid, the Den is large and light, with picture windows to admire the lovely views from.

Clawford Lakes

You can't get much closer to the water here in Devon – stay in a cocoon, pod or a fabulous floating lodge and enjoy the activities on offer, including wild swimming, kayaking and paddleboarding. If you prefer to chill, there's an on-site lakeside spa.

Another Place, The Lake

Enjoy cold and wild swimming from the jetty of this 47-room Lake District hotel that's dog- and family-friendly. Boasting fabulous views, there's also an adult spa, an outdoor hot tub and contemporary British food at the Rampsbeck Restaurant. For something different, check out their treehouse and lakeshore shepherd huts.

Ecotone Cabins

Stay in a stylish eco-retreat overlooking Loch Broom in the Scottish Highlands and get inside tips on where to head for the very best river, loch and sea wild swimming spots. Choose from two-person Red Squirrel or Pine Marten, sleeping up to four – both are modern and light-laden.

The Loddon Swan

Looking for tasty food and a contemporary yet homely place to lay your head for the night? Then check out this 10-room Norfolk gastropub in the southern reaches of the Broads – also in a top location for boating, walking and biking, plus wild swimming at Three Rivers Pitch & Paddle.

Cairngorm Bothies

There are many opportunities for riding, cycling and wild swimming at these eco-friendly, off-grid Highlands hideways. Providing the perfect getaway, each comfortable cabin sleeps four. Also take a look at Cairngorm Lodges, their sister site. Either way, get ready to lose yourself in nature and wildlife.

Cabin by the Castle

Say hello to an extremely comfy eco-friendly cabin with huge floor-to-ceiling windows. Situated on a Scottish estate just five minutes from the Moray Coast, there are plenty of wild swimming spots to enjoy. The bedroom has a king-size bed, while outside, there's a private garden to admire the glorious starry night skies from.

The Gurnard's Head

This St Ives pub has eight rooms and serves seasonal, innovative food – just the ticket after wild swimming, or walking this rugged section of the South West Coast Path. The same people run the Old Coastguard near Penzance and the Felin Fach Griffin on the edge of the Brecon Beacons – both top spots, too.

For more inspiring posts like this round-up of the best UK wild swimming destinations, check out our blog.

And for last-minute deals, scroll through our Late Availability and Hot Deals pages for a range of top offers.

It's also worth checking out this month's Best-Reviewed Properties and our New to Cool Places guide.

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