Wild swimming spots in England

1) Hampstead Heath Mixed Pond

It’s hardly a secret that there are wild swimming spots on London’s Hampstead Heath, but that doesn’t stop it feeling like one every time you slip into the deep water here. The natural bathing ponds are concealed by the trees, giving swimmers a sense that they’ve uncovered something incredibly special even on busy summer days. If you’d prefer not to share your swim, then opt for the Kenwood Ladies’ or Highgate Men’s ponds instead of the Mixed Pond, and consider taking the plunge out of season.

Hampstead Heath Mixed Pond

Hampstead, London


2) Loweswater

If you like your wild swims with few spectators and zero chance of crossing paths with a motor boat, you’ll love Loweswater, a lesser-known but incredibly picturesque body of water in the Lake District. The vibe here is quiet and peaceful. If you fancy stretching your legs once you’ve warmed up post-dip, there’s a great circular walk around the lake. Look out for red squirrels and the Holme Force waterfall in the woods beside the water.

Foggy hills at Loweswater

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3) Shilley Pool

A secluded swimming spot on Dartmoor, Shilley Pool is a natural rock pool filled by Blackaton Brook. A section of stone has been beautifully flattened by the stream over the centuries, making a perfectly smooth natural slide into the pool below. Discover it by taking a brisk uphill walk along the south side of the brook from the narrow road between South Zeal and Throwleigh.

Shilley Pool wild swimming spot

At: Dartmoor National Park, Devon

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