Wild Swimming, or simply swimming outdoors as some people would prefer to call it, has enjoyed a real resurgence in recent years in the UK. Something about the bracing water, the rushing air and the natural high of submerging yourself outdoors is addictive.
North Wales has no shortage of places to take a dip. Perhaps our favourite, especially for beginners, is Llyn Padarn, where it’s also possible to hire wetsuits. For some less obviously places, read on…
Before you get started, read what the Outdoor Swimming Society has to say on safety, as swimming outside can be unpredictable and extremely dangerous.
1. CRICCIETH BEACH
Pictured above. Swim off a beautifully open beach in the view of the beautiful castle. The Woolly Hatters, a wild swimming group, meets there weekly. See their Facebook page and join their friendly community for all the latest updates.
2. THE BEACH AT HALEN MÔN
The beach in front of Halen Môn is edged by exceptionally clean water. Time the tides right, and be wary of currents.
There are so many amazing waterfall pools around North Wales. A lot are hard to find and are all the more lovely for it. A few more well known ones are the stunning Watkin Path Waterfall Pools. A series of pools each with their own character- jumps, slides and rope swings. Or the Coed Y Brenin Waterfall, which takes some scrambling and careful footwork to reach.
4. LLYN CWMORTHIN
Water with history. Surrounding this lake are the slate mines and slate tips of Blaenau Ffestiniog. Venturing up to the lake is like walking through a different time and land. You can’t help but feel the power of what was achieved by the slate miners and the townsfolk. Ruins of old houses and a church still stand today with a history you can delve into. The water is cold, as it runs down from the mountains above. This lake makes you feel as though you are in the wilds, far from anyone- however it is only a short (yet steep) walk from the car park. Also, look out for a waterfall pool on your way up to the lake..
5. LLYN DINAS + LLYN GWYNANT
A stones throw away from each other these lakes are a beautiful swim and a chance to double dip (or triple if you start with the Watkin path pools). Easily accessible, as the road to Snowdon winds along side them. Gwynant is home to the famous Elephant Rock (a stone face which of course looks like an Elephant) those who are brave enough jump from it’s back. Dinas is more serene, with a beautiful mountain backdrop. These lakes are great for a distance swim or even a dip and a picnic on the bank.
Huge thanks to Tara Leanne Hall of the Woolly Hatters for her imagery and kind recommendations. Well worth an instagram follow for plenty of inspiration.