Wild Swimming: where to start

by | Jun 6, 2024

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, perfect for those searching for different experiences . Something about the bracing water, the rushing air and the natural high of submerging yourself outdoors is addictive. Just as good for your mental health as it is for your body, cold water has been proven to boost your immune system, improve your circulation and give you a natural hit of endorphins.

If you’re looking for unusual things to do in North Wales and all the best places to swim, we’ve put together a guide to the swimming spots in North Wales and Anglesey. 

Take a look at our quick guide to getting started here:

  1. It’s all about the swimming spot – make sure to check that it’s safe to swim there, online and with locals, that you’re not trespassing and that swimming is permitted. It’s hard to relax if you don’t have all the information to hand. 
  2. Once you’ve done your research, scope out your spot carefully. Check how deep it is, make sure you know how you’ll get back out of the water, how fast the current is and look out for anything hidden under the water, submerged debris, sharp rocks or branches. If you do feel something on the bottom, or brush past long weeds, don’t panic and swim with your arms rather than your legs until you are clear. 
  3. Make sure to take a look at what’s on the banks too, nettles and irritants can grow near bodies of water. 
  4. It’s so good to climb into some cold water but don’t let yourself get too cold, get out if you start shivering and always take plenty of layers and a warming drink.
  5. Avoid swimming in city rivers and canals – the water is more likely to carry harmful bacteria. If you’re living in the city but craving some wild swimming, a wild swimming retreat is a great option. 
  6. We mustn’t swim anywhere with stagnant water or where you see a greenish bloom on the surface – this could be blue-green algae, a bacteria which can make you sick. If it doesn’t look inviting, it probably isn’t. 
  7. Never swim after a Jin môr and tonic, or consuming any alcohol.
  8. Always swim with a buddy. There are lots of brilliant wild swimming groups out there if you can’t persuade a friend to join you. 
  9. Make sure to listen to your surroundings, be present and take a moment to bathe in all the beauty, not just the water itself.
  10. Before getting started make sure to read these safety tips too.
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