Take the plunge and try wild swimming

Posted on 23/08/2016

Although England isn’t typically known for its scorching summer days, we’re occasionally blessed with (slightly) tropical weather, meaning everyone flocks to the beach, the local swimming pool or the nearest supermarket to buy the last remaining paddling pool to cool off. So to help you avoid the crowds and the heat we’ve put together a collection of refreshing wild swimming and plunge pool routes so you can take a dive in these last few weeks of glorious sunshine – all with a stunning walk to get you there.

 

Plungepool

1. Shilley Pool, Devon (£)
Difficulty: Hard
Length: 1.27 miles
By Wild Swimming

Take this route through South Zeal in Devon and make your way to Shilley Pool at Blackaton Brook. This is a shallow plunge pool perfect to bathe in or for children to take a cool paddle. This is a great place to spend the whole afternoon with places to set up your picnic and relax. 

Best for: Paddling 

Download the route

River

2. Wharfedale, Yorkshire Dales (FREE)
Difficulty: Medium
Length: 8.47 miles
By BBC Countryfile Magazine 

This route really does offer it all when it comes to wild swimming. Throughout the whole trail there are opportunities to stop off and either paddle, skip stones, slide down rapids or dive into plunge pools. This is definitely one if you want to experience a natural, outdoor waterpark! 

Best for: Water adventures

Download the route

Route3

3. Cadair Idris, Gwynedd, Wales (£)
Difficulty: Medium
Length: 6.04 miles
By Trail Magazine

Although it takes a relentless climb up from Minffordd to reach this deep pool of beauty, it’s well worth it even just for the views. This pool is known for its stunning appearance and beautiful scenery, and on a hot day it’s well worth a dive in the deep bowl to cool down and have a swim around. 

Best for: Swimming

Download the route

Waterfalls

4. Horseshoe Falls, Glyn-neath, Wales (£)
Difficulty: Hard
Length: 1.27 miles
By Wild Swimming

This wild swimming route is based in Brecon Beacon’s waterfalls. The horseshoe name comes from the shape of all the waterfalls based within the woods, and your chance to take a swim is in the plunge pools under the waterfalls hidden away in the deep forest.

Best for: Swimming

Download the route

Pool

5. Buckstones Jum & Rydal Bower, Cumbria (£)
Difficulty: Medium
Length: 1.18 miles
By Wild Swimming

With two swims in one, Buckstones Jum is a plunge pool in the heart of the Lake District with a pebble beach and guaranteed stunning views, and Rydal Bower is a pretty waterfall hidden between a dark cleft and rock walls.

Best for: Paddling 

Download the route

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