NEW Wild Swim Locations

What’s This Page About Digger?

Rather than update the Gazetteers every time I find a nice NEW “swim” location,  I’ll put details and photos on this web page for any “new swims”. Ultimately they will transferred to the main swim pages.

 

Wild Swimming Season 2019 (new swims spots only)

As traditional dictates my swimming season started again at my annual “Easter” holiday in Scotland

 

This summer (well early April) I went swimming (in Loch na h-Oidhche)

this summer (no, it was definitely April), I might have drowned (but fortunately didn’t as there was a G&T waiting for me)

but I held my breath (not by choice but because it was a bit nippy)

and I kicked my feet (to try to keep warm)

and I moved my arms around (see above)

moved my arms around (see above)

(Loudon Wainwright III, Swimming Song)



River Blyth (nr Blyford, Suffolk)

Location

  • By Blyford Bridge (between the villages of Blyford and Wenhaston). Easy parking and follow the path down to the river by the bridge.

Grid Ref

  • TM424/764

Features

  • Easy access and reasonable length to swim upstream

Hazards

  • Plenty of warning signs which you should obviously read before ignoring.

Date

  • 25th August 2019

River Nene (at Wansford, Cambridgeshire)

Location

  • By the bridge for the “old north road” in the middle of Wansford. Easy parking and follow the path down to the river by the bridge.

Grid Ref

  • TF077/992

Features

  • Easy access under the bridge, but also access after a small climb from the bank to the east.

Hazards

  • Boats!

Date

  • 25th July 2019

River Nene (nr Water Newton, Cambridgeshire)

Location

  • Plenty of spots to get in the river along the footpath to the east of the village of Water Newton. Access is better from the east bank

Grid Ref

  • TF125/970

Features

  • Good lengths of deep water

Hazards

  • Swans and boats

Date

  • 23rd July 2019

Horrisdale waterfall (nr Gairloch, Scotland)

Location

  • Shieldag. Park in the car park on the B8056 (road to Redpoint) c. 1km west of the junction with the A82. Walk in on the mainly good track/path that heads south (ish) past the turn off to the Fairy Pools “crash site”. The waterfall is slightly further downstream than that shown on the OSmap and located by where the main tributary joins the river Abhainn Braigh.

Grid Ref

  • NG818/689

Features

  • What can you say. It has it all: shallow and deep water, wilder water under the fall and calmer away, and when we visited a lovely mossy adjacent area of dry land

Hazards

  • Nothing springs to mind other than some large rocks under water

Date

  • 5th April 2019

 


Loch Braigh Horrisdale (nr Gairloch, Scotland)

Location

  • Shieldag. Park in the car park on the B8056 (road to Redpoint) c. 1km west of the junction with the A82. Walk in on the mainly good track/path that heads south (ish) past the turn off to the Fairy Pools “crash site”. The best beach is in the south-east part of the Loch- handily adjacent to the path in

 

Grid Ref

  • NG802/703

Features

  • Nice sandy beach so easy access and if you pick the right spot it gets deep enough to swim pretty quickly. I understand that the section created by the Loch of the adjacent peat bog is particularly interesting (R. Watkins pers. comm.)

Hazards

  • Nothing but the usual

Date

  • 5th April 2019

 


 

Loch na h-Oidhche (nr Gairloch, Scotland)

Location

  • Park in the car park by the A832 near Loch bad an Sgalaig. The latter is probably fine for a swim but is too easy so take the path heading south-east for 6km. There are a couple of small sandy beaches in the north-east part of the Loch which provide a great access point.

Grid Ref

  • NG888/666

Features

  • Sandy access and deep water. Oh and what a view!!

Hazards

  • Nothing but the obvious

Date

  • 4th April 2019

 



Wild Swimming Season 2018 (new swims spots only)

As traditional dictates my swimming season started again at Easter in Scotland.

(Photo by Ruth. Modelling by Digger 007)

 

This summer (well end of March) I went swimming (in Loch Stack, although the photo above is Loch Katrine)

this summer (no, it was definitely March), I might have drowned (but fortunately usually don’t)

but I held my breath (not by choice but because it was a bit nippy)

and I kicked my feet (to try to keep warm)

and I moved my arms around (see above)

moved my arms around (see above)

(Loudon Wainwright III, Swimming Song)

(Photo by Ruth)

 



Holme Fell “disused” reservoir (The Lakes)

Location

  • Park by Yew Tree Tarn on A593 c. 4km north-east of Coniston and walk up Holme Fell from there.

Grid Ref

  • NY318/012

Features

  • Easy access. Deep and shallow water. Excellent views (when sunny)

Hazards

  • Fairly busy part of Lakes but less busy for a swim than Tarn Howes

Date

  • September 2018

 


Pont du Gard (Lower Gard, south of France)

OK. I know this is already registered elsewhere on this website as a swim. But!!!

Location

  • Near Uzes. Signposted for miles around. Go south on A9, take D981.

Grid Ref

  • n/a

Features

  • Erh. Now let me think. Well I suppose there is some kind of Roman aqueduct that may appeal to some as a backdrop!

With Stephen and Ben.

Hazards

  • Kayaks. People. But surprisingly few of the latter under the aquaduct.

Date

  • July 2018

Pont de la Draille (Lower Gard, south of France)

Location

  • Again not that far from Uzes but near to Collias. Too difficult to describe how to find it, but if its a hot day just follow the crowds, park on side of country road and go down narrow track/path to the river.

Grid Ref

  • n/a

Features

  • Beach. Shade. Shallow water. Deep water. Rocks. Cliffs. (Really a little bit of everything)

Hazards

  • Nope.

 

Date

  • July 2018

 


Pont de Collias (Lower Gard, south of France)

Location

  • The village of Collias is the main centre of kayak hire (at least in the late summer) so easy to find. If you go upstream of the bridge over the river there are less kayaks but a lot of people on a hot day.

Grid Ref

  • n/a

Features

  • Shallow and deep water. Cliffs.

Hazards

  • Too many people

Date

  • July 2018

 


River Forth (Trossachs, Scotland)

Location

  • This idyllic looking spot is just downstream of Loch Ard and only really reachable by boat- hence the boat.

Grid Ref

  • NN490/015

Features

  • The river widens out at this spot and it looks and is lovely to swim in.

Hazards

  • Even in summer the sides and bottom of the river are an unpleasant muddy silt, but only near the sides

Date

  • 24th June 2018


Loch Ard (Trossachs, Scotland)

Location

  • Loch Ard is in the Trossachs and one of many good lochs for swimming. The B829 runs along its northern side. The spot in the photo above is on the north side at the eastern end of the loch c. 4km west of Aberfoyle. The photo below is on the south side of the loch near one of the little islands.

Grid Ref

  • NN473/014

Features

  • The loch is excellent for swimming but going in around the little islands adds to the experience.

Hazards

  • Probably cold in the winter!

Date

  • 24th June 2018

 


Loch Dubh a Gharraidh Fail, Tiree (Inner Hebrides)

Location

  • In western half of the Island and only a short walk from the north coast, but a reasonable walk from any road

Grid Ref

  • NM02666/45846

Features

  • Looks great as a location. Easy access and plenty of grass for sunbathing. But even better is close to the famous Ringing Stone (a boulder which makes strange sound when hit and is also cup marked).

Hazards

  • Its really really shallow!!

Date

  • 20th June 2018

 


Loch Bhasapol, Tiree (Inner Hebrides)

Location

  • In western half of the Island and only a short walk from the north coast (mind its a small island so everywhere is close to the coast). You can park at the outdoor centre/shed

Grid Ref

  • NM97305/47433

Features

  • Easy parking and easy gentle sloping access. Nice to have fresh water to wash away all that salt from sea swimming

Hazards

  • Well, its much shallower than it looks! Also you should avoid times when its in use for sailing, windsurfing etc (or pick an appropriate spot)

Date

  • 18th June 2018

River Frome, Moreton (Dorset)

Looks better than it actually is (for a proper swim that is)

Location

  • The river passes to the east of the village of Moreton (c. 3km NW of Wool). There is a good path/track which takes you from the village across some fords/foot bridges over the river but where the water is pretty shallow. If you go upstream or downstream there are a few pools where you can swim.

Grid Ref

  • SZ806/895

Features

  • Easy access, shallow water so good for kids, rope swing and a tea shop in the village…….

Hazards

  • A lot of walking in shallow water to find the deeper pools. Not good for a proper swim.

Date

  • 10th June 2018

 


The old mill pond, North Lees (Peaks)

 

Location

  • Approx 2km north of Hathersage and just below Stanage Edge. If you follow the footpath between Greens House and North Less you can’t really miss it. Assumed to be a pond feed by a spring and stream serving an old mill.

Grid Ref

  • SK233/838

Features

  • Well, its got it all: deep and shallow water, easy access, shade, grass for sunbathing and even a shower (where the dam is leaking). Even better on a hot Bank Holiday there is no queuing like you get at Hathersage Lido.

Hazards

  • None really, but watch out for tree branches and twigs under the water.

Date

  • 7th May 2018

 


Loch Katrine (The Trossachs, Scotland)

(Photo by Ruth)

Location

  • Within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Park at the east end where the “steam” boat goes from and there is a pay and display car park (one of Scotlands few for the countryside). Then follow the track along the north side of the Loch and pick you spot.

Grid Ref

  • NN480/094 (little peninsula) and NN460/107 (small beach) but there are plenty of others

Features

  • Everything you have ever wanted in a Loch with an easy “walk in”

Hazards

  • The area does get busy on nice days which do happen more than you might think

Date

  • 8th April 2018

 


River Laxford (Sutherland, Scotland)

Location

  • The best bit of the river flows from Loch Stack to Laxford Bridge and the A838 runs parallel (ish). Although the river is mainly shallow there are several pools (created for fishing) deep enough for swimming.

Grid Ref

  • NC258/447

(Photo by Steve)

Features

  • Fairly easy access and a good view of Ben Stack. Also features a “diving board”…………..eh well actually its for fishing and see hazards.

Hazards

  • Fairly shallow around the “diving board”. Obviously don’t go in when fishing is taking place.

Date

  • 3rd April 2018

 


Loch a Cham Alltain (Sutherland, Scotland)

Location

  • There is an easy “walk in” along a track from the A838 near Lochstack Lodge c. 5km south-east of Laxford Bridge and c. 50km north-west of Lairg.

Grid Ref

  • NC283/447

Features

  • Another fantastic setting and some small sandy beaches

(Photo, and what a photo, by Rosie)

Hazards

  • Very stony bottom in places

Date

  • 2nd April 2018

 


Loch Stack (Sutherland, Scotland)

Location

  • The Loch is by Ben Stack (a mountain but not a Monroe) and is adjacent to the A838 c. 5km south-east of Laxford Bridge and c. 50km north-west of Lairg

Grid Ref

  • NC290/420

Features

  • Easy access and plenty of shallow water if you go in near the boat house at the NW end of the Loch. Fantastic views of Ben Stack although its so big its tricky to get in the photo.

Hazards

  • None really although you will be seen from the road and there is cross on the island (but presumably this isn’t swimming related!)

Date

  • 31st March and 5th April 2018

 


Wild Swimming Season 2017

(now added to the main pages by country/region)

This summer (well I started in April) I went swimming (in the Falls of Garbh Allt)

this summer (no, it was definitely April), I might have drowned (along with Ben and Raurigh)

but I held my breath (not by choice but because it was a bit nippy)

and I kicked my feet (to try to disguise the fact I was only in my underpants)

and I moved my arms around (see above)

moved my arms around (until Ben and Raurigh got out and I as a “hardcore” outdoor swimmer was therefore “allowed” to- a matter of honour)

(Loudon Wainwright III, Swimming Song)