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 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)

 



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


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

 


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

 


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 (new swims spots only)

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)

 


Cascada El Cioyo (Asturias, Spain)

Location

  • Approx 20km east of Vegadeo between the villages of Arco and Branatuille. It is quite well signposted

Grid Ref

  • *****

Features

  • Spectacular waterfall and large pool underneath. What more could you ask for?

Hazards

  • Some apparently say the water is a bit “nippy” and the walk down does need to be taken with care. If I told you there were ropes it would make it sound difficult but it really wasn’t.

Date

  • 27th August 2017

River Suaron (Asturias, Spain)

Location

  • Approx 2km east of Vegadeo (“smelly town”) along the AS22 before you pass the village of Armeirin. Its actually signposted as a swimming spot.

Grid Ref

  • *****

Features

  • Parking, easy access to water, shallow and deep water (although a bit limited) AND an adjacent picnic area.

Hazards

  • I guess it might get busy, but it wasn’t when we visited.

Date

  • 26th and 27th August 2017

 


River Eo (Asturias, Spain)

Location

  • Follow the N-640 as it follows the River Eo to the south-west of Ribadeo. This spot is c 1km east of the main by the bridge between Las Vegas (no joke) and San Tirso de Abres (no joke).

Grid Ref

  • *****

Features

  • Its got everything. Parking, easy access to the water, which is deep and shallow, fast and gentle to suit all needs. It even has concrete diving boards.

Hazards

  • Diving boards (and the occasional local who just jumps off the bridge.

Date

  • 24th and 26th August 2017

 


River Eo (Asturias, Spain)

Location

  • Follow the N-640 as it follows the River Eo to the south-west of Ribadeo. This spot is located immediately adjacent to the road in what is called Rufugio Eesteira where there is a strange footbridge. The nearest village being Vilelas to the west.

Grid Ref

  • *****

Features

  • Good stretches of deep water and plenty of fish (I think this is an exclusion zone for fishing)

Hazards

  • Too many fish?!

Date

  • 23rd August 2017

 


River Eo (Asturias, Spain)

Location

  • Follow the N-640 as it follows the River Eo to the south-west of Ribadeo. This spot is located by the washed away bridge (see below) which can be accessed by turning east off the N-640 down a minor road. If you are navigating by Sat Nav it will probably show the bridge as still existing but don’t believe it (see below).

Grid Ref

  • *****

Features

  • Easy parking (the road is now a dead end) and easy/gentle access to the river. Only just sufficient water for a swim (at the time I didn’t realise that there were a lot better places upstream!)

Hazards

  • Remember that the bridge has been washed away so don’t drive into the river. There was a large dog associated with house on the east bank but it didn’t give me any bother.

Date

  • 23rd August 2017

 


Thirlmere (Lake District)

Location

  • Approx 7km south of Threlkeld. Its difficult to find access to the water on the east (A591) side of the lake but much better on the west where there is a minor road. However, one spot on the east is across from the Wythburn Chapel car park.

Grid Ref

  • NY323/138

Features

  • Easy access once you get down to the water and even some grassy areas.

Hazards

  • If you try to go in on the east side crossing the A591 is a genuine hazard.

Date

  • 23rd July 2017

 


Whelpside Gill (Lake District)

Location

  • Approx 1km north of Wythburn. You can park in the car park by the chapel and follow the forest track northwards.

Grid Ref

  • NY327/138

Features

  • OK. I have to be honest in that the photo above makes this look like a great spot, but it isn’t really. Like most of the streams coming off Hellvelyn there just aren’t decent sized natural pools you get elsewhere. This pool, which is right next to the forest track, was only 40cm deep but being hot after climbing Hellvelyn it was a much needed dip!

Hazards

  • Probably best to look upstream incase there are any boulders or trees about to come crashing down on top of you!

Date

  • 24th July 2017

 


Angle Tarn (Lake District)

Location

  • Approx 8m west of Chapel Stile to the west of Langdale Fell. You can walk in most of the way along the Cumbria Way footpath

Grid Ref

  • NY245/077

Features

  • A refreshing swim with the dramatic scenery of Esk Pike in the background.

Hazards

  • None really. Having said that walkers do just appear from “no-where”!

Date

  • 23rd July 2017

 

Blea Tarn (Lake District)

Location

  • Approx 4m west of Chapel Stile near Langdale Fell. There is a nearby car park, but you could always park at the Old Dungeon Gill pub and walk from there.

Grid Ref

  • NY234/044

Features

  • Excellent views and not that deep so usually warmer than other Tarns/Lakes

Hazards

  • None really. Pick your route in as in some places its doesn’t get deep for some distance.

Date

  • 22nd July 2017

 


Achateny Water (Ardnamurchan)

Location

  • Park near the sign to the “beach” near Achateny, walk north along the west bank of the river and pick a spot. There are a few shallow pools below shallow waterfall and a couple of deeper pools near the sea (tide permitting)

Grid Ref

  • NM519/704

Features

  • You can swim in freshwater within sight of the sea which is pretty special. Plenty of grass for sunbathing/picnics (sheep poo and midges permitting)

Hazards

  • None really. Except for sheep poo and midges!

Date

  • 3rd July 2017 (ish)

 


Lochan Druim na Claise (Ardnamurchan)

Location

  • “The most westerly lock on the British mainland (PROBABLY)”. Park near the lighthouse at the Point of Ardnamurchan, walk south, find loch, swim and return.

Grid Ref

  • NM425/643

Features

  • “The most westerly lock on the British mainland (PROBABLY)”. What more do you need

Of course, a “hunky” man.

 

Hazards

  • “The most westerly lock on the British mainland (PROBABLY)”. So don’t expect it to be sunny all the time!

Date

  • 1st July 2017 (ish)

 


Stank Water (off Ben Ledi, near Callander)

Location

  • This is just off the less popular route up/down Ben Ledi. Park in the main (but small) car park off the A84 c. 4km west of Callander and either have a dip on way up or down. This pool is c. 200m up from the small hydro plant

Grid Ref

  • NN569/109

Features

  • If you are hot and sweaty after climbing Ben Ledi this is the perfect spot to recover. Not a big area for a swim but sufficient.

Hazards

  • Be warned I am told that occasionally a skinny dipper has apparently been seen in this pool on his way back down form one of his regular runs up Ben Ledi

Date

  • 17th April 2017

 


Quoich Water (near Braemar)

Location

  • Park at the Linn of Quoich 3km west of Braemar (although that’s as crow flies) and follow the path up Glen Quoich. There are loads of pools for swimming but the best one will depend on time of year and rain/snow fall. This one was near one of the washed away bridges just north of the main area of trees.

Grid Ref

  • NO083/932

Features

  • Fantastic clear water with easy access and sufficient depth (in April) for a swim. Great setting too.

Hazards

  • Nothing unusual to report.

Date

  • 14th April 2017

 


River Dee (near Braemar)

Location

  • There are a few good swim spots between Braemar and Invercauld Bridge but the best access is from the track on the north side of the river which means walk ins from either the car park at the Linn of Quoich or from Invercauld Estate.

Grid Ref

  • NO148/924

Features

  • Easy access to the water and on a rare patch of gravel. The water is deep enough for a proper swim which isn’t the case elsewhere on this stretch of river. You also get a great view of Braemar Castle

Hazards

  • I suppose I should mention the sewage works and cemetery in the vicinity but to south of the river.

Date

  • 11th April 2017

 


Falls of Garbh Allt (near Braemar)

Location

  • Park in the car park on Invercauld Estate, near the bridge of same name, c. 5km east of Braemar on the A93. Take one of the woodland paths on the south side of the River Dee.

Grid Ref

  • NO 198/895

Features

  • Several pools below waterfalls. Best one seemed to be that by the foot bridge (which doubles as a viewing/photography area)

Hazards

  • Best not to skinny dip at the path is popular (erh, well it wasn’t at Easter but might be in the summer)

Date

  • 10th April 2017