NEW Wild Swim Locations

What’s This Page About Digger?

The idea of this page is that I would add the most recent NEW “swim spots” here first, and then eventually update the Gazetteers.

 

Wild Swimming Season 2021

Erh. Some mistake surely. Lakes and Rivers never actually closed.


Lochan an Eireannaich (Stirlingshire)

Location

  • Approx 7km west of Lochearnhead. Take the minor road off the A84 and park at the Balquhidder village hall (near the church with the famous grave). Follow the track which turns into a path up Glen Kirton (this is all uphill so the Lochan is a useful place to “freshen up”

Grid Ref

  • NN515/243

Features

  • Lovely spot for a swim after a uphill walk
  • Fantastic setting

Hazards

  • Some idiots have thrown at least one glass bottle into the Lochan at the NE end (Ruth picked up what we could see but, as ever, be aware)

Date of Last Swim

  • July 2021

Loch Larig Eala (Stirlingshire)

Location

  • Between Killin and Lochearnhead on the west side of the A85. There is parking but some of the obvious places are used by timber lorries so take that into account. We swam at the north end

Grid Ref

  • NN558/281

Features

  • Adjacent to the main road (but not as busy with people as many of the other nearby Lochs
  • Lovely setting
  • Shallow and deep water
  • What more could you want from a Loch?!

Hazards

  • Erh. Other than “the usual ones” you should always be aware of, none

Date of Last Swim

  • July 2021

Loch Staoineig (Isle of Iona)

Location

  • In the southern part of the island to the south of the golf course.

Grid Ref

  • NM1266/7226

Features

  • The only Loch (an) on the Island
  • Shallow and deep water (even in a summer heatwave)

Hazards

  • Erh. Other than “the usual ones” you should always be aware of, none

Date of Last Swim

  • July 2021

Loch Poit na h-l (Isle of Mull)

Location

  • At the west end of the Ross of Mull, c. 1km to east of Fionnphort. Loch is next to the A849 and there is plenty of parking. We took the (slightly overgrown) path from the road to the west side of the Loch to the point near the old jetty which is as good a spot as any to swim.

Grid Ref

  • NM3128/2284

Features

  • Relatively easy access
  • Deep enough for good swimming but surprisingly shallow for its size
  • A lovely spot to “freshen up” if you have been swimming in sea water all day

Hazards

  • Erh. Other than “the usual ones” you should always be aware of, none

Date of Last Swim

  • July 2021

Loch Assapol (Isle of Mull)

Location

  • On the Ross of Mull c. 1km SE of Bunessan (which is notable for is sea setting and two Spar shops!). The Loch is difficult to access (fences and vegetation, but you get it at the NW end where some boats are stored (take the minor road toward the Loch but turn onto the even more minor road/track by Carn Liath

Grid Ref

  • NM3978/2099

Features

  • Easy access at the point described above

Hazards

  • Takes a while to get to the deep water

Date of Last Swim

  • July 2021

Leidle River (Isle of Mull)

Location

  • Just east of the Ross of Mull and c. 0.5km south of the village of Pennyghael. Follow the minor road to the south of the village, park up and walk down the valley side to find the pools and waterfalls (subject to time of year etc)

Grid Ref

  • NM5224/2589

Features

  • Small waterfalls
  • Small pools but big enough for a quick swim even in the summer months

Hazards

  • Ticks and claggs in the heather on the walk down to the water (no midges when we went)

Date of Last Swim

  • July 2021

River Cam (Grantchester Meadows, near Cambridge)

2021 UPDATE: there is an attempt to ban river swimming, picnics and anyone having fun at Grantchester Meadows. Sign the petition.

Location

  • The meadows are to the east of Grantchester and there is a footpath that meets the river as various points.

Note. the person (Chris) who may look as if he is drowning is actually doing backstroke (Chris pers comm)!!

Grid Ref

  • TL438/265

Features

  • Easy access.
  • You can swim into Cambridge

Hazards

  • Boats. Boats. Boats. And in places its difficult to get out so allow plenty of time to find an exit.

Date of Last Swim

  • July 2021

 

River Itchen (M3 bridge, near Winchester)

If you look one way this might not look like an appealing swim spot

Location

  • On the south side of Winchester near M3 junction 11. Take the footpath on the east side of the River and walk south. This swim spot is immediately by the M3 bridge which goes over the River Itchen.

But if you look the other way its a “top spot”

Grid Ref

  • SU478/265

Features

  • Easy access as there is a gap in the railings and a ramp into the water.
  • Good viewing of trucks on the motorway.
  • Excellent adjacent towel drying rack.
  • The “local youths” walk along the girders under the M3 bridge and drop into the river from there (I’m was too scared to try that and don’t recommend it!)

When the M3 was built over the river a drying rack for towels was added…..

Hazards

  • Reasonably fast flowing so if you are not a strong swimming stick to the shallows or sides of the river.

Date of Last Swim

  • June 2021

 


River Itchen (near Compton, Winchester)

Some of the Swim the Door gang, plus Ursula, having a motivational team-talk (not!)

Location

  • On the same footpath as the spot above. You can walk from Winchester or from Compton or even Twyford.

Grid Ref

  • SU477/265

 

Features

  • What more do I need to say. It has a water chute…………

The Swim the Door gang trying to go down the chute in a line….

 

Selfie heaven- being washed down with the current with Jono, Emily, Sandra, Zoe in the line

 

More selfie- heaven. Now even Mark is in the photo at the back (and I’m nearly drowned trying to tread water and do a selfie…

 

Hazards

  • Based on the fact that this sign suggests these steps are for dogs I suggest you watch out for a pack of swimming animals..

“STEPS FOR DOG ACCESS ONLY” Probably the weirdest sign in the (river swimming) world.

 

Date of Last Swim

  • June 2021

Created by the UK Government and JT

 


Wild Swimming Season 2020

For obvious reasons, 2020 wasn’t very good for travelling and finding new swim spots………………

 

Wild swimming season 2020 did not go to plan

 

So plenty of swims were had, but not in “new spots” and always adhering to social distancing rules (here 300m from the nearest person (well possibly)

 

And here, obeying the “2m plus water lilies” social distancing rules.

 

No comment.

 


Once upon a time in pre-Covid days (2019)

 

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)



Once upon a time in pre-Covid days (2018)

(Photo by Ruth. Modelling by Digger 007 and birds x 2)

 

All previous years “New Swim Spots” have now been added to the main pages by country/region/river/area