Swimming is one of the best things in life. Not only is it good exercise, it’s also a kind of moving meditation, regulating your breathing and calming you as you go.
Plus it drags you away from any screens and means you can’t even have your ear-plugs in, so in this crazy connected world it’s fast becoming one of the only true ways to physically and mentally disconnect.
And to make it even better, get outside in the fresh air, it’s free! Here are some wonderful places to can get wet outdoors.
1. Kenwood Ladies Pond, Highgate
For our money, the top spot in London. Popular in the summer and on hot weekends, the women-only pond has just enjoyed a renovation with new changing huts and showers, as well as clean water and the adorable ducks waddling past.
Hardcore fans swim year-round and it has a fantastic history, but mostly we love it for transporting us out of busy London and into a more innocent country world.
2. Shepperton Open Water Lake
Swim with the Swans on this huge lake just next to part of the river Thames in Surrey. This is a brilliant beginner’s lake as there are great staff on hand and a shop renting or selling anything you could possible want from wetsuits to coloured hats (to make sure you don’t get lost in the water).
Find out more at Shepperton Open Water Swim.
3. Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland
One thing we love about outdoor swimming is that you’re set to get wet anyway, so it doesn’t matter if it rains a little bit. And in the Isle of Skye that’s a definite possibility.
The magical Fairy Pools are beautifully clear and refreshingly chilly swim spots on the river Brittle. You can explore them as part of a walk, or drive up and park nearby.
Find out more at IsleOfSkye.com.
4. Farleigh & District Swimming Club, Somerset
The club based on a 150m swimmable part of the river Frome is thought to be the oldest wild swimming club in the country, founded in 1932.
It’s a popular spot for all levels, with no need for wetsuits on warmer days.
Find out more on the club’s Facebook page.
5. Tinside Lido, Plymouth
If you’re not ready to hit the wild waterways of the UK, there are plenty of Lidos where you can get your outdoor fix.
One of the best in the country is a saltwater lido built on Plymouth Hoe in 1935 and restored in a £3.3 million project in 2003 - bringing it back to its original art deco glory. It’s filled with naturally filtered sea water (but isn’t heated!).
Find out more at EveryoneActive.com.
6. Kailpot Crag, Ullswater, Lake District
You can’t wander around the wonderful waters of the Lake District without being tempted to take a dip - but many of the lakes aren’t safe for swimming so you need to be prepared.
The best place to splash about on a sunny day is in Ullswater lake. About a mile from Sandwick, there are a series of beautiful bays where you can jump off the craig into crystal clear waters. Follow the footpath to Howton and expect to get the place to yourself.
7. The Blue Lagoon at Abereiddy, Wales
If you fancy a seawater swim protected from the currents, head to Pembrokeshire where you dive into a lagoon created by a former slate quarry.
Red Bull has held Cliff Diving championships here twice… if you’re feeling extra brave.
8. Lugg Meadows, Hereford
This beautiful spot is where the river takes some gentle meanders, making it an ideal spot for a paddle. There are some deeper pools too and gravel beaches to change on. For more serious swimmers, there’s also a long stretch where you can settle into a 2km swim.
What are you waiting for? Get your cozzie on!