Another Filofacts on Swimming …

to add to Filofacts on Wild Swimming

from 50 Top Places To Swim Outdoors

Adrian Tierney-Jones, Telegraph, 9.8.08

full at

includes some coastal beaches and open-air pools

for a full guide to open-air pools see

for more Filofacts, see



The Cam  at Grantchester Meadows  (TL 445571)

Pass the last house on Grantchester Road and follow the path down to the river.


 Delamere Forest  (SJ 553722)

Access is via a sandy beach opposite the Carriers Inn.

Nantwich Outdoor Brine Pool

Wall Lane, Nantwich

Opened in 1934, this is the last surviving inland brine pool in the country.


Lusty Glaze Beach , Newquay  (SW 822625)

Privately owned but open to the public at the time of writing.

Sea Pool , Summerleaze Beach, Bude

Kate Rew cites this as “an enticing mixture of wild tidal pool swim and lido”.

Jubilee Pool , Penzance

Largest open-air seawater pool of its kind still open in the UK.

St Nectan’s Kieve, nr Tintagel  (SX 081885)

Hidden gorge where a double waterfall has scooped out a fair-sized plunge pool. Entrance  fee.



Crummock Water , Buttermere  (NY 175175)

Near Scale Force, the highest waterfall in the Lakes.

Wastwater  (NY 176069)

Swim in the shadow of Scafell Pike.


Burgh Island, Bigbury on Sea  (SX 650441)

Wild Swim author Kate Rew recommends an anti-clockwise perambulation at the slack point of high tide. Cross to the island by “sea tractor” and enter the sea in front of the Pilchard Inn.

The Plym  at Cadover Bridge, nr Shaugh Prior (SX 554646)

Dozens of pools and waterfalls upstream from here.

The Erme at Ivybridge  (SX 637571)

Park under the railway viaduct  and walk 40-50 metres upstream to find a lovers’ pool, all dark and shaded. Continue up to the higher weir pool and then on to the delightful dappled Trainman’s Pool.

Tinside Lido
Hoe Road, Plymouth

On the foreshore of the Hoe.

Topsham Swimming Pool
Fore Street, Topsham

Small freshwater pool,  heated.

River Taw at Belstone, Dartmoor (SX 621930)

Park by an open grassy area in the village and follow the road and then a track towards Belstone Tor, walking alongside the Taw as it slips down from the moor. The swimming hole is the first deep place you come to.


Burton Bradstock  (SY 482890)

Two miles from Bridport.


Walpole Bay Pool
Cliftonville, Margate  (ND 376494)

Art deco lift transports swimmers from the town down to its beach location. Margate also has a tidal swimming pool in Town Bay.


Hampstead Ponds (TQ 273862)

Kenwood Ladies’ Pond, the Men’s Bath Pool and the Mixed Pond.


New Brighton (SJ 306945)

Pollution controls and a spot of municipal TLC on the long sandy beaches make this once again a delightful place to swim. Harrison Drive Beach is the “in” spot.


Holkham Beach, nr Wells-next-the-Sea  (TF 919451)

Seasoned beach-users suggest surf shoes to avoid weaver fish stings. Keep an eye on the tides.


Linhope Spout, Breamish River, near Ingram (NT 959171)

For adventurous older children and adults.


Thames at Port Meadow, Oxford (SP 4908)

Wild swimming pioneer Rob Fryer recommends the Binsey side as the best place to swim from – but children might prefer the stretch es that passes through Wolvercote.

The Thames at Clifton Hampden  (SU 549955)

Park by the Barley Mow and join the river by the bridge as it drifts downstream to Dorchester and sandy bays shelve away to deeper water.


Hanmer Mere, Hanmer  (SJ 454390)

Follow the path through woodland on the eastern side of the lake to reach a sandy bay.


River Barle at Cow Castle, Simonsbath  (SS 793375)

The Barle rises on Exmoor and makes its way to the Exe near Dulverton. Along the way are hidden pools with crystal-clear water, none more so than this.


Mermaid’s Pool
Thorncliffe, near Leek  (SK 040613)

Peat-stained moorland pool close to the Mermaid Inn off the A53 north of Leek, also known as Blakesmere.


Walberswick Beach (TM 496743)

It’s popular, so plump for early-morning or evening swims .

Covehithe Beach  (TM 527818)

Between Southwold and Lowestoft .

Waveney River at Outney Common, Bungay  (TM 334908)

Waterlog author Roger Deakin described the Waveney as his favourite river. Dan Start suggests slipping into its watery embrace as it curves around Outney Common.


Frensham Great Pond (SU 846405)

Eight centuries after the Bishop of Winchester built this for his fish, the Great Pond is a favoured spot for families seeking a little gentle paddling and swimming.


 Pells Outdoor Swimming Pool
Brook Street, Lewes –

Built on the site of original pool opened in 1860, making it the oldest of its kind in the UK.


Gormire Lake
Sutton Bank, Thirsk (SE 504833)

Access is off the Cleveland Way via the Sutton Bank Nature Trail.

The Wharfe at Bolton Abbey, nr Skipton (SE 076543)

Sandy beach  ideal for safe paddling and picnicking. Upstream of the bridge lie deeper waters and the chance of a proper swim.

Ilkley Lido
Small but luxurious pool with slide and central  fountain.

Stainforth Force, near Settle  (SD 818671)

Three pools: Fosse, Long Eel and Robin Hood. Long Eel is best for longer swims.



Loch Ness
Drumnadrochit, Invernesshire  (NH 530288)

Wild Swimming author Daniel Start recommends entering the water from a small beach opposite Urquhart Castle, where there is good shallow access.

Loch Lomond
Nr Inversnaid, Stirlingshire (NN 332100)

Head for the northern part of the Loch where Rob Roy’s cave can be found. From here enter the water down a steep tree-lined rocky side.

Easdale Island, Oban  (SX 621 930)

Easdale is a tiny, car-free island 16 miles south of Oban that is reached by ferry. Once a busy slate quarrying area, one of the quarries is now a swimmers’ pool.

Talisker Bay
Nr Carbost, Isle of Skye (NG 313302)

Looks unpromising but persevere.

Plodda Falls
Nr Tomich, Invernesshire  (NH 277238)

A stiff half-hour forest walk, concluding with a challenging scramble, brings the adventurous to a reviving plunge pool at the bottom of Scotland’s highest waterfall. A stunning site for diving and swimming, though not for the faint-hearted.

Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool, Aberdeenshire

Olympian-sized  salt-water swimming pool.

Trinkle Outdoor Swimming Pool
Wick, Caithness  (ND 376494)

On the edge of Wick past the old coastguard station.


Llyn Idwal
Nant Ffrancon, Snowdonia (grid ref SH 6459)

Park by Llyn Ogwen and walk up for about a mile.

Snowdonia (SH 7065)

A difficult but rewarding hike from the Conwy Valley.

Llyn Cau
Cadair Idris, Snowdonia (SH 718124)

A challenging hike to get to it, in the shadow of the mountain.

Angel Bay
Penrhyn Bay, Llandudno, Gwynedd (SH 816827)

Porth Dyniewaid on the map – shingle beach with fairly steep shelving leading out to deep water. Good diving on the east side of the cove, but don’t swim beyond the headland (strong currents).

 The Usk  at Crickhowell Bridge, Powys (SO 215181)

Escape the crowds by making for the locally popular Galvey Pool, upstream alongside Bulpit Meadows. Alternative swims are suggested by Rob Fryer, head of the Farleigh and District River Swimming Club, who points to places from the town bridge downwards.

The Wye at Parc Waun Capel, Rhayader (SO 967683)

Downstream from the town bridge is a pebble beach, but avoid the pool immediately upstream from the bridge, where the current is strong. Slightly further upstream, behind the sheep market , is a cascade of water leading to a pool, with a shallow weir behind.

Caerfai Bay
St David’s, Pembrokeshire (SM 7624)

A steepish walk down the cliff from the car park brings you to a pleasant pebbly beach. Swim around to the quiet cove on the left and you’ll find a small stretch of pristine sand protected by cliffs.

Pwllau Maen Mawr , Glyntawe, Powys (SN 8525)

North of Glyntawe, turn left off the A4067 (by the Tafarn-y-Garreg pub) and after a couple of miles you’ll come to the Maen Mawr standing stones. Here you’ll find a long stretch of safe paddling pools in the Tawe.


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