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The best wild swimming spots for quick dips, short stays or a week-long holiday

Simon Calder’s Travel

Wild swimming is becoming increasingly popular in the UK, as our summers have brought with them higher-than-usual temperatures and even the odd record-breaking heatwave.

While the keenest – and bravest – wild swimmers will have kept up with their favourite hobby through the frigid winter months, for most of us it’s the imminent arrival of spring that leads us to dust off the old swimming kit and start plotting a return to the wild.

While popular seaside sports such as Bournemouth and Brighton become overcrowded and expensive, wild swimming spots offer a chance to avoid the crowds while taking in what are often idyllic surroundings.

Even better, you can combine a dip with an overnight stay at some of the most tranquil spots across the UK, from the Cornish coast to Scottish lochs.

To help you in your search for the perfect scenic swim this summer, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best wild swimming stays in the UK.

From glamping at a private lake to a cottage stay by a relaxing river, here are 10 of the best picks – just make sure to pack your swimwear.

Pheasant Hut, Norfolk

Take a dip in an eight-acre lake in Norfolk

(Pheasant Hut )

Cannonball straight into the cool waters of the eight-acre lake that sits at the heart of Wild With Nature, an organic farm with six shepherd’s huts to hole up in. Our favourite is the Pheasant, a snug bolthole for two with views of the lake and its tempting wooden pontoon. Need to warm up after a swim? Book the farm’s “roving hot tub” for £30 per night.

From £145 per night, sleeps two

Troytown Farm, St Agnes, Isles of Scilly

Camp on the car-free island of St Agnes

(Sian Lewis )

If you’re picturing waking up, unzipping your tent and jumping straight into the ocean, set up camp on Troytown Farm, where a grassy camping meadow runs right down to the Atlantic. Life goes at a slow pace on the car-free island of St Agnes, one of the Isles of Scilly found off the Cornish coast – campers spend their days sea swimming or renting SUPs and kayaks from St Agnes Watersports next door. You can also swim across to the island of Gugh, joined to St Agnes by a sand bar at low tide.

£12.50 per person per night, children £6.75

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