It’s HOT out there this week so the Wild & Well team has been escaping to the water as much as possible to cool off! Back in Spring, we extolled the mental health benefits of swimming in natural water and if you’re a wee bit averse to diving in when it’s cold, the time is nigh to try it out! These are some (but not all!) of our favourite spots…
Warleigh Weir (50mins)
This used to be our very favourite spot near Bristol but it has gotten VERY busy in the past couple of years thanks to a gazillion Instagrammers! It is still a gorgeous spot for a dip but you need to get there early if you’re driving as parking is limited. Be careful walking along the weir as it’s very slippy!
Dundas Aquaduct (50mins)
“A brilliant place for an extended, relaxed swim due to the wide, deep and slow-moving river. Situated in a perfect picnic area however there are no shallows so you’ll need to just go for it. For the more advanced swimmer.” – Bristol 247
Ogmore Beach (1hr15mins)
This is the closest swimmable beach we’ve found near Bristol. Ogmore is one of the most popular beaches for visitors along the Glamorgan Heritage Coast due to its expansive golden sands and fertile rock pools. Swimming. surfing. canoeing. fishing. Jobs a good ‘un!
Farleigh Hungerford Swimming Club (50mins-1hr)
One of the country’s last river-swimming clubs occupies a pleasant, deep but narrow stretch of the Frome above a weir. Lawns and steps into water, about 1’2.5m deep with gravelly bed. Car parking in field very close by. Changing huts and portaloo.
Brecon Beacons Waterfalls
The Brecon Beacons has loads of beautiful spots for swimming, all reached after stunning walks. We particularly love Lady Falls (around 1.5hrs from Bristol) where a graceful column of water falls 10m into a deep, large plunge pool set in an amphitheatre in the woods. You can swim beneath the fall, climb up behind fall and then dive back in. Glorious!
Getting there: Pontneddfechan is set off the A465 from Swansea. From the Angel Inn (SA11 5NR, 01639 722013) follow the river on a good path up through the woods, just over a mile, to arrive at a junction pool with footbridges (good jumping spots are found here). Cross the first bridge and bear left to the falls for 300 metres (25 minutes, 51.7714, -3.6011).
CAUTION: Fresh water swimming is always advised through a formal swimming club. Although it is hot outside, it can be deceptively cold in the water even for experienced swimmers. Strong currents and the danger of weirs can also affect the ability of even the strongest swimmers. For more advice, visit Avon Fire & Rescue.