I am not sure how many of my blog readers share my passion for wild swimming but as the sun streams through my office window and the mercury rises I have decided that these fabulously remote wild swimming locations really are for everyone even if it’s simply a place for a picnic and a quick dip. A great attraction of wild swimming locations is that they are off the beaten track and so can also double up as fantastic overnight spots for GlamperRV adventures.
Whilst generally I believe that swimming is a pretty boring sport, confined to the chlorinated indoor pools of leisure centres, when enjoyed amidst the beauty of the English countryside on a long, sun soaked summer evening, there really is nothing better. If you have the urge to explore further I would recommend Daniel Start’s book ‘Wild Swimming’.
I have decided to focus on two regions for wild swimming trips in this blog – the South West and Wales both of which offer a great array of outdoor locations.
From our base travelling down the M4 come off at junction 17 and head south to Lacock Abbey on the River Avon. Lacock village is picture perfect, the setting for many a film and the river and its beach are hidden from view, reached by parking in the National Trust car park (SN15 2LG) and then finding the footpath down to the bridges. If you want to stay over in this area then we would recommend the small Wick Farm campsite which also has equestrian and fishing on site so plenty to enjoy!
Heading further south west, it’s time for a spot of sea swimming at Woody Bay, off Devon’s North Exmoor coast. There is a layby car park on the lower arm of the Lynton to Martinhoe lane and from there it is a lovely 20 minute amble down to the bay. The Hunters Inn, just down the road has been known to allow motorhomes to park overnight and could be a good bet as it’s right on the South Coast path.
A final swimming spot in Devon, the south side this time, is Staverton Weir on the River Dart, a great spot for beginners with little beaches and a tree jump downstream. Park at the steam train station from where you can walk down to the river and when you’re done with swimming the steam train looks like a fun way to spend some time! There is a nice little farm shop just down the road which is a member of Brit Stops so ideal for another overnight spot.
If you enjoy our Trip of the Month blog, you will know that Wales features rather regularly and to be honest there’s no better place within a manageable drive from our base for those who enjoy the great outdoors. For wild swimming there are too many locations for this one post but here are a few to whet the appetite.
Starting in the North, Anglesey has a few gems and we recommend starting at Port Trecastell/Cable Bay where the narrow sandy bay has stunning views over the Snowdonia mountain range. Park up at the Cable Bay car park, LL63 5TE and venture down to Port Trecastell for some great sea swimming and surfing.
No trip to Wales would be complete without a stop in Snowdonia and Llyn Gwynant, which is easily reached from the main road enjoys lovely coves along much of its eastern shore, is a great stopping point. Swim to Elephant Rock for ledges and jumps at a range of heights. You can park up overnight on the main beach at Nant gwynant campsite.
It’s no surprise that south Pembrokeshire and the Gower Penninsula feature here, with some of the best beaches in the country, this is perfect wild swimming landscape. How about overnighting at Pencarnan Farm, Porthselau which has its own cove with white sand, rock pools and sunset views over the Atlantic. Great also for sea kayaking.
If you are heading back to base and fancy a final dip then stop off in the foothills of the Brecon Beacons at Llanwenarth near Abergavenny (NP7 7EL). The River Usk flows down through the hills of the Brecon Beacons and is wonderfully pure and fresh.
I hope that this blog has inspired many of you to try some great summer spots that are perhaps off the main tourist route. Please do share any suggestions you have – we are always looking for new ideas.
Dates for your diary:
- Bookings for summer 2019 open on 10th September 2018 when all dates will be live on our website except for . . .
- Glastonbury 2019 – bookings can be made upon request so if you are interested in hiring a GlamperRV for the festival week please send us an email – availability is already limited.