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The United Kingdom is surrounded by cold, unforgiving seas, but this does nothing to put off a nation of water lovers. People have famously taken on the challenge of swimming the channel between Dover and Calais since Navy Captain, Matthew Webb completed

Orca

December 18, 2020

Best Places To Swim in the United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is surrounded by cold, unforgiving seas, but this does nothing to put off a nation of water lovers. People have famously taken on the challenge of swimming the channel between Dover and Calais since Navy Captain, Matthew Webb completed the crossing in 1875.

There may be some enjoyment to be garnered from such a challenge, although likely type two enjoyment at best, but that stretch of water doesn’t necessarily have much else going for it. Here, we delve into the most awe inspiring locations to swim in the UK, based on flora and fauna, setting and the magic of wild swimming in cold water for type one fun.

LOCH LOMOND

The beautiful Loch Lomond boasts the title of largest lake in the whole of Britain, with the added bonus of being surrounded by snowy mountain peaks. The freshwater lake is part of Scotland’s ‘Trossachs’ national park, which describes an area of sparkling lochs, crumpled hills, sleepy forests between Loch Lomond and Stirling and is often referred to as ‘The Highlands in Miniature’.

The water temperature of this lake can drop to 6 degrees so it is a great place to embrace the numerous health benefits of cold water swimming, as cold water swimming can boost your immune system or improve circulation.

Open water swimmers should head for Milarrochy Bay on the Eastern shore of the loch where they hold annual races from 1km to 3km.

DURDLE DOOR

The famous limestone arch of Durdle Door is one of Dorset’s most photographed locations, giving beach goers a window out into the ocean.

The whole of the Jurassic Coast is enchanting but this is possibly the most iconic spot along it. Stood on the shingle beach, among ammonites and millions of fragments of the earth’s history, a sense of wonder is palpable. This is the perfect setting for a swim through time. The water gets deep quickly here, so confidence in your ability is important, with no lifeguard cover.

Once in water you’ll be swimming through seagrass meadows, kelp forests, rocky reefs, coral gardens and ledges bustling with marine life. A truly epic place to be 

DERWENTWATER 

The lake of Derwentwater, fed by the River Derwent catchment area in the high fells of Borrowdale is known as “Keswick’s Lake”.

It has long inspired writers and for good reason. The setting is incredible, surrounded by snow capped mountains and rolling hills. The water can vary from glassy calm to crashing waves that break over Friar’s Crag in a southerly gale.

The lake is three miles long, a mile wide and seventy two feet deep, with plenty of swimming room.

LOCH DUICH

Loch Duich, on the West Coast of Scotland is a sea loch flanked by the snow capped peaks of the highlands.

This lake is connected to the nearby Atlantic Ocean and in its peaceful waters stands the Eilean Donan Castle, a beautiful construction from the 13th century, and that it will be possible to visit after swimming in the waters of this beautiful Scottish lake.

KYNANCE COVE  

The Lizard peninsula in Cornwall boasts the UK’s most South Westerly point and along the rugged spit of coast, a wealth of unique flora and fauna make their home.

Kynance Cove is possibly the most spectacular setting along the Lizard and could be mistaken for the Caribbean when the sun is shining. Crystal clear water rushes over rounded red pebbles of serpentine, found nowhere else on the planet.

Swimming here, you can explore the rock stacks and caves with names such as The Parlour and The Drawing Room. It truly is a magical place and a highlight of the Cornish coastline.