HEALTH: Calling all nature lovers, the best sites for wild swimming in the UK revealed…

Fancy dipping your toe into the world of wild swimming this summer? Then, the UK’s leading outdoor accommodation provider, has you covered with their best sites to help you dive into this invigorating activity.

Wild swimming has become popular as a way of reconnecting with nature and providing a refreshing escape from the confines of indoor pools.

From rivers, to spring-fed lakes there are a wealth of sites at lucky enough to have wild swimming on their doorstep.

Wild Swim 2 Sauna – Kingsbridge, Devon

This eight-acre waterside site is by the river Avon in the South Devon Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. A 15-minute drive from Kingsbridge, Salcombe is 25 minutes away. With direct river access, hot tubs and a sauna available to hire, there are river views at all pitches. Set in the rural grounds of a 140-acre estate where you’ll catch glimpses of a 12th-century farmhouse, this quiet south Devon site keeps its other facilities on the low-key end of the spectrum with its simple, well-maintained toilet block. Other adventures in the local area are very easy to come by, especially if you book one of the site-organised mackerel fishing trips, sea swims or coastal cruises that take place in and around Salcombe. Barbecues are provided on-site, with supplies available close by in Modbury or Kingsbridge (both 15 minutes).

Price:  A non-electric tent pitch starts from £32.50 per night, with a two-night minimum stay.  

Hastingford Fishery – Hadlow Down, East Sussex

Fishing and wild swimming are in abundance at this scenic and peaceful adults-only site in the High Weald is a 20-minute drive from Tunbridge Wells and 30 minutes from Lewes.

Paths wind around the lakes and through the countryside and there are spectacular views towards the South Downs National Park from the top lake. A spring-fed lake is on-site too to cool off in with some wild swimming. There are several fishing lakes to choose from, but the site asks anyone fishing to only use barbless hooks, and for fish to be returned to the lake quickly after being caught. The comfortable shepherd’s hut has a wood burning stove and wi-fi, microwave, full kitchen, shower room and toilet. 

A welcome pack of juice, water, tea, coffee, sugar, rolls, croissants and butter is helpfully provided.

Price: From £80 per night for two adults with either a two or three-night minimum stay. 

Wild Canvas Camping – Turvey, Bedfordshire 

This pop-up site on the banks of the River Great Ouse boasts a gentle festival atmosphere with café, workshops and wild swimming. Barbecues and campfires in raised fire pits only are permitted if you’d like to have a go at alfresco cooking, with a farm shop also handily set up here to provide the supplies for such things. If cooking doesn’t feature in your plans, head to the site’s pop-up café, the Riverfront Kitchen, for your meals – it’s open for breakfast and dinner every day (with the exception of Monday evenings). There’s also a cool bar at the Wild HQ, where you can sip local ales and ciders while a rotating roster of DJs sort the tunes (it all winds down by 11pm, so there are no worries about being kept up by late-night frolics). Take your pick from the menu of free and paid activities including outdoor yoga, morning tai chi sessions, craft workshops and talks. Drinking water, compost toilets and hot showers are all available on-site, and gadgets can be charged in the bar. Campers can pitch their own tents, or opt for a pre-erected furnished tipi for four people. Open from August 4 to August 30.

Price: Non-electric grass and earth tent pitches start from £40 per night for two adults, with a minimum two-night stay.

Andrew’s Field – Pershore, Worcestershire 

Located on the banks of the River Avon, this  family-run site is a mile from Eckington village centre and 15 minutes’ drive from Pershore. It boasts direct river access for launching canoes or kayaks, or for swimming and folk staying the night are also welcome to cast their line in the clear waters of the Avon free of charge. Andrew’s Field has basic facilities like a water tap and an Elsan point, so this site’s best suited for self-sufficient types who are happy to bring their own toilet. You’re allowed to light campfires where appropriate and main pitch area is south-facing, so it’s pleasantly warm when the sun is out, with a breeze blowing off the river to keep you cool in the hot summer months.

Kingfishers, cuckoos and woodpeckers are all regularly spotted and Eckington village centre is about 20 minutes away on foot, as are its two rather tempting pubs.

Price: Non-electric grass pitches for tents, campervans, touring caravans or motorhomes start at £11 per night for up to six people.  

Pool Bridge Farm – York, North Yorkshire

At this peaceful campsite just a 15-minute drive from the centre of York, there is the enticing option of a freshwater swim, as the farm has three lakes within its grounds, all of which are suitable for wild swimming.  The farm itself is run as a mini nature reserve dedicated to preserving local wildlife, and guests have the chance to spot barn owls hunting and kestrels feeding – and if you’re very quiet, deer, foxes, and badgers might just show their faces. Thanks to the lack of light pollution, the site is in a dark-skies area. You can be pottering around Rievaulx Abbey or living it up among the bright lights of York, but on a sunny evening, try to get back to base at nightfall to indulge in a spot of stargazing while huddled up around your fire pit.

Price: Meadow non-electric grass tent, trailer tent or campervan pitches start from £25 per night for two adults. Book:

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Author: Minerva Studio