Top Locations for Wild Swimming in Wales

Top Locations for Wild Swimming in Wales

From the rocks of the mountains to the sands of the coast, Wales is a country full of stunning natural bodies of water just waiting for you to dip your toes in. Wild swimming is a challenge that comes with great benefits for both your physical and mental health. However, open water can be dangerous and it’s important to do what you can to reduce these risks so you can just focus on enjoying your swim safely.

The main thing that will reduce the risks when wild swimming is being visible in the water to boats, lifeguards, other swimmers, and rescue teams. Therefore, we recommend wearing a bright swim cap and using a brightly coloured tow float or dry bag to make you stand out in the water. If you want to protect yourself even more, you can use equipment like earbuds, a nose clip, and goggles. This will help to prevent any bacteria in the water from entering your body and causing infections or illness.

Llanddwyn Island

  • Location: Anglesey
  • Supervised?: No

The tidal island of Llanddwyn, on the southern coast of the Isle of Anglesey is the perfect place to discover multiple sea swimming spots. On the west coast of Llanddwyn Island there is a range of tidal pools and rock coves to explore. If you’d rather swim off a sandy beach, head to the east coast of the island to find a collection of sandy coves.

Llanddwyn Island isn’t accessible by car so the only way to access the island is on foot, either along the sandy beach of Traeth Llanddwyn or through Newborough Warren. Take the scenic walk to the island for a day of swimming, picnicking, and exploring where Saint Dwynwen is believed to have lived on the island.

Llyn Y Fan Fach

  • Location: Brecon Beacons
  • Supervised?: No

Home to wildlife, legends, and the occasional wild swimmer, Llyn Y Fan Fach is an 18 metre deep lake found along the Beacons Way footpath, in the shadow of the Black Mountain. After the short steep hike, you’ll find yourself at the shingle beach on the edge of the glacial lake. This lake is said to be home to the ‘Lady of the Lake’ who disappeared into the water during the 13th century. However, don’t let that put you off swimming here. Instead, focus on the breathtaking scenery and the range of wild birds including red kites, kestrels, and buzzards.

Mwnt Beach

  • Location: Cardigan Bay
  • Supervised?: No

Another swim spot for wildlife lovers is Mwnt Beach. Sightings of dolphins, porpoises, seals, and basking sharks are regularly reported from this beach, hopefully you’ll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse while on your swim. Owned by the National Trust, this sandy beach is ideal for spending a summer's afternoon sea swimming and snorkelling. The cliffs surrounding the beach make it slightly more difficult to reach this swimming spot but there are some steep steps that can be used to access the beach. 

Llyn Padarn

  • Location: Snowdonia National Park
  • Supervised?: No

Fancy going for an outdoor swim with stunning views of Snowdon? Llyn Padarn is around 2 miles long and reaches depths of 94ft, making it one of the largest lakes in Wales. The water here is monitored throughout the summer to ensure that it’s safe for wild swimming and there is a pontoon on the Llanberis side of the lake which makes it easy to access the water. This glacial lake is also a site of special scientific interest due to its geology, flowers, and rare Arctic Charr fish.

Llys Y Fran

  • Location: Pembrokeshire
  • Supervised?: Yes

Llys y Fran is a place for adventures both in the water and on land. With a range of sports available including cycling, archery, canoeing, sailing, wild swimming and much more, you’ll never get bored. The 200 acres of water provides an ideal location for the weekly outdoor swimming sessions (swimming is not permitted outside of these sessions). These sessions are supervised by a lifeguard and the venue offers the hire of their safety equipment including buoyancy aids and wetsuits. However, you can bring your own if you’d prefer. You will also need to bring water shoes with covered toes (these could be old trainers).

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