In summer, you just can’t beat the freedom of swimming outdoors.
Looking up at the sky while you swim - without the restriction of barriers or pool lanes - will make you wonder why you ever bothered with stuffy indoor swimming pools.
From swimming in the icy Scottish waters of Loch Lomond to urban events in the Thames, there are loads of open water swimming events around the UK to help you gain confidence.
So, grab your goggles, favourite swimsuit, wetsuit and sense of adventure - and head to one of these gorgeous swimming spots around the UK this summer...
Hampstead Heath Ponds, London
Hampstead Heath is home to three freshwater swimming ponds – one for men, one for women and one mixed sex pond.
These leafy ponds are beautiful and don’t be surprised if you find yourself swimming with the local wildlife.
If you’re feeling brave, you can swim all year round!
Wetsuits are optional, but we’d recommend using at the start of the summer season.
Serpentine Lido, London
For swimming in central London, the Serpentine Lido is the place to go.
There’s a dedicated swimming area, but as with Hampstead Ponds you may find yourself swimming with the local swans and ducks.
Changing and shower facilities are available and the club is also home to the oldest swimming club in Britain.
Lake Grasmere, Cumbria
The Lake District has some of the most beautiful freshwater lakes in the UK and there’s a great selection to choose from.
Just remember to keep your wits about you as some of lakes have boat traffic.
Lake Grasmere in Cumbria is stunning and the freshwater flows directly down from the fells.
Even better, the local village is quaint and has some nice cafes and pubs for a post swim treat!
Lake Windermere, The Lake District
Another option is the majestic Lake Windermere, which is the largest natural lake in England.
The Great North swim takes place here in June and it’s easy to see why, as the views and local scenery is incredible.
There’s also the Big Chill Festival taking place at the end of the month.
Wetsuits can be worn.
Loch Lomond, Scotland
Loch Lomond is in the stunning Trossachs National Park and is the largest freshwater lake in Britain.
Just a 30-minute drive from Glasgow airport, it’s perfect for a weekend break and there’s a good range of campsites nearby or you could even try a spot of wild camping.
Blue-green algae can be an issue in warmer months so check local environmental information before swimming.
Being Scotland the water is pretty nippy all year round, so you might want to pack a hipflask of whiskey to warm up post swim!
Brighton Pier, Brighton
We rarely need an excuse to escape London for a day at the seaside and Brighton makes the perfect day-trip.
Swim out and enjoy views of the famous Pier, before heading in land to explore the funky shops in the Lanes and tasty veggie and vegan cafes.
There are also some cool camping spots nearby, so why not head off for a weekend on a Friday evening and escape to the shore!
Sharrah Pool, Devon
There are so many amazing swimming spots in Devon that you’ll find yourself spoilt for choice!
The River Dart offers miles and miles of pretty rivers and estuaries to explore
For wild river swimming, the rugged and beautiful Dartmoor national park is the place to go. Sharrah Pool in the River Dart is one of our favourites.
Enjoy icy cool and clear crystal water, surrounded by fun boulders to leap off. To get to the pool, take a short hike through the peaceful woodland and then cool off by diving straight in!
For gorgeous beaches on the other hand, try north Devon with Croyde or Woolacombe bay, popular for swimming and surfing.
Brecon Beacons, Wales
Last and but definitely not least, head to Wales for waterfalls and plunge pools.
The Brecon Beacons is one massive adventure playground! Head to Ystradfellte Waterfall to find lots of pools to cool off.
The Welsh coastline is also pretty special, the Gower is near Swansea, one of the best sea swimming spots in the UK.