8 Stunning Spots to go Wild Swimming in Scotland
One thing Scotland doesn’t lack is water! Scotland, including the islands, has over 11 000 miles of coastline, sandy bays, sea lochs and coves to explore. Inland you will find numerous rivers, lochs, natural pools and waterfalls where you can swim surrounded by the most stunning landscapes and in total peace and quiet. So there are no shortage of options for a spot of wild swimming. Scotland has it all – hundreds of places to swim outdoors in natural beauty.
Whether you’ve never tried wild swimming before and just fancy a go at it whilst you are on your campervan holiday, or whether you are already a practised open water swimmer and want to experience wild swimming in the stunning Scottish landscape, here are 8 of our top spots.
Wild Swimming in Scotland. Our Top Spots.
Bracklinn Falls, Callandar in Perthshire
This stretch of water is crystal clear and full of waterfalls and large rock pools that are perfect to spend a day dipping in and out of. In the summer they are incredibly popular, as the route to the river and pools is delightful.
Higher Glen Etive, Glencoe
Wild swimming in perfect river pools surrounded by the dramatic Glencoe is a special experience. There are many differed options of plunge pools along the river here and all quite near the road so perfect to park up and take an impromptu dip.
Plodda Falls, Tomich in Invernesshire
The Plodda Falls is Scotland’s second largest waterfall and at its base there is a huge plunge pool. It is freezing but perfect for a plunge!
Loch Morlich, Aviemore
Loch Morlich is a beautiful loch surrounded by forests and with the Cairngorm Mountains as its stunning backdrop. At the north end is a sandy beach over 1km long. You can rent wet suits and watersports equipment here, but will need to book.
Dog Falls and Coire Loch, Glen Affric
At the bottom of the falls there is a deep canyon and it is possible to swim to the foot of the falls. Above the falls along a beautiful stretch of river surrounded by Scots Pine woods where you can enjoy the many natural plunge pools.
Coire Loch is a lochain (small loch) that is a hidden jewel in the highlands, perfect for a remote wild swim.
Loch Beinn A Mheadhoin, Cannich Highlands
Some say that coming here is like having your own private beach at the side of a loch. If you’re lucky this could be you. Swimming surrounded by highland scenery. Perfect.
Swimming in Loch Ness from a secluded spot to access the shoreline is a must. One such place is across the fields opposite Urquhard Castle. Beware though, the shoreline is rocky and with many lochs there is a shelf close to the shore and then it gets deeper…and deeper…
Soldiers Leap, Killiecrankie
It was here that Donald McBean, a soldier in the defeated government army escaped his Jacobite pursuers by leaping over this 18ft chasm. Hence the name Soliders Leap. It is a very beautiful wide gorge which opens onto a large river pool with a white pebble beach.
General info about wIld swimming in Scotland
If you are new to the pasttime, there are a number of Wild Swimming Facebook groups that can offer tips and give you the opportunity to swim with other people if you prefer. On Facebook, you can find lots of information and support if you follow the facebook group Wild Swimming Scotland.
A few tips in the meantime. Please swim somewhere that matches your ability and the experience you have. Scotland has challenging terrain at times, and this includes our waterways.
Get into the water slowly (and make sure you can get out) and if you are somewhere remote, please don’t swim alone. Also, don’t jump in! It may look deep but there is no guarantee it is deep enough.
Wrap up warm when you get out asap. You can always ask us for extra towels when you are hiring one of our vans if you are planning on doing some wild swimming. One of the lovely things about having a van is the ability to pop on a heater and make yourself a warm drink to warm up after a dip.
You can find more suggestions for places to wild swim in Scotland on wildswimming.co.uk
Follow Calum McLean and his wild swimming adventures on Instagram for some beautiful and unusual places to inspire you.
Hire one of our vans and go wild swimming in Scotland
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