What you are about to read is an exclusive article from 'The Outdoor Swimming Guide Book' edited by Kathy Rogers which can be purchased here from the Vertebrate Publishing website. To see more books we love and books that caught our eye, check out our bookshelf.
5 Outdoor Swimming Locations Perfect for Beginners
Learning which locations to head for to safely enjoy outdoor swimming may seem like a daunting journey to start alone. Luckily for new swimmers there are plenty of spots available which have the perfect conditions to make the transition from pools to outdoor locations as seamless as possible. Gentle currents and a great mix of deep and shallow water mean that beginners should be comfortable no matter which one of these spots you choose to head for. You should always remember to take relevant safety precautions when beginning your outdoor swimming adventure. Make sure you have all the necessary training, do not consume alcohol before swimming and always ensure that you are with others when entering the water.
Miller Ground, Windermere
Miller Ground is a designated swimming spot on Lake Windermere and one of the most popular locations for water-based activities. The water here (particularly between the two jetties) is quite shallow, making it an ideal location for less-confident swimmers. The water gets significantly deeper towards the end of the jetties, where you can sometimes see people jumping off. Miller Ground is a popular location for families and can get quite busy during the weekend, especially on warm days.
This small lake is loved by swimmers for the incredible views it offers of the surrounding areas from the water. Located near the middle of the Lake District, and South-West of the nearby village of Hartshop, the clear still waters of this small lake are perfect for both experienced swimmers and beginners. Brothers Water is nestled in the Hartsop valley and is accessible by the North or the South, villages to the North are recommended stops for visitors who are interested in spending more than one night in the area with many places available for accommodation.
Barcombe Mills, Ouse
This huge stretch of the River Ouse, found 1.4 kilometres south of Isfield, reaches around 5 kilometres in length and is a great location for swimmers looking to enjoy the deep clean waters of this picturesque river. Popular with boaters and fishermen, the river is often visited by swimmers who enjoy distance swimming and the very gentle current makes this a great place to begin swimming outdoors in tame waters. Due to the rural location of the river and the vast size means that often there are very few amenities around, however for this location the Anchor Inn can be found on the Anchor Lane road.
Situated in the north of the Snowdonia National Park, Llynau Mymbyr is a vast, sunglasses-shaped lake managed by the Plas y Brenin Outdoor Centre. Paid, supervised sessions are available here, ideal for newcomers to open-water swimming, however the lake is also open to unsupervised swimmers. The boulder-littered banks mean a slight scramble is required to access the water, but once over the rocks these stone platforms serve as solid bases for getting in and out of the water.
Stretching along the foot of Ben Lawers, Loch Tay is a large lake with banks swathed in woodland. A small, sandy beach provides an easy access point into the cool, calm waters of the loch – perfect for both paddling and swimming. With a view of the lake stretching out ahead and grassland behind, this is an idyllic location to enjoy the water and relax while absorbing the beauty of the surrounding landscape.
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