The Best Places to Go Wild Swimming in Lancashire

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The county of Lancashire in the North-West of England stretches from seaside towns like Blackpool to areas of outstanding natural beauty like the Forest of Bowland, with lots of beautiful countryside in between. Lancashire’s wild swimming locations are mainly made up of the many gorgeous lakes and rivers that are dotted around the county. Check out our favourite outdoor swimming spots for you to explore this summer.

Swimming Equipment

To be safe in open water, you need to have the right equipment with you. The main equipment that will keep you safe in the water is a wetsuit, a tow float or dry bag, and a swim cap. These items will help to make you more visible in the water as well as adding a layer of warmth to protect you from the cold open water. However, there’s also a variety of other useful accessories for wild swimming, from nose clips, earplugs, and goggles to towels, whistles, and lights.

Crook O’Lune

  • Location: Caton
  • Supervised?: No

Crook O’Lune is a picnic site in the Lower Lune Valley that boasts stunning mountain views, convenient facilities, and a great area for wild swimming in the River Lune. Whether you just want to go for a quick bank-to-bank swim in the river, or whether you want to spend a family day here in the summer, Crook O’Lune has everything you’ll need. With accessible parking, public toilets, and a snack bar, you can spend the day relaxing in the sun, cooling off in the river, and enjoying some all-important quality time with your family. 

Denny Beck

  • Location: Halton
  • Supervised?: No

Slightly downstream from Crook O’Lune in the Lower Lune Valley, just off the River Lune is Denny Beck. The beck doesn’t have any beach areas but the clean, clear water is still easy to access. When swimming here, you need to be careful as you reach the bridge over the beck due to the rapids. Although it’s fun to float down the rapids, the water is fast and deep so should only be done by experienced swimmers and when someone is on the riverside to watch out for your safety. 

If you’re looking to be part of a wild swimming community, you could join the Morecambe and Lancashire Open Water Swimming group who regularly swim here.

Capernway Diving Centre

  • Location: Carnforth
  • Price: £7-13

The Capernway Diving Centre offers diving and open water swimming in their freshwater lake. They even have the official title of the second cleanest recreational bathing water in the whole of the UK. A year's membership here costs £15 with members paying £7 per swim. You can also swim here without membership, but it will cost you £13 per swim (£11 if you pre-book online). After your swim, warm up and refuel at the diving centre restaurant next to the lake.

Delph Watersports Centre

  • Location: Heskin
  • Price: £6
  • Supervised?: No
  • Requirements: Full wetsuit & swim in pairs

If you live or are travelling in the southern part of Lancashire, Delph Watersports Centre might be more suitable for you. This 5 acre quarry is full of clean, spring-fed water and is mainly used for triathlon training. As this venue isn’t lifeguarded, you must swim in pairs or larger groups. It’s also a requirement to wear a tow float or dry bag, gloves, boots, and a swim cap in the winter along with a full wetsuit which is required all year round. There is parking at the venue as well as facilities like hot showers, heated changing rooms, and a cafe. Only members can swim here with a cost of £6 per swim and £15 for a 2 year membership.

Stonyhurst Dip

  • Location: Mitton Green
  • Supervised?: No

Along the River Hodder, in the south-east of the Forest of Bowland, you’ll find Stonyhurst Dip. Enjoy a leisurely river swim upstream of the weir in a spot that was once used as a bathing and swimming spot for the Stonyhurst school boys. If you fancy an adventure before or after your swim, you could go in search of the school boys' old, abandoned bathing sheds.

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