The Best Wild Swimming Locations in Bath

 

In the north-east of Somerset you’ll find the history and culture filled city of Bath. Known for its Roman-built baths and natural hot springs, people travel to Bath to make the most of its health benefits. But the thermal springs aren’t the only waters in Bath that’ll help improve your wellbeing. Swimming outdoors in rivers and lakes can heave great physical and mental health benefits. But which spots in and around Bath are the best for wild swimming? We’ve compiled this list to help you find your next favourite swimming spot. 

Water Safety Equipment

Swimming in open water always comes with its dangers, but you can reduce these dangers by following safety advice and using equipment that protects you and makes you more visible in the water. But what is the best equipment for safety? It’s always best to wear bright colours in the water. Therefore, we recommend wearing a bright coloured tow float or dry bag and a bright coloured swim cap

Other safety equipment that can be useful in an emergency is a light and whistle which allows you to attract attention to yourself. You could also use earplugs, a nose clip, and goggles to protect yourself from bacteria in the water.

Dundas Aqueduct

  • Location: Monkton Combe
  • Supervised?: No

Along the River Avon in Monkton Combe, the Kennet and Avon canal crosses over the river via the Dundas Aqueduct. Under the aqueduct you’ll find the Monkton Combe School Boat Club with a pontoon for easy access into and out of the water. The river here is wide, deep, and slow-flowing, making it perfect for a leisurely outdoor swim under the viaduct arches. Combine your swim with a walk through nature with the family (and pushchair) friendly footpaths around the river.

Warleigh/Claverton Weir

  • Location: Claverton
  • Supervised?: No

If you follow the River Avon down from Dundas Aqueduct, you’ll come across Warleigh Weir (also known as Claverton Weir). With shallow areas for children to paddle and deeper areas above the weir for swimming, this spot is perfect for a family day out on a hot summer's day. However, in the warmer weather, it can get quite busy here with many families looking to cool off while being out in the fresh air and surrounded by nature (including the neighbouring field of friendly cows).

Farleigh Hungerford

  • Location: Farleigh Hungerford
  • Price: £2
  • Supervised?: No

Believed to be one of the oldest and last remaining swimming clubs in the UK, the Farleigh and District Swimming Club was founded in 1933 and is still running to this day. The club has use of an area of the River Frome in Farleigh Hungerford which is exclusively for club members. However, don’t let the need to be a member put you off as compared to other paying wild swimming venues, this venue is pretty cheap. A year's membership for unlimited access to the river only costs £12. However, if you’re going to go less than 6 times a year (otherwise you may as well buy a membership), you can pay as you go with a swim costing £2.

Open from May to September, this stretch of both shallow and deep water also has a diving board and rope swings, making it the ideal environment for recreational wild swimmers as well as families looking for somewhere to paddle or have a dip in the refreshing water. Through the club, you’ll also have access to changing rooms, toilets, and a neighbouring meadow which is perfect for picnics.

The Glove Dippers

  • Location: Holt
  • Price: £60-100 annual membership
  • Supervised?: No

Following on from a venue more suited to recreational swimmers is a swim spot for more experienced swimmers. The Glove Dippers is a 100m long, 2m deep lake on the grounds behind Glove Factory Studios. This lake is unsupervised which is why we only recommend this lake for those with wild swimming experience. For those training for open water swimming events or those wanting to swim laps in quieter water, this venue has everything you’ll need - from a changing hut and a cold water shower to lockers to store your belongings (bring your own padlock). The only downside is that you will need to buy membership to swim here. Annual membership is usually £70 (or £60 for Holt residents) but can rise to £100 (or £80 for Holt residents) if you’re just buying membership for the peak summer season.

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