About 7.5 million people in England swim outdoors. This includes 2.1 million who prefer swimming in open waters, such as lochs, rivers, lakes, and sea, according to Swimming.org. Nothing is quite relaxing, like taking a dip in calm, refreshing waters on a hot sunny afternoon. If you’re in London, heading out to the lidos is one of the best ways to beat the heat during summer. However, if you have a spirit for adventure, you’ll probably want to swim in a river, pond, lake, and reservoir. Below are 3 incredible wild swimming spots located within an hour away from London.
Frensham Great Pond, Surrey
Frensham Great Pond in Surrey is a stunning beach located about an hour and thirty minutes from the city. The water in this pond is clear, calm, and shallow, perfect for kids to splash and swimmers looking to give wild swimming a try. Since the pond is always crowded during the day, waiting until sunset gives you a chance for privacy. A general rule of thumb is to always look out for water hazards, swim in designated areas, and never swim alone. Doing so is vital for preventing the chances of accidental drowning while having fun in the water.
If you’re looking to enjoy an epic swimming experience near the city, then consider visiting the scenic town of Henley. There are many spots for recreational swimming, including Hurley and Marlow locks on the River Thames. You’ll also find a riverside beach that’s perfect for family-oriented fun eastwards at Cock Marsh. The stretch to Marlow from Henley-on-Thames makes the Thames marathon, a 14km excursion down the river, suitable for anyone interested in a fun swimming challenge. However, be cautious of the risks of swimming in the Thames. Some of these dangers include strong tides, undertows, cold water, and raw sewage spillage.
The Wey Navigation at Shalford
The Wey Navigation is approximately one hour, two minutes away from the capital, and home to the most serene and quaint wild swimming spots. The small sandy beaches invite you to walk into the calm water for a relaxing expedition. While jumping in the river from the bridge in Shalford can be fun, you need to be careful. Follow safety guidelines for swimming, like checking the depth of water to avoid accidents.
Wild swimming is a perfect way to reconnect with nature and stay refreshed during the hot months. And the good news is that there are ideal places within easy reach near London where you can escape the city’s hustle and bustle. All it takes is some research to find a place that fits your interests.