The Best Wild Swimming Spots in Bristol

Tilda Kneen

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Read Time: 5 minutes

Wild swimming has been all the rage this year, and with little else to do, friends and family alike are turning to the cold water for their thrills. There are countless benefits to cold water swimming, including (but not limited to):  activating endorphins, reducing stress, burning calories, improving circulation, and boosting your immune system. In light of this, we’ve collated a list of our top natural swimming spots in and around Bristol — read on if you think you can brave the cold!

1. Warleigh Weir

Roughly 45 minute drive.

Potentially the most breathtaking spot to take a dip, Warleigh Weir is located just outside Bath. Whilst it takes slightly longer to get to (about 45 minutes in a car), the drive is worth every second. It’s best to go on a sunny day to make the most of the best views of the Weir and surrounding area. This place gets very crowded in summer so we recommend trying it out in the colder months.

2. Abbots Pool

Roughly 10 minute drive/25 minute cycle.

A hop, skip and a jump away from the Clifton Suspension Bridge, youll find the magical Abbots Pool – a very popular summer destination, but equally beautiful on a sunny winter’s day. And, if you fancy making a day of it, you could cycle there which is about an hour-long round trip

There are a couple of things to consider before you jump in the car and drag your mates along for a natural swim. Make sure you check the depth before diving in, bring a wetsuit if you’re worried about getting too cold, and never swim alone.

3. Clevedon Marine Lake

Roughly 20 minute drive.

Now if you fancy a truly chilling experience, this is the wild swimming spot for you. As the name suggests, Clevedon Marine Lake contains sea water and is definitely a few degrees colder than the other spots mentioned. If you can swim a length, respect. This spot isn’t too far out of the way, at around a 20 minute drive. 

As long as you stay safe and look out for each other, wild swimming is a great way to let off some steam — and it’s right on your doorstep!

4. Beese's Riverside Bar

Roughly 15 minute drive.

This beautiful spot located on the River Avon requires a little bit of walking to get to but is well worth it once you’re there. If you’re after a scenic river swim then Beese’s is definitely what you’re looking for.

5. Henleaze Lake

Under 10 minute drive from Clifton, Redland, or Stoke Bishop.

This is a bit of a wild card as it’s officially classed as a members only swimming spot. But if you’re lucky enough to get yourself in (they allow visitors on a waiting list basis) then you are certainly in for a treat.

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