Somerset: Top 5 Wild Swimming spots….
Looking to go wild swimming near Bristol and Bath? Well, dust off those bathers, pack a picnic (or a thermos of coffee!) and head out to find the best wild swimming that Somerset has to offer.
Swimming near Bristol and Bath
There are plenty of opportunities to go wild swimming near Bristol and Bath. Surrounded by some beautiful rivers such as the Frome, Avon and Parrett, we’re spoilt for choice. Hit the footpaths or take your bike and you’re likely to find a quiet stretch of the river to enjoy a swim. There’s even the chance for a high-tide swim in the sea!
1. River Brue: Baltonsborough and Lydford on Fosse, (BA6 8PX)
With a picnic and two small children in tow, we found a dreamy picnic spot next to the river just south of Bristol and Bath…
This stretch of the river Brue is absolutely beautiful. Follow the footpath from Baltonsborough (with an exciting, large pool) all the way to Lovington if you have the time. There are plenty of spots to stop for a picnic and a quick dip along the way. Apparently, the local pub, the Cross Keys Inn is fantastic but sadly we ran out of time – a definite for our next visit.
2. River Avon: Dundas Aqueduct, Warleigh Weir and Avoncliff (BA2 7JD)
A well-known favourite, Warleigh weir is a fantastic swim near Bristol when quiet, but can get busy on sunny days. Instead, there’s a beautiful stretch of river south of Warleigh Weir (or Claverton Weir) towards Dundas Aqueduct and on to Avoncliff (and even beyond to Bradford-on-Avon). Choose to follow the footpath along the river or hop up on the canal path to watch the beautiful narrowboats drifting past. Plenty of swim spots and grassy banks for picnics along the way.
Don’t park at the weir, instead there’s a car park at either Dundas or Avoncliff. Even better, bring your bike and cycle along the canal path. You can also hire kayaks on the canal and pop into the lovely Angelfish Café for an ice cream
*Claverton can be very busy on sunny days but you can always find a quieter, lovely picnic spot further down the river
3. River Frome: Farleigh Hungerford (BA2 7RS)
Surely this is the best wild swimming in Somerset? A wonderful stretch of the river and well worth a visit, Farleigh is one of the country’s last river-swimming clubs. As such, there is a fee for swimming here. You can purchase a season membership (£12 per person or £25 for a family). For this you can enjoy the beautifully kept lawns (perfect for a picnic), and access the water via the steps – look out for the rope swing! Car parking is available. Changing huts and portaloo on site.
If you’re looking for an awesome campsite, this stretch of river can also be accessed from Stowford Manor farm campsite.
4. The River Parrett: Langport to Muchelney (TA10 9PG)
It’s great to see a community that welcome people using the river! Langport Council have set up a series of jetty’s for river-users over the summer months.
Head south out of Bristol and park in Langport. Pick up the footpath towards Muchelney (you can even swim down!) or launch your paddle boat or packraft. It’s a really pretty stretch of river and perfect for swims and picnics. There’s also beautiful cycling in the area and many cider barns to visit!
5. The Sea! Sand Point and Middle Hope, (BS22 9UD)
A beach near Bristol?! Somerset isn’t renowned for it’s coastline, unlike neighbouring North Devon, but there’s a little known stretch of coast path which is absolutely beautiful.
There’s a large National Trust carpark at Sandpoint, often with an ice cream van. Head up the path and walk between Sand Point and Middle Hope, enjoying the views out to sea. Head down to the stony beach for a picnic and enjoy a swim at high tide.
6. Clevedon Marine Lake
I’ve added Clevedon Marine Lake into the mix…. it’s not necessarily a wild spot but it’s fantastic for an outdoor swim! On a summer’s evening, arrive late to watch the sunset from your own infinity pool. Lush.
If you’re on the riverbank, keep a wary eye out for Giant Hogweed. One of the UK’s most poisonous native plants.
Looking to find your own secret wild swimming spots? We’ve been inspired by the Wild Swimming Guide filled with hidden natural pools, beautiful rivers and epic coastal swims. Check it out here.
*I have used and enjoyed the Wild Guide book series for years and I hope you will too. Though I take an affiliate commission for each book sale from my website, this helps cover the running costs of Go Wild Go West.
If you’re looking for adventure, check out the Go Wild Go West shop for outdoor activity ideas for all the family
*As with all things there can be some risks associated with wild swimming. Please read up on any risks associated with river/lake swimming and act with caution.