Wild Swim Groups: The UK List

As of 2019 there are over 60 social wild swim groups in the UK. Here are the ones who's changing room doors are still open

Mark Griffiths

As outdoor swimming continues to enjoy a huge renaissance across the UK, community swimming groups are proliferating in size and number. 10 years ago there were a handful of OSS Regional Reps operating around the country, now there are so many wild swim groups (and so many swimmers joining them) that they needed this list!

As well as plenty of groups in the South East and West, the list features the #chesterfrosties in North West England and Wales, the Orkney Polar Bears in Scotland and the Donaghadee Chunky Dunkers in Northern Ireland.

Anyone wanting to join one of these groups needs to be ready to take responsibility for themselves and do their own risk assessment before getting in – to swim within their own abilities (of knowledge and capability – read more about how in the Survive section). This social and legal bedrock of social swim groups is enshrined in the OSS Swim Responsibility Statement. If we want to swim wild and free, without payment and lifeguards, then we have a responsibility to ourselves, (and our families, swimming groups, landowners and more) to take care of ourselves as we do so, and to swim within our abilities.

  • Not all groups are able to take new members, so this is not a complete list of every swim group, just those who have contacted us and supplied information.
  • Many groups are informal and use social media to arrange swim times and locations. Arrangements can be fixed or more fluid. Facebook groups can be closed and may ask new members a few questions before joining to ensure the group’s practices are understood. Sometimes private Instagram or WhatsApp groups are used.
  • If you would like to your group added to the list or your existing information edited or removed then please contact groups@outdoorswimmingsociety.com. In order to add your group, we need to know the name of your group, your location, contact person, swim times and social media information as well as a photo to represent your group.
  • Feature image from Mark Griffiths’ photographic project ‘Swim in to the Wild‘.

LONDON

Stone Cold Swimmers

Location – Hampstead Ponds and Lido
Contact – Leo Krikhaar
Swim Times – 11am
Social Media – @stonecoldswimmers 

Tidal Thames Swim

Location – Black Lion Steps, Hammersmith
Website – Outdoor Fitness Collective 
Contact – Jonathan Bramley
Swim Times – Check Website
Social Media – Tidal Thames Swim Facebook Group

Swim Walks

Swim Walks

Location – London
Contact – Philip Nice
Swim Times – See Facebook group for details
Social Media – Swim Walks Facebook Group

Day trips out from London about once a month in Winter and once a fortnight in Summer. Walking anywhere between 6 and 14 miles with swims on the way, inspired by the Hampstead Ladies’ Pond book “Wild Swimming Walks”. Also two or three trips away each year to destinations such as Snowdonia and the Dales.

SOUTH WEST

Beyond the Blue

Location – Shore Road, Poole, Dorset
Contact – Sally Bird/Lisa Aqua Nut
Swim Times – Regular plus ad hoc, all listed on Facebook
Social Media – Beyond the Blue Facebook Group

Mark Davidson

Clevedon Lake and Sea Swimmers

Location – Clevedon Marine Lake and Pier
Swim Times – Regular plus ad hoc, all listed on Facebook
Social Media – Clevedon Lake and Sea Swimmers Facebook Group 

Wild Swimming Teignbridge

Location – Teignmouth, Dawlish, Shaldon, Torquay, Dartmoor, Totnes
Contact – Ruth Smyth-Bonfield
Swim Times – See Facebook
Social Media – Wild Swimming Teignbridge Facebook Group

(Ruth Haynes)

Wild Swimming – West Country Somerset Dorset

Location – Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall
Swim Times – Ad hoc. See Facebook
Social Media – Wild Swimming Facebook Group

Wiltshire Wild Swim

Wiltshire Wild Swim

Location – Bradford-on-Avon, Farleigh Hungerford, Tellisford, Avoncliff
Contact – Kristy Field/Sarah Webb
Swim Times – Every Sunday 8am and ad hoc swim through the week
Social Media – @wiltshirewildswim and Facebook Group

Taunton Open Water Swimmers (TOWS)

Location – Various near Taunton
Contact – Sanchia Reed/Kris White/Jo Quick/Sian Kelly
Swim Times – See Facebook
Social Media – TOWS Facebook Group 

The Bathing Station

Location – French Weir Park, Taunton (by the COACH building)
Contact – Sian Kelly/Sue Shelbourne/Joanne Robertson
Swim Times – Thursday evenings 5.30pm
Social Media – The Bathing Station Facebook Group

BOWS

BOWS (Bude Open Water Swimmers)

Location – Bude Sea Pool, Summerleaze Beach, Bude, Cornwall
Contact – Facebook Group or Email: bowsbude@btinternet.com
Swim Times – Social swims and meet-ups throughout the year, including Christmas and New Year. All welcome.
Social Media – BOWS Facebook Group

SOUTH EAST

(Holly Manktelow)

Eastbourne Sea Swimmers

Location – Beach opposite the Langham Hotel in Eastbourne
Contact – Chris Brooks/Holly Manktelow/Colin Tallowin
Swim Times – Every Saturday and Sunday, Monthly full moon swim and ad hoc
Social Media – Eastbourne Sea Swimmers Facebook Group

HOWS ( Mike Jewson)

HOWS – Hampshire Open Water Swimmers

Location – Withymead river Itchen and various areas around Hampshire
Contact – Joanne Kitchener
Swim Times – Ad hoc.
Social Media – HOWS Facebook Group

HOWSC – Henley Open Water Swimming Club

Location – Various locations between Henley & Marlow
Website – www.howsc.co.uk
Contact – Andy Lane / Mark Plested / Jeni Orme
Swim Times – Sat 7:30am plus ad hoc swims arranged during the week
Social Media – HOWSC Facebook Group

(Jeremy Wellingham)

OSS Thames Group

Location – Oxford/Reading/locations around the Thames
Contact – Jeremy Wellingham
Social Media – OSS Thames Group Facebook

OSS Windsor and Maidenhead

Location – Jubilee river, Marsh Lane, Taplow
Swim Times – Sundays 8.30am plus ad hoc.
Social Media – OSS Windsor and Maidenhead Facebook Group

(Jess Smith)

Surrey Outdoor Swimming

Location – Surrey
Swim Times – Ad hoc.
Social Media – Surrey Outdoor Swimming Facebook Group

(Kathy Stevenson)

West Berkshire Open Water Swimmers

Location – Thames at Basildon near Reading, Pangbourne and Newbury
Social Media – West Berkshire Open Water Swimmers Facebook Group 

Emsworth Sea Swimmers

Emsworth Sea Swimmers

Location – Emsworth Harbour
Contact – Ali Couch
Swim Times – Ad hoc swims during the year, regular weekend swims Spring to Autumn
Social Media – Emsworth Sea Swimmers Facebook Group

Kent Sea Swimmers

Kent Sea Swimmers

Location – Kent
Contact – Anthony Levings
Swim times- Sunday morning (around 11 am depending on tides), various locations along the Kent coast (see social media).
Social Media – Kent Sea Swimmers Facebook Group & Twitter

About: Our founding swim was with the Walpole Bay Swimmers at their Tidal Pool in Cliftonville, Margate in January 2017. We now have swimmers of all abilities from Channel Swimmers to those who simply like to bob in the waves. Meetings are friendly and relaxed. You’ll find us in Tankerton, Herne Bay, Botany Bay, Folkestone, Hythe and many other locations. Come for the swim, stay for the cake.

Salty Seabirds

Location – Brighton
Contact – Cath or Kath, info@seabirdsltd.com
Swim Times – Anytime, see our Facebook group
Social Media – Salty Seabirds Facebook Group

MIDLANDS

Cliff Lakes

Location – Tamworth, Staffordshire
Contact – Caroline Esme Saxon
Swim Times – Sat morning winter swimming
Social Media – Cliff Lakes Facebook Group

(Lindsay Riley)

Nottingham/Derby OW Swimmers

Location – Nottingham/Derby
Swim Times – Ad hoc
Social Media – Nottingham/Derby OW Swimmers Facebook Group

SLOTHS (South Lincolnshire Outdoor Temperature Hardened Swimmers)

Location – South Lincolnshire
Swim Times – See FB Page
Social Media – SLOTHS Facebook Group

Swim and Tonic

Location – Midlands swims and Tonic Days out, Dosthill, River Avon, Lidos.
Contact – Mel Smith
Swim Times – See FB Page
Social Media – Swim and Tonic Facebook Group

Wild Swimming – Derbyshire, UK

Location – Derbyshire
Swim Times – See FB Page
Social Media – Wild Swimming – Derbyshire, UK Facebook Group

YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER

(Lesley Hargrave)

FLOWS – Fabulous Leeds Outdoor Wild Swimmers

Location – Various around Leeds area
Swim Times – Ad hoc and varied
Social Media – FLOWS Facebook Group

(John Jordan)

KAPOWS – Kirklees and Penistone Outdoor Wild Swimmers

Location – Penistone and Holmfirth
Swim Times – Ad hoc and varied
Social Media – KAPOWS Facebook Group 

(Owen Haeman)

SOUP – Sheffield OUtdoor Plungers

Location – Various around broader Sheffield area and the Peak District. Crookes Valley Park
Contact – Owen Hayman/Haeman
Swim Times – Ad hoc. Swims at Crookes Valley Park most weekday mornings and lunchtimes throughout the year.
Social Media – SOUP Facebook Group

(Leslie Emilie Tuck)

Wild Swimming in the Yorkshire Dales

Location – Yorkshire Dales
Swim Times – Ad hoc.
Social Media – Wild Swimming in the Yorkshire Dales Facebook Group

The Dales Dippers – Wild Swimming

Location – Yorkshire Dales National Park
Contact – Les Peebles lespeebles1@googlemail.com
Swim Time – Ad hoc
Social Media – The Dales Dippers – Wild Swimming Facebook Page

NORTH WEST

(Dianne Parrish)

#ChesterFrosties

Location – River Dee Chester, Hatchmere, Hanmer Mere, North Wales Mountain and Coast
Contact – Dianne Parrish
Swim Times – Ad hoc and varied
Social Media – #ChesterFrosties Facebook Group

(Steve Ashworth)

Lake District Open Water Swimmers

Location – Various in the Lake District
Contact – Andrea Kelly and Pete Kelly
Swim Times – Ad hoc
Social Media – Lake District Open Water Swimmers Facebook Group

M.A.L.L.O.W.S

M.A.L.L.O.W.S Morecambe and Lancaster Lancashire Open Water Swimmers

Location – River Lune, Morecambe Bay, Capernwray Quarry
Contact – Jon Gibirdi
Swim Times – Ad hoc
Social Media – FB page but set to ‘secret’ so contact Jon via FB for approval

NORTH EAST

(Jane Hardy)

Alnwick & Amble District Open Water Swimmers

Location – Various places in Northumberland between Amble and Bamburgh
Contact – Jane Hardy
Swim Times – Various, all swims are posted on the fb group.
Social Media – Alnwick & Amble District Open Water Swimmers Facebook Group 

Blyth And District All Season Swimmers (BADASS)

Location – Various locations in the North East, but mainly Blyth Beach in Northumberland
Swim Times – Various
Social Media – BADASS Facebook Group

Fausto Bathing Club

Location – Fausto Coffee, Roker Beach, Sunderland
Swim Times – Sunday 10:30 and Thursday 18:30 plus other sessions as arranged by members
Social Media – Fausto Bathing Club

North East Open Water Swimmers (NEOWS)

Location – Various locations in North East England including Ellerton Lake, Bishopton Lake, The River Tees and the North Sea
Swim Times – Various
Social Media – NEOWS Facebook Group

EAST ANGLIA

(Emma Cleere)

Norfolk and Suffolk Open Water Swimmers

Location – Sea Palling. Norfolk. Underneath the lifeguard hut.
Swim Times – Various, generally Monday evenings in summer months and 8am Sunday mornings all year round
Social Media – Norfolk and Suffolk Open Water Swimmers Facebook Group

SCOTLAND

(Alice Goodridge)

Cairngorm Wild Swimmers

Location – Various in Cairngorm National Park, Loch Morlich (beach end)
Contact – Alice Goodridge
Social Media – Cairngorm Wild Swimmers Facebook Group

Edinburgh Wild Swimming Meetup Group

Location – Various
Website – http://meetu.ps/c/3FGhM/zxzXC/a
Contact – Alison Parker
Swim Times – Ad hoc

Hebridean Sea Swimmers

Location – Various
Contact – Colin S Macleod
Swim Times – Ad hoc
Social Media – Hebridean Sea Swimmers Facebook Group

(Katie Small)

Loch Leven (glencoe) open water swimmers

Location – Isle of Glencoe Hotel Car Park
Swim Times – Ad hoc
Social Media – Loch Leven Open Water Swimmers Facebook Group

(Liz Stevens)

Loch Tay Open Water Swimmers

Location – Pier Road, Killin
Swim Times – Ad hoc
Social Media – Loch Tay Open Water Swimmers Facebook Group

(Anne Gascoigne)

Orkney Polar Bears

Location – Various
Swim Times – Ad hoc
Social Media – Orkney Polar Bears Facebook Group

(Ryan Leith)

Selkies – Shetland Open Water Swimming

Location – Various
Swim Times – Ad hoc
Social Media – Selkies Facebook Group

(AE O'Donnell)

Wild Ones Edinburgh

Location – Various around Edinburgh, including Portobello beach
Swim Times – Various
Social Media – Wild Ones Edinburgh Facebook Group

Rebecca Campbell Wilson

Banffshire Coast Swimmers

Location – Anywhere and everywhere on the Banffshire Coast
Contact – Rebecca Campbell Wilson
Swim Times – Ad hoc – check FB
Social Media – Banffshire Coast Swimmers Facebook Group

Oban Seals Stacey Holloway

Oban Seals (Oban Sea and Loch Swimmers)

Location – Oban, Scotland
Contact – Stacey Holloway (message on Facebook)
Swim Times – Meet at 8.45am Saturdays before park run at Ganavan Sands (same car park as Ganavan sands Parkrun). Some people swim after Parkrun too.
Social Media – Oban Seals Facebook Group

Tiree Polar Bears

Location – Isle of Tiree, Crossapol Bay by the old garage
Contact – Louise Reid, Louise@tireetrust.org.uk
Swim Times – 9.30am on Saturday, ad hoc and on request
Social Media – Tiree Polar Bears Facebook Group

Chilly Dippers

Location – Portobello Beach (by the Epsy pub), three miles east of Edinburgh
Contact – Olivia Sharron, olivasharron@rocketmail.com
Swim Time – 9.15am, first group swim is Friday 15 March
Social Media – @chilly.dippers

WALES

(Gary Standen)

Happy Wild Swimming Wales

Location – Wales
Swim Times – Ad hoc
Social Media – Happy Wild Swimming Wales

(John Piggott)

South Wales Outdoor Swimming

Location – All across S.Wales, coastal and inland.
Swim Times – Ad hoc
Social Media – South Wales Outdoor Swimming Facebook Group

Wye Not Swim?

Location – Various along the River Wye
Contact – Hayley Frapwell
Swim Times – Ad hoc
Social Media – Wye Not Swim? Facebook Group

Trefriw Drips

Trefriw Drips

Location: Trefriw, Conwy Valley
Contact: Deb Carter -‭ 07914 002577 -‬ debbiecarter1@live.co.uk
Swim times: Every Sunday Llyn Geirionydd (meet at car park near Southern end of lake at 9am – length of dip varies depending on temp). See Facebook page for details of other meeting times and locations.
Social Media: Trefriw Drips Facebook Group

Everyone welcome: swimmers, dippers, messers, fit, unfit, skins, wetsuits, Socialists, Tories and other assorted groupings…if you enjoy getting wet with other like minded Drips come along. We finish the Sunday Dip with a break at Mary Bella’s Cafe in Trefriw.

NORTHERN IRELAND

Brompton Belles & Beaux Dippers

Location – Brompton Old Harbour (aka Jenny Watts’ Cove) , Bangor, County Down, N.Ireland
Contact – Marie-Therese Davis-Hanson/ Stephen Hanson
Swim Times – Weekdays 06.45 (you need lights from Oct-March) , Weekends various times.
Social Media – @seaswimsbangor2017

(Martin Strain)

Donaghadee “Chunky Dunkers” Swimming Gang (skins only group)

Location – Donaghadee, N.Ireland
Swim Times – See FB group
Social Media – Chunky Dunkers Facebook Group 

This is not a complete list of every swim group, just those who have contacted us and supplied information.

If you would like to your group added to the list or your existing information edited or removed then please contact groups@outdoorswimmingsociety.com

In order to add your group, we need to know the name of your group, your location, contact person, swim times and social media information.