Wiltshirewildswim group by Francesca McColl

Wild Swim Groups: The UK List

This summer particularly it is important to swim locally, with local swimming buddies. If you are new or an inexperienced outdoor swimmer, now may not be the right time to start doing so.

Wiltshire Wild Swim by Francesca McColl

The UK’s outdoor swimming groups are reporting a huge surge in interest, as those who swim regularly in their local pool (which is closed) seek information and support on getting to grips with outdoor swimming. See the OSS lockdown guide for swimmers.

 

Outdoor swimming groups are informal, voluntary and depend upon the responsible behaviour of all their members. The groups rely on members to lead by example by being responsible in the choice and use they make of swim spots, and to support the local authorities and communities to keep places clean and safe.

Anyone who wants to join a swim group needs to be ready to take responsibility for themselves and do their own risk assessment before getting in – to swim within their own abilities.

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 the groups listed here will be accepting new members at present, though they hope to open their doors again soon.

The OSS is not responsible for the outdoor swimming groups listed on this page. It is in the best interests of all swim group members to report any concerns they have about the behaviour of a swimmer within their group to the local police and to the swim group administrators.

 

Feature image: Mark Griffiths’ photographic project Swim into the Wild

England

South West

Beyond the Blue

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

BOWS

BOWS – Bude Open Water Swimmers

Location – Bude Sea Pool, Summerleaze Beach, Bude, Cornwall
Contact – bowsbude@btinternet.com
Swim Times – Social swims and meet-ups all year, including Christmas and New Year
Social Media – BOWS

Clevedon Marine Lake. Photo: Mark Davidson

Clevedon Lake and Sea Swimmers

Location – Clevedon Marine Lake and Pier
Swim Times – Regular plus ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Clevedon Lake and Sea Swimmers

Cornwall Wild Swimming

Location – Cornwall
Contact – Pauline Barker
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Cornwall Wild Swimming

Cornwall OWLS (Open Water Leisure Swimmers)

Location – Cornwall
Contact – Sharky Siân
Swim times – All year, all abilities
Social media – Cornwall OWLS

Devon Wild Swimming

Location – Devon
Contact – Pauline Barker
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Devon Wild Swimming

TEDs (Team East Devon Wild Swimming)

Location – East Devon
Contact – Lesley Chapman
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media –   TEDs

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

TOWS – Taunton Open Water Swimmers

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

(Ruth Haynes)

Wild Swimming – West Country Somerset Dorset

Location – Somerset, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Wild Swimming – West Country Somerset Dorset

Wild Swimming Teignbridge

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

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 Wiltshire Wild Swim

SOUTH EAST

Beckenham Bobbers

Location – Beckenham Place Park Lake
Contact – Rachel Molina
Swim Times – Sunday 9am
Social Media – Beckenham Bobbers

Dedham River Swimmers

Location – Dedham
Contact – Kevin Sheath
Swim Times – Regular swims Sunday morning at 9am, and any other time (see Facebook)
Social Media – Dedham River Swimmers

Dover Darlings

Location – Marine parade Dover harbour, swimmers beach
Contact – Charlotte Byrom
Swim Times – see Facebook
Social Media – Dover Darlings

(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, full moon swims and ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Eastbourne Sea Swimmers

F.A.R.T. – Frensham Aquatic Recreation Team

Location – Frensham Great Pond, Surrey
Contact – Simon Kay
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebbook
Social Media – F.A.R.T

Folkestone Sea Swimmers

Location – Folkstone, Kent
Contact – Vivian Walters
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Folkestone Sea Swimmers

Frinton-on-Sea Swimmers

Location – Frinton-on-Sea, Essex
Contact – Colette de Boer
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Frinton-on-Sea Swimmers

HOWLS – Herts Open Water and Lido Swimmers

Location – Hertfordshire
Contact –  Alexandra Yates
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – HOWLS

HOWS ( Mike Jewson)

HOWS – Hampshire Open Water Swimmers

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

HOWSC – Henley Open Water Swimming Club

Location – Various locations between Henley & Marlow
Contact – Andy Lane/Mark Plested/Jeni Orme
Swim Times – Saturday 7.30am, ad hoc swims during the week
Website – www.howsc.co.uk
Social Media – HOWSC

Kent Sea Swimmers

Location – Various locations along the Kent coast including: Tankerton, Herne Bay, Botany Bay, Folkestone and Hythe
Contact – Anthony Levings
Swim times – Sunday morning around 11am, depending on tides
Social Media – Facebook: Kent Sea Swimmers, Twitter: @kentseaswimmers

 

Littlehampton Sea Swimmers

Location – Littlehampton beach
Contact – Tim Baylis
Swim times – Sunday, weather permitting
Social Media – Facebook: Littlehampton Sea Swimmers

 

(Jeremy Wellingham)

OSS Thames Group

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

OSS Windsor and Maidenhead

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

Salty Seabirds

Location – Brighton
Contact – Cath or Kath, info@seabirdsltd.com
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Salty Seabirds

Shoreham Waterbabies

Location – Shoreham-by-Sea
Contact – Julie Meriwoode
Swim Times – Mainly 8 am, sometimes earlier. Ad hoc in the summer
Social Media –  Closed Facebook group, changes to swims via WhatsApp

SOS – Solent Outdoor Swimmers

Location – Emsworth Harbour (tidal), Hayling Island, Southsea and further along the coast
Contact – Ali Couch
Swim Times – Regular Sunday morning swims, ad hoc at other times, see Facebook
Social Media – SOS  and @solentoutdoorswimmers

Solent Open Water Swimmers

Location – Southsea beach, on Portsmouth Esplanade
Contact – Nick de Mayer
Swim Times – Saturday mornings from 10-11am

Southend Seals Open Water Swimmers

Location – Southend areas (including Thorpe Bay/Leigh on Sea/Chalkwell)
Contact – Jo Good
Swim Times – Ad-hoc (tide dependant), see Facebook
Social Media – Southend Seals

Stone Cold Swimmers

Location – Hampstead Ponds and Lido
Contact – Leo Krikhaar
Swim Times – See Instagram
Social Media – @stonecoldswimmers 

Stratford Upon Avon Blue Tits & Belles Open Water Swimmers

Location – The Old Bathing Place Warwick Road, Stratford Upon Avon
Contact – Jane Hitchman
Swim Times –  Ad hoc
Social Media –Stratford Upon Avon Blue Tits & Belles Open Water Swimmers

Supermares! Sea Swimmers and Dippers

Location – Weston Super Mare (main beach, royal sands and Uphill)
Contact – Anna Southwell
Swim Times – Various days, 30-45 minutes either side of high tide, see Facebook
Social Media – Supermares! Sea Swimmers and Dippers

(Jess Smith)

Surrey Outdoor Swimming

Location – Surrey
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Surrey Outdoor Swimming

Swim Walks

Swim Walks

Location – London
Contact – Philip Nice
Swim Times – See Facebook
Social Media – Swim Walks

The flOUSEies

Location – Hertfordshire
Contact – Sarah Poll
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – The flOUSEie

The Shack Sharks

Location – The Shack, Hillhead, Lee-on-the-Solent
Contact – Sadie Bedford
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – The Shack Sharks

Tidal Thames Swim

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

Wadhurst Blue Tits

Wadhurst Bluetits Chill Swimmers

Location – Bexhill, East Sussex
Contact – Becki Read
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Wadhurst Bluetits Chill Swimmers

(Kathy Stevenson)

West Berkshire Open Water Swimmers

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

EAST ANGLIA

Norfolk and Norwich Wild Swimmers

Location – Norfolk and Norwich
Contact – Sue Anderson
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Norfolk and Norwich Wild Swimmers

(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

(Imogen Radford)

Outdoor Swimming in Breckland

Location – Breckland, Norfolk/Suffolk border (towns in the area are Thetford and Brandon). Swim places are in the rivers Little Ouse, Wissey and Lark, and other waters in the area
Contact – Imogen Radford
Swim times – No set times, see Facebook
Social media – Outdoor Swimming in Breckland

MIDLANDS

Cliff Lakes

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

Lincolnshire Outdoor Swimming Tribe (LOST)

Location – Tattersall, Stamford, Muskham, Milton Ferry Bridge
Contact – Shayne Taylor, Vicki Watson
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media –  LOST

(Lindsay Riley)

Nottingham/Derby OW Swimmers

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

Swim and Tonic

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

Worcestershire Wallowers

Location – Worcestershire
Contact – Anna Brook
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Worcestershire Wallowers

YORKSHIRE AND THE HUMBER

(Lesley Hargrave)

FLOWS – Fabulous Leeds Outdoor Wild Swimmers

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

(John Jordan)

KAPOWS – Kirklees and Penistone Outdoor Wild Swimmers

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

(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 – Swims at Crookes Valley Park most weekday mornings and lunchtimes throughout the year, see Facebook
Social Media – SOUP

The Dales Dippers – Wild Swimming

Location – Yorkshire Dales National Park
Contact – Les Peebles
Swim Time – Ad hoc
Social Media – The Dales Dippers – Wild Swimming

(Leslie Emilie Tuck)

Wild Swimming in the Yorkshire Dales

Location – Yorkshire Dales
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Wild Swimming in the Yorkshire Dales

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, see Facebook
Social Media – #ChesterFrosties

Cumbrian Bluetits

Location – Cumbria
Contact – Lottie Thompson
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Cumbrian Bluetits

(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

Lake District Wild Swimmers

Location – Lake District
Contact – Katy Bowman
Swim times – Ad hoc
Facebook name – Lake District Wild Swimmers
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 – Facebook page but set to ‘secret’ so contact Jon 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, see Facebook
Social Media – Alnwick & Amble District Open Water Swimmers

COWS – Cullercoats Open Water Swimmers  Cullercoats Beach

Location – Cullercoats Beach, near Tynemouth, Tyne and Wear
Contact – Natalie Thorburn
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – COWS

BADASS – Blyth And District All Season Swimmers

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

Fausto Bathing Club

Location – Fausto Coffee, Roker Beach, Sunderland
Swim Times – Sunday 9.30am, Thursday 6.30pm, plus other sessions as arranged by members
Social Media – Fausto Bathing Club

NEOWS – North East Open Water Swimmers

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

Tynemouth Outdoor Swimmers

Location – North Tyneside coast from Blyth through Whitley Bay, Cullercoats and down to Tynemouth
Contact – TBC
Swim Times – Saturday 8am, Sunday around 8am (less reliable). Meet on ramp opp Grand Hotel, Tynemouth (NE30 4ER), South end of Longsands (nr Crusoe’s and old outdoor pool).
Social Media – Tynemouth Outdoor Swimmers

Scotland

South East

Chilly Dippers

Location – Portobello Beach (by the Epsy pub), three miles east of Edinburgh
Contact – Olivia Sharron
Swim Time – Various, see Instagram
Social Media – @chilly.dippers

Edinburgh Wild Swimming

Location – Various
Contact – Alison Parker
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Edinburgh Wild Swimming

 

Gullane Guillemots Wild Swimmers

Location – Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland
Contact – Mel Lee
Swim Times  – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Gullane Guillemots

(AE O'Donnell)

Wild Ones Edinburgh

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

Wild Swimming Borders

Location – Scottish Borders, mostly Cauldshiels Loch (pictured), Lindean Loch, Gladhouse reservoir and the River Tweed.
Contact person – Katherine Paul, Wendy Noble, Angela Lauder
Swim times – No set days/times, all year around (see Facebook)
Social media links – Wild Swimming Borders

South West

SouWesters (South West Scotland Open Water Swimmers)

Location – Across South West Scotland from Hawick in east to Portencross on the West coast, HQ Loch Ettrick Forest of Ae (photo). Also, Lindean- Selkirk, Alemoor-Hawick, Cauldshiels-Galashiels, Loch Ken- Crossmichael, Mossyard (sea) and more.
Contact – Maureen Smyth or Tina Wild
Swim Times – Throughout the year lochs, rivers and sea
Social media – The SouWesters

Central

Fife Wild Swimmers

Location – Various, with two core areas Aberdour, West Fife, and Andrews, North East Fife.
Contact – Jenny Waring
Swim times – Tidal, see Facebook
Social Media – Fife Wild Swimmers
(Liz Stevens)

Loch Tay Open Water Swimmers

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

Neoprene Queens

Location – Scottish Lochs around Glasgow and beyond
Contact – Beatrice Vetter-Ceriotti
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Instagram
Social Media – Neoprene Queens

Southside Bluetits

Location – Glasgow Southside
Contact – Anne Callaghan
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Southside Bluetits

Wild West Swimmers

Location – Glasgow and the surrounding areas: Loch Lomond and many of the lochs in the Trossachs area
Contact – Gillian Lester
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Wild West Swimmers

Highlands and Islands

Rebecca Campbell Wilson

Banffshire Coast Swimmers

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

(Alice Goodridge)

Cairngorm Wild Swimmers

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

Hebridean Sea Swimmers

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

Jura Wild Swimming

Location – Isle of Jura
Contact – Pi Davidson
Swim Times – Sundays, 10am, Craighouse Pier, other ad hoc times around Jura
Social Media – Jura Wild Swimming
(Katie Small)

Loch Leven (Glencoe) Open Water Swimmers

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

Lochaber Loons

Location – Lochaber, Scottish Highlands
Contact – Anja Baak
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Lochaber Loons

Lossie Cod Heids

Location – West Beach, Lossiemouth
Contact – Alison Read
Swim times – Sundays, 11am
Facebook Group – Lossie Cod Heids
Oban Seals Stacey Holloway

Oban Seals – Oban Sea and Loch Swimmers

Location – Oban, Scotland
Contact – Stacey Holloway
Swim Times – Saturdays 8.45am, before park run at Ganavan Sands (same car park as Parkrun), some swim after the Parkrun
Social Media – Oban Seals

(Anne Gascoigne)

Orkney Polar Bears

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

(Ryan Leith)

Selkies – Shetland Open Water Swimming

Location – Various
Contact – Ryan Leith
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Selkies

Skye Wild Swimmers

Location – Isle of Skye
Contact – Gill Williams
Swim Times – 10am Sunday mornings
Social Media – Skye Wild Swimmers

Tiree Polar Bears

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

WALES

Barrybados Bathers

Location – Barry, Vale of Glamorgan
Contact – Keri Hutchinson
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Barrybados Bathers

(John Piggott)

South Wales Outdoor Swimming

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

Swansea mental health sea swimmers

Location – Caswell beach, to the left hand side of the bay (look out for the pirate flag)
Contact – Littlegreenshootproject@gmail.com
Swim Times – Last Sunday of every month, 12pm
Social Media – @littlegreenshootproject
Trefriw Drips

Trefriw Drips

Location – Trefriw, Conwy Valley
Contact – Deb Carter
Swim times – Every Sunday 9am Llyn Geirionydd (meet at car park near Southern end of lake) and see Facebook other meeting times and locations
Social Media – Trefriw Drips

Wild Swim Snowdonia

Location – South Snowdonia with a base in Harlech, swim all over Snowdonia
Contact – Meg Pugh/Laura Sanderson, email wildswimsnowdonia@gmail.com
Swim Times –Weekends and various, see Instagram
Social Media – @wildswimsnowdonia

Wye Not Swim?

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

NORTHERN IRELAND

Arcadia Bathing Club

Location – Portrush
Contact – Stephen McConnell
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Arcadia Bathing Club

Brompton Belles & Beaux Dippers

Location – Brompton Old Harbour (aka Jenny Watts’ Cove), Bangor, County Down
Contact – Marie-Therese Davis-Hanson/Stephen Hanson
Swim Times – Weekdays 6.45am and weekends various times, see Facebook
Social Media – SeaSwimsBangor2017

Carlingford Swimmers

Location – Carlingford, Republic of Ireland
Contact – Harry G Jordan
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Carlingford Swimmers

(Martin Strain)

Donaghadee “Chunky Dunkers” Swimming Gang

Location – Donaghadee
Swim Times – ‘Skins’ only group, see Facebook
Social Media – Chunky Dunkers

Glenariff’s Little Dippers

Location – Waterfoot, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Contact – Tarrin-Rae Graham
Swim Times – 12 noon, daily
Social Media – Glenariff’s Little Dippers

Helen’s Baywatch

Location – Helen’s Bay beach, Crawfordsburn Country Park
Contact – Alicia Peyrano
Swim Times – 10.30am Sunday mornings (all weathers)
Social Media – Helen’s Baywatch

Team Dash & Splash

Location – Bangor, County Down
Contact – Scott Riley
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Team Dash & Splash

NATIONAL

Slow Swimming

Location – National
Contact – Stuart Hamilton
Swim Times – Varies, see Facebook
Website – www.slowswimming.org
Social Media – Slow Swimming

UK Skinny Dippers!

Location – UK-wide
Contact – Kate Walsh
Social Media – UK Skinny Dippers!

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

For more information about outdoor swimming groups, or to add, edit or remove your group, contact groups@outdoorswimmingsociety.com

In order to add your group, we need to know:

  • group name
  • location
  • contact person
  • swim times
  • social media links
  • photo of location (with or without swimmers)