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 – See Instagram
Social Media – @stonecoldswimmers 

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

Swim Walks

Swim Walks

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

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

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

Wild Swimming Teignbridge

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

(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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(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

(Jess Smith)

Surrey Outdoor Swimming

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

(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

Emsworth Sea Swimmers

Emsworth Sea Swimmers

Location – Emsworth Harbour (tidal) or Hayling Island
Contact – Ali Couch
Swim Times – Ad hoc swims during the year, regular weekend swims Spring to Autumn
Social Media – Emsworth Sea Swimmers

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

 

Salty Seabirds

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

EAST ANGLIA

(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

(Lindsay Riley)

Nottingham/Derby OW Swimmers

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

SLOTHS – South Lincolnshire Outdoor Temperature Hardened Swimmers

Location – South Lincolnshire
Swim Times – See Facebook
Social Media – SLOTHS

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

Wild Swimming – Derbyshire, UK

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

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

(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

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

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

(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

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

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 10.30am, 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

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

SCOTLAND

(Alice Goodridge)

Cairngorm Wild Swimmers

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

Edinburgh Wild Swimming Meetup Group

Location – Various
Contact – Alison Parker
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Meetup
Social Media – http://meetu.ps/c/3FGhM/zxzXC/a

 

Hebridean Sea Swimmers

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

(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

(Liz Stevens)

Loch Tay Open Water Swimmers

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

(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
Swim Times – Ad hoc, see Facebook
Social Media – Selkies

(AE O'Donnell)

Wild Ones Edinburgh

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

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

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

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

Chilly Dippers

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

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

WALES

(Gary Standen)

Happy Wild Swimming Wales

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

(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

Wye Not Swim?

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

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

NORTHERN IRELAND

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

(Martin Strain)

Donaghadee “Chunky Dunkers” Swimming Gang

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

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:

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