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Naturist Holidays

Wild swimming

Wild swimming is best described as swimming in open water - that is, water that is not contained by an artificial structure. Lakes, rivers and the sea all qualify, but popular usage now seems to exclude the sea, probably because sea swimming is seen as 'normal'.

Like naturist rambling, nude wild swimming is not illegal in the UK. There are many places in the country that are secluded enough to enable you to swim nude without some busybody or other getting upset.

There are several websites out there covering nude wild swimming and links to three of them, in no particular order, are displayed.

The Farleigh and District Swimming Club - sadly not naturist - is believed to be the oldest river swimming club in the UK. It was founded in 1933 and has over 5,000 members. It is based beside the River Avon at Farleigh Hungerford in Somerset.

As well as swimming nude in the sea at several naturist beaches in England, Wales, Denmark, France, Greece and Spain - and a few textile ones - we have also swum nude in:


  • the River Barle near Dulverton in Somerset;

  • the Grwyne Fechan near Crickhowell in Powis;

  • the River Usk near Llanfihangel Gobion in Monmouthshire - see our Monmouthshire page;

  • a secluded area of Oak Mountain Lake near Birmingham in Alabama - see our Alabama page.

Before entering any open water it is advisable to carry out a risk assessment. Local knowledge can be very useful. Talk to a local swimmer, or better still swim with one. Accidents spoil the fun of wild swimming.


Here are a few tips to help you enjoy your wild swim in a lake or a river.


  1. Before you get in, make sure you can safely get out again.

  2. If you jump into cold water you may involuntarily breathe in underwater and drown. It is much safer to walk in from the shallows.

  3. Do not attempt to swim across a wide river or a lake. Stealth chilling, an underestimation of your ability, the distance and the conditions could all combine to cost you your life. It is much safer to stay close to the shore.

  4. Some weeds can catch and entrap you. Try to avoid them, but if you are caught, swim downstream using your arms only.

  5. If the river is in spate with brown water and sticks floating down, do not swim then or for a few days afterwards, to allow any pollution that might be present to run away.

  6. If the bed of the river or lake shelves abruptly or is unstable, avoid swimming there as you may have difficulty getting out again.

  7. Do not swim below a weir or waterfall where there could be a midstream reverse surface current.

  8. If you have a cut anywhere on your body, either wear a waterproof dressing or consider not swimming. Weil’s disease, also known as leptospirosis, is a low but serious risk in the UK, but a much higher risk abroad. The symptoms usually appear one to two weeks after infection, but the incubation period can be as long as a month. If, after wild swimming, flu-like symptoms appear, get tested immediately.

Adapted from an article published by


Please note that the tips above are for advice only.

Anyone considering wild swimming is entirely responsible for his or her own safety.

Naturist Holidays

Naturist Holidays

A collection of resorts, beaches and other locations for nude leisure

A collection of resorts, beaches and other locations for nude leisure

A collection of resorts, beaches and other locations for nude leisure

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