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waterfalls in wales

Looking for places to go wild swimming near you? If so, brace yourself as you dive into our best wild swimming in Wales locations!

From river swims to serene lagoons and cascading waters, there are so many wild swimming in Wales opportunities. Wild swimming in Wales is perfect for a refreshing dip on a summer’s afternoon but has also been proven to make a positive impact on mental wellbeing.

Ready for a dip? Dive into the best wild swimming in Wales spots below…

Wild Swimming in South Wales

1. Pen-ffordd-goch Pond | The Keeper’s Pond, Monmouthshire

Keeper's Pond

First on our guide to wild swimming in Wales is Pen-ffordd-goch Pond, also known as The Keeper’s Pond. Located on the hill above Blaenavon, this spot is ideal for a scenic swim as the sun sets over Monmouthshire.

This man-made pond was built in the early 19th century to provide water for the Garnddyrys Forge, which was later dismantled in the 1860s. Since then, it has become a beauty spot, perfect for swimmers, walkers and those alike!

Choose to park in the nearby car park as a starting point for a hike up Blorenge Mountain. After a long hike on the mountain, look forward to returning to the water for a refreshing dip before heading home!

Location: Pontypool, NP4 9SR
Parking: Free roadside parking

2. Sgwd Gwladys | Lady Falls, Brecon Beacon National Park

Sgwd Gwladus

Littered with shimmering rivers and colossal cascades, find no shortage of Brecon Beacons’ wild swimming opportunities in Waterfall Country!

Sgwd Gwladys is arguably one of the best wild swimming in Wales spots there is, set amidst enchanting scenery. It is located near the village of Pontneddfechan and is an impressive 7-meter high waterfall.

Enjoy the linear walk along the Afon Neath for approximately 30 minutes, before finding this Welsh waterfall. Take the time to dip in your toes, swim beneath the water or splash about as you enjoy this deep forest setting.

Location: near Pontneddfechan village
Parking: Pontneddfechan Village Hall, £3

3. The Blue Lagoon, Abereiddy

lagoon in Pembrokeshire,

One of the most beautiful settings for wild swimming in Wales is The Blue Lagoon in Abereiddy.

Hidden away on the National Trust site of an abandoned quarry, this free wild swimming spot promises a peaceful oasis. Find the spot just north of Abereiddy Beach and uncover its past as the St Brides Slate Company, which was active until 1910.

The quarry pit at Abereiddy was known for its array of colours, ranging from purple-black to luminous hues of blue-green, giving them their famous earthy lustre. It is in fact the slate that gives the aqua blue colour to the water, offering a truly unique spot for a wild swim today!

After completing your wild swim, why not try one of the other adrenaline-filled outdoor activities on offer? Here, you can scramble along the rocky coastline or kayak along the stunning shoreline.

Location: Abereiddy, Haverfordwest SA62 6DT
Parking: Abereiddy Beach car park, £4

4. Barafundle Bay, Pembrokeshire

Barafundle Bay

If you’re looking for wild swimming in Pembrokeshire, look no further than Barafundle Bay. This beach in Wales could easily be mistaken for a far-flung destination with its turquoise green-blue waters and warm sands.

This exotic beach makes for the perfect alternative to wild swimming in Wales’ countryside. With welcoming waves and golden dunes making it a scenic spot for a dip.

If you are feeling more adventurous, why not try the swimrun route here? Combine running through the open clifftops, and dashing through the forest trails before heading straight into the sea, boasting crystal clear waters.

The Pembrokeshire beach is somewhat isolated, so you will have to park at Stackpole Quay. Then, access is only available on foot via the coastal path, which is approximately 0.5 miles from the car park.

Location: Stackpole Quay, SA71 5LS
Parking: Stackpole Quay car park, 2 hours £2; daily £5

5. Sgwd y Pannwr | Fall of the Fuller, Brecon Beacon National Park

Sgwd y Pannwr on the lower Clun-Gwyn waterfall

This Brecon Beacon waterfall is another superb location for wild swimming in Wales. Located on the majestic River Mellete is the secluded waterfall and pool of Sgwd y Pannwr.

This waterfall is part of the Four Waterfalls Walk and is the second stop on this lovely route. The path to the base of the falls is quite rough and rocky, but it only takes a few moments to climb down with care.

Admire the multi-tier waterfall with its emerald green swimming hole at its base. Entering the water is relatively easy and shallow before it quickly deepens. Brace yourself for an icy dip, which will come as no surprise when you’re wild swimming in Wales!

Location: Four Waterfalls Walk, Neath SA11 5US
Parking: Cwm Porth car park, £4

6. Llyn y Fan Fach, Brecon Beacon National Park

Llyn y Fan Fach lake

Our final wild swimming spot in South Wales is Llyn y Fan Fach, meaning the lake of the small Beacon Hill.

This wild swimming spot in Wales can be found high above in the shadow of the Black Mountain, amidst the towering hills of the national park. What is more, the 18-meter-deep pool is home to legends and myths, making it quite an intriguing spot!

Most have heard of the ‘lady of the lake’ who gave the sword Excalibur to King Arthur. But did you know about the lady who inhabits the watery lakes of Wales?

As well as legends, this wild swimming spot is home to a host of Welsh wildlife that you can admire while taking a dip! You are likely to see red kites, buzzards, carrion crows, and kestrels here!

Location: Walk along the Brecons Way to meet the Afon Sawdde
Parking: Llyn y Fan Fach car park, SA19 9UN

Wild Swimming in North Wales

7. Llyn Tegid | Bala Lake, Gwynedd

Bala Lake, North Wales

Located in the historic market town of Bala and surrounded by the rural region of Penllyn is Llyn Tegid. Also known as Bala Lake, this spot has a strong and vibrant Welsh identity, surrounded by high mountains, forests and lush green valleys.

But you’re probably wondering, can you swim in Bala Lake?

Bala Lake swimming is one of the most popular wild swimming in Wales opportunities there is. However, you must have a permit to do so. These permits can be purchased at the Lake Wardens Centre or at the pay and display machines.

Bala Lake is four miles long and a mile wide at its widest point, making it the largest natural lake in Wales. The lake is famously deep and clear, perfect for wild swimming in Wales.

Location: Bala, Gwynedd, LL23 7AD
Parking: Foreshore car park, Bala LL23 7SW

8. Snowdonia Infinity Pool, Snowdonia National Park


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Hidden away on the Llanberis Pass in Snowdonia is the not-so-secret, Secret Infinity Pool!

Built by a local farmer, Wyn Mostyn Jones, this wild swimming in Wales spot is a tranquil location that has become one of Snowdonia’s key attractions. While we do not want to be the ones who give the location away, we can give a couple of clues to ease your search!

The pool is nestled amidst the hills above the Llanberis Pass, above a curved road and a house. Once you have found the general location of the pool, use satellite images to identify the streams following the mountain. It is essential to research beforehand and come prepared with reliable navigation to keep you on track.

Once you reach the pool, you will be greeted by shallow waters, ideal for a quick dip with stunning views!

Location: Llanberis Path, Snowdon
Parking: Nant Peris car park, LL55 4U

9. Llyn Padarn, Snowdonia National Park

Lonely Tree Sunrise

Find the glacially formed Llyn Padarn in the Snowdonia National Park, home to the famous Lone Tree. The lake is approximately two miles long and at its deepest point is 94 feet deep. This makes it one of the largest natural lakes in Wales.

This is a great wild swimming in Wales spot for first-time dippers or swimmers, with plenty of shallow lagoons to test the waters. If it’s too cold for swimming, the lake also offers opportunities for kayaking and canoeing. Alternatively, you can walk around the lake or take one of the mountain paths that surround it.

For those swimming, look forward to sharing the waters with torgoch, which is a rare type of Arctic char fish that has survived since the ice age.

After a refreshing dip, be sure to visit the National Slate Museum before exploring the impressive Dinorwig quarry.

Location: Llyn Padarn Country Park, Llanberis,  LL55 4TY
Parking: Free parking in Llyn Padarn Country Park car park

10. Llyn Cau near Dolgellau

Llyn Cau

Located in the valley of Cadair Idris is our next wild swimming in North Wales spot. Nestled under the southern slopes of the mountain is the natural bowl-shaped pool, enveloped on three sides by imposing cliffs.

The walk to this wild swimming in Wales spot can be a challenge, but the peaceful, crystal clear water that awaits you is well worth it! There are a number of paths that take you to the summit of Cadair Idris and Llyn Cau.

The hardest of all is the Minffordd Path, where good fitness and navigation skills are required. It is recommended that you complete the hike to the peak and dip into the lake on your return. Promising a refreshing end to a strenuous walk.

Location: Cadair Idris near Dollegallau
Parking: Dôl Idris Car Park, LL36 9AJ, three hours £4; £6 day

11. Park in the Past, Wrexham


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If you’re looking for wild swimming in Wrexham, look no further than the Park in the Past in Caergwrle.

The Park in the Past is an exciting and innovative heritage and conversation project, comprising 120 acres of outstanding natural beauty. This ancient Welsh landscape includes acres of woodland and wetlands, as well as wonderful walking paths and fields.

For swimming in North Wales, you can enjoy the 35-acre lake and the glistening River Alyn. Wild swimmers can enjoy this landscape for just £5. Alternatively, you can try your hand at SUP, canoeing or kayaking.

After a cooling dip, be sure to explore the ‘Roman Fort Project‘. The creation of a Roman and Iron Age Realm featuring a full-scale size Roman Fort and Celtic is the main objective of the park. They hope to make history by building the first authentic Roman fort in almost 2,000 years, using natural materials and construction techniques.

Location: Caergwrle, Hope, Wrexham, LL12 9HU
Parking: On-site parking, £2

12. Llanddwyn Island, Angelsey

Anglesey Lighthouse

Our next swimming in Wales spot is the remote tidal island off the coast of the Isle of Anglesey. Llanddwyn Island can only be accessed on foot; you can either go through Newborough Warren or along the sands. Whichever you choose, you are promised sublime views.

Llanddwyn Island is a glorious spot for wild swims, with an east and west coast meaning you can find sheltered water on either side.

On the west coast, you’ll find low tide pools that are created amongst the rocks and a couple of secluded rock coves. Alternatively, the east coast has seven sandy coves to swim from.

While you are on the island, uncover the history of Saint Dwynwen/Santes Dwynwen, who is the Welsh patron saint of lovers and sick animals. She is said to have lived a life of retreat on the island, where she built a church, the ruins of which remain.

In a similar fashion to Valentine’s Day, Dydd Santes Dwynwen is celebrated on the 25th of January.

Wild swimming in Anglesey doesn’t get much better than on Llanddwyn Island.

Location: Newborough, Anglesey, LL61 6SG
Parking: Newborough National Nature Reserve, 2 hours £2; £7 day

13. Watkin Path Pools, Snowdonia National Park

watkin path pools

After a long hike up to the peak of Snowdon, return via the Watkin Path for a refreshing dip in the waterfall.

The pool can not be missed, with the track taking you alongside the river and past the waterfall. Look forward to the sequence of crystal-clear falls and gorges that cascade down the mountainside.

After a tiring descent, dip into the pool, arguably one of the most beautiful wild swimming spots in Wales. Enjoy the crisp turquoise gorge, boasting grassy edges that you can use to slide into the water.

It is recommended that you get to this North Wales swimming spot early in the morning. This is because it can get rather busy from midday onwards in the summer. Moreover, the area is superb for a picnic, with breath-taking views to savour!

Location: Watkin Path, Snowdon
Parking: Pont Bethania, LL55 4NR, four hours £3; £6 daily

14. Llyn Idwal, Snowdonia National Park

Llyn Idwal

Llyn Idwal is a favourite amongst many for wild swimming in Wales. It’s easy to get to, making it accessible for families and those with dogs.

From Ogwen Cottages on the A4, follow the footpath from the National Trust car park to find the pool. On this path, you can face the west side of Tryfan and the Glyderau. You may also catch a glimpse of Welsh Black (cows), grazing by the lakeside!

Shortly after, the lake is revealed. From here, take the walking trail that runs around the lake to find the pebble beach at the northern end. Find several high and thin waterfalls that feed the lake, making for superb photo opportunities.

The northern end beach is the best spot to swim, where you can wade through the shallow water before the lakebed drops away. At this point, the temperature is bound to drop, but your surroundings are well worth the temporary freeze!

Location: Cwn Ideal, Glyderau, Snowdonia
Parking: Llyn Ogwen car park,  LL57 3LZ, £6

15. River Conwy near Fairy Glen waterfalls, Betws-y-Coed

river conwy

Concluding our guide to wild swimming in Wales is the River Conwy, in Betws-y-Coed. This is a great spot for a dip while admiring the Fairy Glen, a secluded gorge located on the river itself.

After dipping into the emerald green pool, it’ll be no surprise that this wild swimming in North Wales spot is steeped in folklore. This spot has been the subject of many a poem, telling tales of faeries and sprites, concealed behind toadstools under the moonlight.

Perch on the larger bounders in the glen or swim into the deeper sections of the River Conwy, as seen in the image above. A larger pool rests at the river’s confluence, where it meets the River Machno. Here, you will find picnic benches and grassy banks to refuel after a refreshing swim.

Location: A5, Betws-y-Coed LL24 0HF
Parking: From the lane, you’ll enter a small car park on private land; adults £1; children 50p.

Wild Swimming Wales Map

Feeling inspired by our wild swimming in Wales guide? If so, use our guide complete guide to wild swimming in the UK to uncover all you need to know. Alternatively, secure your Welsh cottage break or perhaps a cottage with a swimming pool is more on your wavelength! 

Image Credits: Gareth James(CC BY-SA 2.0)

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