Wild swimming, also known as cold water swimming or open water swimming, has sky-rocketed in popularity over recent years. It has numerous health benefits, as well as producing a refreshingly cathartic experience. Monmouthshire is jam-packed full of crystal-clear pools, gentle streams, and cascading waterfalls, suitable for adults and children alike to enjoy a refreshing dip or exhilarating swim. Check out our guide to wild swimming in magical Monmouthshire below…
Recommended Wild Swimming Spots
Bugle Bridge, Llanthony
Bugle (pronounced Bew-glie) Bridge is just a short walk away from Llanthony Castaway, making for the perfect place to jump into the river to cool off on those hot summer days – if you’re brave enough! There’s an annual New Year’s Day swim here to raise money for charity too. We recommend always checking the depth in the summer, in case the river levels are too low for swimming.
The Warren, Hay-on-Wye
Situated at the edge of Hay-on-Wye and surrounded by picture-perfect woodland, The Warren is a popular family-friendly swimming spot in the heart of the Brecon Beacons. The beach can be accessed from a shingle beach, providing ample opportunities to paddle in the shallows or swim some lengths in the deeper waters. The lush green fields make for a truly beautiful wild swimming background.
Keeper’s Pond, Blaenavon
Known to locals as Pen-ffordd-goch, Keeper’s Pond is perched atop a hill, providing superb ‘infinity pool’ views over Blaenavon and the surrounding countryside. The lake once powered the Garn Ddyrys iron forge, making for the perfect spot for a summer swim. With easy access to the lake, you can enjoy a bracing dip in the crystal-clear waters whilst taking in the spectacular surrounding scenery.
Llangynidr Falls, River Usk
Llangynidr Falls is one of the top spots for safe swimming in the river Usk, offering two hidden-away pools in picturesque countryside. This lovely spot of river near Crickhowell has deeper pools upstream, as well as shallower rapid sections. Downstream, you will find a large, secluded pool sat beneath a cascading waterfall, sheltered by a wooden crag – ideal for an idyllic summer swim.
Skenfrith, River Monnow
Set in the shadow of the 13th Century Skenfrith Castle ruins, this popular river swim is a great laid-back swimming spot on a summer’s day. This deep, wide pool is easy to access from under the shady trees and is perfect for adults and children alike – you’ll often see families splashing about with inflatables or playing on the rope swing. Swimming in the shadow of a 13th Century castle is a truly special experience.
Wild Swimming Tips: Staying Safe Whilst Swimming
Although wild swimming is fun and enjoyable, it’s vitally important to always put safety first. It should be enjoyed at your own risk, and children should always be kept under close supervision. Never swim when there is a strong current and go slow and steady whilst getting familiar with your limits. Some top tips for wild swimming:
- Only swim in shallow lakes and river pools. Before entering the water, find out where your exits are and check for depth, obstructions, and the water flow.
- The water WILL be cold, even during the summer months. If you’re a newbie to wild swimming, make sure you enter the water slowly and steadily, to allow your body to acclimatise. We recommend splashing some water on your arms and neck to help you get used to the temperature.
- NEVER go wild swimming alone and make friends/family aware of your plans to go swimming. Stay close to the edges for your first few swims, so you can get out quickly if needed.
- Don’t stay in the water too long to ensure you don’t get too cold. Make sure you have some warm clothes that you can change into after your swim.
- Know your limits!
Go Wild Swimming at Llanthony Castaway
Our beautifully renovated railway carriage is nestled in a tranquil Welsh valley, set on a traditional working farm. We are now fully booked for the summer season, with the following upcoming availability:
- Monday 29th – Friday 2nd September = £522
- Monday 5th – Friday 9th September = £498
- Friday 9th – Monday 12th September = £410
- Monday 12th – Wednesday 14th September = £249
- Friday 16th – Monday 19th September = £410
- Monday 19th – Wednesday 21st September = £218
- Friday 23rd – Monday 26th September = £395
- Monday 26th – Friday 30th September = £437
Click here to book your break in magical Monmouthshire today!