Where to go wild swimming in Herefordshire

While wild swimming may not be for the faint-hearted, it’s incredibly invigorating once you’re in the water. Wild swimming is as the name suggests: swimming in the wild water outside – whether that’s a river, lake or the ocean; no wetsuits are allowed. Immersing your bare skin in cold water can provide a sense of euphoria, soothe any aches and pains, relieve the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and boost your immune system. When you’re swimming in cold water, you have no choice but to live in the moment and focus on your breathing which can be meditative.

If you choose a scenic spot to dip into, there’s even more opportunity for enjoyment as you can admire the picturesque landscape as you swim along without having to carry any heavy equipment or clothing. Wild swimming in Herefordshire is a top spot, so we’ve chosen some of the nicest rivers and lakes – in our opinion – for you to explore below.

Bredwardine, River Wye

A charming spot near the grand old brick bridge, the River Wye has a gravel side with a slow and cooling stream. For families with children, it’s nice to come paddle and sit alongside the river and paddle on a summer’s day. The more athletic swimmers can butterfly their way up the foot of the central bridge support and dive in, should they wish to.

River Teme, Leintwardine

This quiet spot in the River Teme winds its way through a pretty green meadow and is mainly lukewarm, shallow and clear. You can access the field via the southern end of the Teme Bridge and there’s parking available just north of the Teme Bridge.

Backney Common

This historic area borders a tight loop of the River Wye. It has a large shingle-and-sand beach that opens out to a generous lake that’s perfect for wild swimming.

Lugg Meadows

This beautiful part of the River Lugg offers a private feel with a peaceful, unspoiled spot to go wild swimming. There are a few deep pools to practise your front and back crawls too.

Symonds Yat

Featuring a small sandy bay, Symonds Yat overlooks beautiful meadows and has large rocks on the bank too. There are several non-competitive swim events organised by a lady called Angela Jones that are suitable for all ages and abilities.

Kerne Bridge

Surrounded by rolling hills of greenery, Kerne Bridge was built over the River Wye between1825 and 1828. For wild swimmers, it’s important to bear in mind that the river bottom is very stony so water shoes are strongly advised. There’s also the opportunity to go canoeing through the more rapid areas.

Enjoy your time in the great outdoors whilst bathing your skin in wild water. Remember to warm up gradually after getting out of the water. It’s best to have a warm drink, layer up and go for a walk first to generate some heat in the body. It’s not advised to head straight home and take a hot shower as this could cause chilblains.


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us via the contact details below:

The Hope & Anchor Team

T: 01989477025
E: info@thehopeandanchor.co.uk