River Teme, Ashford Carbonel

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Look for the old schoolhouse on the left as you come into the (very pretty) village of Ashford Carbonel. You can normally park further along into the village nr the Village Hall. Almost exactly opposite the old school across the road is a small track with a ‘public bridleway’ sign and gate at the top. Follow the track down to the bend in the River Teme and Ashford Carbonel’s ‘beach’. The track (public bridleway) is apparently an access rd for a Severn Trent treatment facility which is further downriver from the swimming site around a large river bend.

People have clearly swam here for generations as evidenced by the nearby rope swing (make sure you swing clear of the rock underneath if you use!). When we arrived there were two other families with kids at the ‘beach’ who were swimming, picnicking and paddling. One gent I spoke to had been swimming there since he was a child and explained how popular it could get on hot summer days.

The site itself is on a bend of the River Teme and the gravel beach shelves (sometimes steeply in places) into a pool which I would estimate to be between 8 and 10ft deep at the time of writing (although this arrangement can apparently change substantially after the river has been in flood).

As with all of the river sites, you’ll need to use your common sense regards swimming here. When we were there it was summer, the flow was very minimal in the pool and it was a luxurious experience swimming across the deep, dark hole on the river bend. I can imagine that it can become unsafe at other times of the year though as the flow increases (to be fair as do most river sites though). Try standing in the shallows here and see how long it takes for little Stickleback fish to come along and nibble your feet – a free pedicure..

N.B. The ends of people’s gardens back down on to some of this site in the nearby woods – please try to respect their privacy and peace if on the river beach here.

UPDATE: We have been advised by a representative of the village that, although this river beach has been used for swimming for many years,  the beach and part of the access to it is privately owned despite there being a bridleway leading from the village to the beach. The village is keen to ensure outsiders do not visit the river here as such. Should you decide to visit irrespective of this warning, then please be respectful and discrete. – See more at this link 


Place Categories: River Swims and Wild Swim.

Bill Roberts says:

I was looking on the “Wild Swimming” website for somewhere to swim during a forthcoming short break we are having in the Leominster area and I saw this place and thought “Wow! What a friendly place Ashford Carbonel must be! I’m sure the local economy will soon be booming. And I guess this means that, instead of encouraging our kids to grow up enjoying healthy outdoor pursuits in the countryside, we’ll have to buy them electronic crap to keep them amused so they’ll become obese, stultified and criminally-minded. But wait – there’s always the alternative – save up and buy a house in lovely Ashford Carbonel – but on second thoughts who the hell would want to live among such people?” – By all means deal robustly with antisocial behaviour – but not by assuming every outsider is a thug. If you carry on like that, villagers, you won’t have many friends – not ones worth having anyway.

This is not a public wild swimming spot. Please stay away! The beach and access to it is privately owned and there is absolutely no public right of access. Locals have swum in the river here for years but only with permission of the landowner and access owner. The bank with the rope swing is private property. Please do not encourage people to trespass here onto that private field and garden. We are sorry if this seems like we are being “spoil sports” but this is a quiet and private village and we are having increasing problems with litter, noise, broken glass bad parking blocking access to the fields and our reed bed sewage plant, vandalism to the trees, overnight camping and fires. This is the majority view within the village. Do not attempt to come swimming here, you will be asked to leave and if you are persistent or return we will be in contact with our local police officer who is aware of the situation, has visited the site and has encouraged us to call him whenever we have unwanted trespassers here.

S Bronze says:

There is a public bridleway.

Nobody wants to trespass onto private fields or gardens(!) … they just want to enjoy something that we thought was always great about the garden of England; it’s beauty. Shame on you … what has the country come to. This … “We don’t like strangers in our village” is outdated, defunct and discriminatory.

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