Camping and campsites


Nothing quite beats camping by the water, taking a swim in the evening light and enjoying a glass of wine as the otter cub gamble under the willows… Then in the morning you can leap out of your tent and leap into the pool, wash away the sleepy dust and feel revitalised for the day.

Here are a few of our favourite river and lake side camping spots. We’d love to hear about yours, so add them to the comments or upload them as places onto the community map.

Stowford Manor on the Somerset Frome is 400m upstream the UK’s last remaining river swimming club on the Frome at Farleigh Hungerford. Great cream teas too.

Cloud Farm straddles a gushing stream with a little pool 20minutes upstream through the woods at Badgworthy Pool in Exmoor Loorna Doone country.

Clifton Hampden on the Thames was famous as a boating hang out for Jerome K. Jerome and his messing-about-on-the-river buddies. There are miles of riverside here with some good beaches.

The Suffolk Waveney was where Roger Deakin used to swim. Its a beautiful river up and down stream of Bungay and the Outney Common campsite gives access to the best streteches (though has a few too many caravans)

Person Splashing

Wastdale Head campsite is run by the National Trust in the Lake Disitrict. It’s popular but lovely and is right on the shores of one of Britian most stunning swimming lakes, Wastwater, with views up to Scafell Pike.

There’s a great riverside campsite alongside Langstrath Beck and just 5 minutes from the legendary Galleny Force pools and only 20 minutes from Blackmoss pot where there is a deep pot and a cliff to jump from.

Other good places are Hurely Island (Thames), Loughrigg Tarn (Lakes) and Appletreewick (Yorkshire Dales). Try searching doing a keyworkd search (box at top of page) to find them.

Why not buy the  full Wild Swimming ebook  for £4.95 and enjoy access to over 200 swims and 300 photos on your tablet or phone wherever you go. 



Best Places

Mildred says:

Thanks for sharing this one. I think deciding where to go is the hardest thing when it comes to camping. But camping is definitely worth it. Nothing beats spending quality time with families.

caitlin says:

We go to Stonethwaite in Borrowdale – camp right on the shores of the river Derwent. My boys were in the river at 6.45am las weekend and still there at 7pm at night. Great quiet campsite, just toilets and cold water but nothing beats that river.

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Erica says:

Seatoller Farm Campsite sits right on the River Derwent. We stayed in ‘Inside Out Yurts’ on part of the campsite and if you cross the bridge just below them there is a beautifully clear pool where the water doesn’t run at all fast. Was absolutely freezing but great, we went in every morning!

ben says:

hi there could you help me with how you prepare for wild swimming i try cold baths and the sea at home in scarborough

Anonymous says:

Swimming in the sea will do it. If you can face that in March you’re good to go inland in summer! I go for the old go in up to your knees and then splash water over yourself technique. Means you get the shock when you’re not submerged and then you have to go in cos your wet anyway! have fun!

steve says:

I want to find a river or lake where i can swim and sunbathe nude freely.