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Wild Swimming: The Cotswolds Edition

Wild Swimming: The Cotswolds Edition

What image springs to mind when you think of The Cotswolds? The beautiful rolling countryside? The traditional, ivy-covered English cottage? Meadows and old stone bridges? Well, it is in fact all of those things… but so much more.

Wild Swimming, The Cotswolds

The Cotswolds sits west of London and is home to multiple old villages and revered stately homes. The name ‘Cotswold’ means ‘sheep in rolling hillsides’ – which captures the vibes here perfectly. But we aren’t here for a history lesson, we are here to give you some of the best wild swimming spots in the region should you ever visit and fancy a brisk morning dip. Let’s get to it…

Wild Swimming, The Cotswolds

Buscot Weir

Part of the famous River Thames, this picturesque slice of aqua paradise is surrounded by trees and nature. The water is clean too – yes, not like London’s stretch of the ‘grey’ Thames – and you can enjoy deeper water that enables for a refreshing swim.

There is a handy and quaint tearoom, aptly named Buscot Tearoom, which will provide you with ample warmth and sustenance, pre or post-swim. After your swim and warm tea, you can explore Buscot Locks, admire the barges on the canal, and watch the birds skim over the falls. It is a truly beautiful spot, and rightfully our starting point on this list.

River Windrush

Minster Lovell Hall is now in ruins, but it does provide a rather majestic area to explore besides the River Windrush. There are multiple areas to wild swim in this stretch of water, but this particular spot is special. With partial shade by the trees, and families enjoying picnics at the water’s edge in summertime, this is a vibrant community spot.

The water here never gets too busy either, though you will encounter the occasional kayaker or fishing waders! Beyond the banks, there are meadows leading to Dovecote and a small footbridge for access.

Cheese Wharf

This is one of the most popular and well-known swimming spots in The Cotswolds, and for good reason! There is a deep pool inside a river bend, a panoramic bridge framing the waters, a rope swing, and plenty of vibrant visitors during summer. The water is vast with plenty of access points to climb in or launch a paddle board from.

You can even walk to Buscot Old Parsonage from Cheese Wharf, which is a National Trust-owned, 18th-century riverside house. A perfect day of exploring English history after an early morning swim down the river if you ask us!

Cotswold Country Park and Beach

No Cotswolds swimming blog would be complete without this. Beautiful freshwater lakes, set amidst panoramic parkland – Cotswold Country Park and Beach is a must-visit if you are in the area. Perfect for friends and families, there’s an array of activities, water sports and play areas.

The big draw though is the beautiful sandy beach which, if you squint, could be somewhere in the Balearics, not in England! With two large lakes to its name, two beaches, a café, kayak rental and many other features, this is a good place to spend a hot summer’s day on (or in) the water!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of popular Cotswolds swimming destinations – come back in the future for more of our wild swimming editions.