The Loony Dook may have been called off for 2023 – but here are eight of the best spots to enjoy wild swimming in and around Edinburgh.
Wild swimming (also known as open water swimming) is becoming more and more popular as a way to relax, unwind, and get back to nature. It’s also said to have great health benefits.
Here are eight areas within an hour’s drive from Edinburgh where competent swimmers can enjoy a wild swim.
Remember to stay safe and prepare before heading into the water – check tide times and local advice, and see the Outdoor Swimming Society website for safety guidance.
1. Portobello Beach
Portobello Beach has long been enjoyed by wild swimmers. There's something invigorating about plunging into the cold waters that leads to people flocking to the beach even on Christmas day. Swimmers tend to paddle parallel to the shore, taking in the beautiful stretch of sandy beach and promenade. Photo: SWNS
Threipmuir Reservoir can be found in the Pentland Hills just outside of Edinburgh, two miles from Balerno. While it's lovely to walk around, this body of water is also worthy of a joyful swim. Being fairly shallow in places, it's perfect for beginners and big enough for experienced swimmers to enjoy. Be respectful of anglers and don't swim near the reservoir's gate. Photo: Getty Images
3. Wardie Bay
Wardie Bay has become a favourite spot for wild swimmers in Edinburgh, helped by groups like Wardie Bay Wild Ones. It can be found at Granton Harbour and has peaceful views of the Firth of Forth. Photo: Contributed
Cramond beach is famous for its reliance on the tides, with the seas retreating to reveal a causeway to Cramond Island in the Firth of Forth. It means wild swimming is limited to high tide. It's advised to swim on the eastern side of the gangway - away from the River Almond, which suffers from pollution. Photo: Getty Images