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New research has revealed the wild swimming spots around the UK that Britons have been flocking to in order to escape the recent heatwave. The 10 most popular spots have been unveiled, spanning six regions of the UK; giving Britons more ideas about where to head as the heatwave continues into the weekend. According to the research, 82% of wild swimmers favour the great outdoors over pool swims.

A total of 2,611 people aged 18 and over were polled in a survey about their outdoor pursuits during the heatwave. The South West of England has now been crowned the ‘wild swimming capital’ of the UK, with five of the 10 most popular spots for the outdoor pursuit being found in this region of the UK.

The survey was carried out on behalf of outdoor swimwear and athleisurewear brand www.selkieswim.com, in a bid to find out more about the wild swimming spots that are most popular with people around the UK; including lakes, rivers and the sea. All respondents said they had been wild swimming at least once in the last month, whilst the nation has been experiencing higher than average temperatures for an extended period of time.

82% of the respondents said they favoured wild swimming over pool swims, with ‘more beautiful settings’ (57%), ‘lack of chlorine’ (23%) and ‘better workout/more demanding swim’ (16%) the top reasons listed. All respondents were asked where they had been for a wild swim during this current heatwave, which revealed the following most popular spots:

1.       Hampstead Ponds – London

2.       Porthminster Beach –  St Ives

3.       Claverton Weir – Bath

4.       Brighton Beach – Brighton

5.       Loch Lomand – Scotland

6.       Cotswold Water Park/South Cerney – Cirencester

7.       Lake Windermere – Cumbria

8.       River Wye – Forest of Dean

9.       Woolacombe Bay – Devon

10.   Coed-y-Rhaiadr (Waterfall Woods) – Brecon Beacons

51% of the respondents said that they had travelled more than 50 miles from their home to reach their wild swimming location(s) during the last month; 2% had swam alone, whilst the remaining respondents had taken the dip with friends or a group of people.

Jeremy Laming, Founder of Selkie Swim, said the following about the findings:

“Wild swimming is certainly becoming more popular in the UK, with people seeking a slightly more natural experience and adventure. The heatwave arriving in Great Britain has come as a bit of a surprise to us all; we’re so used to rainy summers and grey days, that this prolonged period of sunshine has been a treat indeed!

“There are so many benefits to outdoor, open water and wild swimming that you can’t really appreciate until you’ve tried it yourself!”