Many rivers across the UK are great spots for a little wild swimming. The River Dart in Dartmoor National Park has tempted swimmers for decades, and many areas of its stretch across Devon are safe and clear, particularly the area outside the village of Staverton. Claverton Weir in the River Avon is also a celebrated swimming spot, with child-friendly grassy surrounds. Want to dive into the Thames? Wait until you’re outside London; the Pangbourne banks are popular for a swim.
The entirety of the River Stour in Kent also welcomes swimmers, whether you want to explore its open sunnier areas or its cooler, forested places. Want remoteness on the Sussex Downs? Head for the River Ouse, which has occasional waterside inns and boat hire along its banks, but is otherwise a clear, clean stretch of water with nothing but fields for miles.
Wales has many beautiful swimming rivers, including the River Usk, with its pools and islands, and the remote River Vyrnwy, which rewards intrepid travellers with miles of calm water. In Scotland, the River Oude leads into the Oude Dam, both gloriously clean (if very cool) swimming places.