Absolute Escapes February 20 2020

If you’re brave enough to wade into the icy waters, Scotland has no shortage of stunning, wild places to swim. From rocky gorges to magical lakes and sandy beaches, every swimming spot offers something unique.

With 16 years’ experience of arranging award-winning self-drive & walking holidays in Scotland, the Absolute Escapes team has explored many wonderful, wild swimming spots, so we thought we’d share some of these with you.

Before you dive into our favourite spots, a quick reminder that in Scotland, all waters are accessible as long as swimmers uphold the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. This states that people must respect the interests of others, care for the environment, and take responsibility for their own actions. Also, please remember that swimming in open water can be dangerous so please take care – you can find our top tips for safety at the end of this blog.

Here are some of our absolute favourites. Let’s jump in!


Falls of Falloch, Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park

A firm favourite for many holidaymakers, the Falls of Falloch consist of a fast-flowing waterfall which has carved out a basin of water perfect for swimming and diving. With plenty of Munros nearby, the cool, refreshing waters are perfect for soothing aching muscles.

For the brave, there are multiple jumping rocks at increasing heights surrounding the pool. For everyone else (including me), you may be quite happy swimming, relaxing by the side of the pool, and watching with awe as people jump from dizzying heights in their wetsuits.

The Falls are situated just off the main road passing through the Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park and only a 2-minute walk from a car park. Popular with holidaymakers and day-trippers during summer, the pools can be very busy, especially on a hot summer weekend. To escape the crowds, visit the smaller pools downstream.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Dan Starling (@starling_in_scotland) on


An Lochan Uaine, Cairngorms National Park

An Lochan Uaine is no doubt one of the most striking wild swimming spots in Scotland, with stunning turquoise waters reminiscent of a Norwegian lake. Gaelic for ‘small green loch’, the waters offer a perfect spot for a dip after a stroll through the surrounding pine forests.

Park at nearby Loch Morlich and take the 45-minute walk to the lochan. You may wish to extend your adventure and take the circular walk back with views of Loch Morlich and Cairngorm.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Andy (@mountain_drew89) on


Loch An Eilein, Cairngorms National Park

Also situated in the Cairngorms National Park and framed by the tall pines of Rothiemurchus Forest is Loch an Eilein. The small, picturesque loch is well-loved as a picnic spot and is surrounded by many walks and cycles. The historic ruins of a small castle sit about 70m offshore on an island (why not challenge yourself to swim over?).

Combine exploring this beautiful area by bike or foot with a dip in the waters of Loch an Eilein. It’s the perfect day out.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Aline #madeinalsace ???????? (@aline_travelworld) on


Soldier’s Leap, Pitlochry

A wide gorge on the River Garry which leads to a large river pool with jumping rocks and perfect sunbathing rocks. This stunning spot is named after a Killiecrankie legend where a soldier is said to have leapt across the 5.5m gorge to escape his enemies, and the wild swimming spot can be found off the path towards the Soldier’s Leap.

Follow an informal, steep path to the left to find the pool below. It is steep and a scramble to get to but well worth a visit for peace, privacy and a refreshing swim.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by David (@david_swims_scotland)


Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye

This stunning black sand beach has views of dramatic cliffs and a waterfall as well as rock pools to explore nearby. It feels like a slice of paradise on a sunny day.

Park by the house and follow signs to the beach. The walk will take 20 minutes on easy tracks.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Tuomas Mutanen (@tuomasmutanen) on


The Faerie Pools, Isle of Skye

With crystal clear waters and a stunning backdrop, the Faerie Pools of Skye feel incredibly magical. These well-known pools sit under the Cuillin Mountains on the road to Glen Brittle. A beautiful place to visit, it is very popular especially in summer and is usually very busy.

However, the lesser-known Faerie pools are located on the route up to the Munro Bla Bheinn. A waterfall gorge spills out of the mountainside and there are multiple pools on the route up. End your day on Bla Bheinn with a jump into these magical pools.


Red Point Beach, Wester Ross

Located at the end of a winding single-track road on the edge of a stunning peninsula in Wester Ross, this is one of our favourite beaches in Scotland. This glorious beach boasts soft, white sands, calm waters and feels like a hidden gem – surprising considering it has been featured in many articles and books on wild swimming.

A perfect wild swimming spot with views over to Skye – let’s keep this one our secret.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Irwin McLean (@irwinmclean) on


The Bridge at Little Garve, Highlands

The Bridge at Little Garve is steeped in history. It was built around 1762 as part of a military road for the army and cattle herders later used the bridge for their animals. Underneath the bridge, the pools of Black Water are ideal for swimming and are surrounded by large, flat rocks which create perfect sun loungers. Dip into the cool waters after a hike nearby.


Top tips for staying safe in the water

  • Always swim with a partner, or tell someone where you are going
  • Dress appropriately!
  • Always have dry, warm clothes nearby for when you get out of the water
  • Be wary of the current and depth of water before jumping in
  • Know your capabilities
  • Take care while entering the water
  • Enjoy!


Experience Scotland’s Top Swimming Spots for Yourself

If you are inspired to visit Scotland, Absolute Escapes offer award-winning self-drive holidays which are 100% tailor-made to your wishes. We would love the opportunity to help you plan your next holiday and turn your dreams of jumping into the refreshing waters of Scotland a reality.

Send us an enquiry now and start planning your Scottish escape.

Back to top