The Wild Swimming Trail

Immerse your senses 'Above & Below' in Argyll

More and more people are discovering the benefits and joys of wild swimming in Scotland. Whether you are a regular selkie, or you are just dipping your toe in for the first time, these sites will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated! We are highlighting some of Argyll’s best swimming spots that are used and rated by local swimmers and experts alike – and sharing some important tips!

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A&B WILD SWIMMING

Stay safe and enjoy the experience

  • All sites are accessed at individual risk.
  • If inexperienced always use a wetsuit and make sure it fits well and is right for wild swimming with plenty movement for your arms.
  • If you haven’t been wild swimming before we recommend you start with lessons from a suitably qualified instructor.
  • Always respect the water - check for wind, swell height and the tides for that day and specific to the wild swimming location.
  • Take a friend or join a group – and always wear a silicone swim cap or head gear and use a bright coloured tow float.
  • Be sensible and only stay in the water for very short periods when starting out even if you feel fine – and have lots of layers to put back on after.
  • Only swim in skins (in a swimsuit) if you are experienced.
  • Enter the water steadily to acclimatise and never jump in without firstly acclimatising and thoroughly checking for depth and obstructions.
Does Wild Swimming appeal to you?

Whether you are looking to get in the water for the first time, or you’re an experienced swimmer looking to go that bit further, the businesses and organisations highlighted in our directory below can help you reach your goals.

If it's not a good day to get in the water, why not stay on shore and check out our Beach Hunt sites?

Check out our downloadable Above & Below Map and Guide or use our interactive map below >

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All you need to know to stay safe

While care has been taken when identifying wild swim locations to ensure they are as safe as possible, none of them are officially RLSS or RNLI lifeguard covered. All sites are accessed at individual risk. The sea temperature around Argyll can drop as low as 5 degrees in the winter and not peak much higher than 15 degrees in the summer. In open water terms, 15 degrees and below is considered “cold water”. Cold water incapacitation, hypothermia and “after drop” are all associated risks that must be taken seriously. Always respect the water - check the wind speed/direction, swell height and tides specific to the wild swimming location. If conditions change when you are in the water, adjust your plan accordingly. If in doubt, always seek the guidance of a local professional open water swim coach/wild swim guide or experienced local wild swimmers.

  • Do not swim in cold open water if you are not feeling well or have been advised by your doctor not to.
  • Check the wind direction/speed, swell height and tides in advance and again when at the site.
  • Always make yourself visible to other water users by using a bright tow float and bright swim cap.
  • Take care of your feet and wear protective footwear as surfaces can vary
  • Swim your own swim. Swim to YOUR ability and experience.
  • Wear appropriate kit according to your ability, experience and intentions i.e. a wetsuit
  • At these sites, you may encounter a range of wildlife. Respect the habitat and in the case of marine mammals, do not approach and keep your distance.
  • Always plan your entry/exit point with care thoroughly
  • Prepare plenty of warm layers for after.
  • Always inform someone of where you are and keep a fully charged/waterproof covered mobile phone close to hand.

This advice has been provided by local open water swim coach Dan Coyle (STA open water swim coach, RLSS open water safety management, lifesaving & rescue).

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Arduaine Jetty

A wide bay with views of Shuna, Luing and Craobh Haven.

Arduaine

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Cuil Bay

A wide bay popular with locals and visitors.

Duror
PA38 4DA

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SAMS Beach (Camas Rubha na Liathaig)

The horseshoe bay which lies adjacent to the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) in Dunbeg is called Camas Rubha na Liathaig but many locals like...

Scottish Association for Marine Science, Dunbeg, Oban
Dunbeg
PA37 1QA

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Ganavan Sands

Ganavan Sands has much to offer at all times of day. After a day of splashing in the water, or studying the strandline you can watch the sunset behind Mull...

Ganavan/Oban
PA34 5TB

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