3 lovely spots for wild swimming or canoeing

When the sun makes its appearance this summer, it’s an excellent time for wild swimming. Check out these three spots in and around the Marches for a proper swim or to take a cooling summer splash. Before you go, check out the safety tips below and do your research to make sure that lovely spot is perfect for you.

River Teme: Millennium Green, The Linney, Ludlow

Play time at Mill on the Green, Ludlow

Play time at Mill on the Green, Ludlow

On a hot summer’s day this is where you find the locals. The Millennium Green is a picturesque spot overlooked by the castle and next to Dinham Bridge. Children can wade easily among the pools or wander over the rocks to explore. Year round, you’ll find stronger swimmers generally beginning their swim at the pontoon beside the playground park and head down river, ending their swim at the weir. When the kids become bored with paddling head to the playground further down the road, or bribe them with delicious ice creams and/or hot drinks available at the takeaway at CSons at the Green Café.

River Teme & River Clun: The Bridge at Leintwardine

Bridge at Leintwardine

Bridge at Leintwardine

Where the River Teme meets the River Clun in idyllic Leintwardine is near perfect. By the bridge there is a small riverside park with picnic tables, or wander along the footpath that hugs the river on the opposite bank to the Lion Inn, which has rooms and a restaurant serving wonderful fare. Further along there are wonderful places for children to wade out and build dams. Also an excellent place for a sneaky geography lesson for the kids as there is an example of an oxbow lake.  The adventurous will find a swing near the stile for launching out over the river; or for those who would rather admire the gorgeous scene in comfort, soak up the atmosphere and sit on the banks in the large garden at the Lion Inn.

River Lugg: Bodenham, Herefordshire

View of Lugg Bridge captured by drone by  Michael Peet

View of Lugg Bridge captured by drone by Michael Peet

For a spot of quiet secluded swimming, head to the parish of Bodenham, just south of Leominster, which sits in the bend of the river Lugg. Behind St. Michael’s and the All Angels Church follow the path, through the field head downstream to find beaches and pools to play in and enjoy the serenity of the woods around the shoreline.

And if swimming doesn’t float your boat, why not hire a canoe and enjoy the river and wildlife at a slow pace.

RIVER RUN

River Severn:

Hire a Canoe, Bewdley (07397 005 355)

If you fancy seeing river Severn from a new perspective of Shropshire and Worcestershire, hire a canoe for either a self-guided 4-, 8- or 14-mile trip with lunch provided for the longer journeys. The company also organise paddle boarding lessons at  Montford Bridge.

Kingfisher Kayak and Canoe Hire. (07974 562 669)

Travel the River Severn or Montgomery Canal in the Welsh borders and enjoy the peaceful setting and spot local wildlife while paddling gently downriver. Camping and picnic spot also on offer.

River Wye:

Hereford Canoe Hire (01432 873 020)

Paddle gently downstream through the beautiful Wye Valley stopping for a pub lunch or a picnic. Hereford Canoe Hire offer ‘a paddle about’ taster session to learn the basics; a half day of canoeing travelling 8.5 miles or for the more experienced paddler a 6-8 hour trip of 19 miles.

Wye Valley Centre (01497 847213)

in living colour canoe or kayak hire at wye valley canoe centre

in living colour canoe or kayak hire at wye valley canoe centre

Make like Huckleberry Finn or the classic Three Men in a Boat and make a holiday of it and decide to camp out. The Wye Valley Canoe Centre is just four miles west of Hay-on-Wye, next to the bridge at Glasbury and behind  The River Café. So you can fuel up at the cafe, before you paddled down river to Hay or beyond. When you are ready, the company will collect you.

We have a fleet of canoes, kayaks, double kayaks, mountain bikes and accommodation to sleep from 1 to 26! So come for breakfast, have a day on the river and return to great food and a comfy bed.

There you have it. All we need now is a little sunshine and a picnic hamper full of local delicacies to while away our time.

Water safety


Please note that, tempting through wild swimming can be on a hot day, it always comes with some risks. You should always be careful and take the appropriate precautions. Some quick tips include:

  • Constantly supervise children or people who are not strong swimmers

  • Check the depth of water before jumping or diving. Be aware that the depth of river beds changes quickly

  • Be wary of fast flowing water, slippery rocks & a false sense of security from inflatables

  • Don’t jump into cold water, take your time and don’t get too cold once you’re in

  • Keep away from too many river weeds

For more health and safety tips, visit Wild Swimming