Where to go Wild Swimming in the Highlands

First things first, we do not recommend you go wild swimming in Loch Ness. Apart from the small matter of Nessie lurking deep beneath the surface, the water is bitterly cold all year round – only around 5°C. In these low temperatures, you will quickly get hypothermia. So, in other words, wild swimming in Loch Ness is very dangerous!

However, during the summer months, some of our much shallower lochs and lochans in the area warm up considerably, as high as 15°C. This can make for some very pleasant wild swimming, wearing a wetsuit. Or, for the more hardy and adventurous out there, going au natural.

Wild Swimming Hotspots

The big question is, where are the best places to go wild swimming in and around Loch Ness and Inverness? Well, we think it is for you to discover your own special swimming spot, but the lochs on South Loch Ness will provide you with plenty of options. Known locally as ‘The Inverness Lake District’, this beautiful and less travelled area is dotted with a number of small lochs, namely Loch Mhor, Loch Duntelchaig, Loch Ceo Glas, and Loch a Chlachain, all of which are ideal for wild swimming. And do not fear that your peace and quiet while swimming here is likely to be shattered by the noise of screaming children. You will be unlucky indeed if anyone disturbs your enjoyment!

Diving Into Nature Head First

Similarly, on the north side of Loch Ness there are lots of options to choose from. Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin, Loch nam Bonnach and Coire loch are all great options for wild swimming in the Highlands. Loch Beinn a’ Mheadhoin in the breath-taking Glen Affric in particular offers many opportunities for finding your own secluded sandy beach complete with tree stumps – remnants of the great Caledonian Pine Forest that once covered the area.

But if all this wild swimming seems a bit odd to you (why would you want to freeze in some Highland loch for fun?), just remember the ol’ swimming quote;

“From the outside looking in, you can’t understand it. From the inside looking out, you can’t explain it.”

In other words, to truly understand the joys of wild swimming, you have to experience it for yourself!