My love of wild swimming started very young, on dipping a toe into the East Coast sea and swiftly running back to our tiny family chalet to warm up and eat sandy sandwiches in a bright towelling robe. I think I simply loved the after effects, that wholesome fresh feeling that comes when the skin has been wet and cold and the contrast of a towelling robe, mug of cocoa and a hug from Mum to get me warm again. The smells of the seaside life are as vivid to me now as back then; I can easily transport myself back there by smelling the 1950s chairs I still have from those days. Playing for hours on Sandilands beach, rock pooling, building sandcastles and chasing the neighbouring chalet kids around while the parents looked on and recovered from the endless work of parenting for just a moment before they reluctantly outed the cricket kit. Now at the age of 41, my own children aren’t keen on sandy sandwiches, and on moving from East to the far West of Wales, they have the run of the Snowdonia hills. Their favourite thing is to make camp in woods and to dip a toe in the streams and rivers- a brisker affair altogether when mountain water falls from high and moves quickly through river basins! Some of my favourite dipping spots I cannot divulge or the whole cohort of world Instagram followers will arrive on my doorstep and trash the place. But I can tell you about Dolgoch Falls, a fabulous set of waterfalls running through thick Oaken woodland and endless mossy banks, a five minute drive from Snowdonia Hideaway our beautiful self catering barn conversion. Click here to book for 2-6 people or give us a call for the best price.
Tal y Llyn lake is also a great spot for a swim, the hotel like you to buy a drink after but are very welcoming and supportive of the benefits of wild swimming. There is a bit of weed in the lake, and getting changed can be a rather public affair, but once submerged, its the best infinity pool in the world as you literally swim for the mountain of Cadair Idris. A couple of swim and triathlon events are held here every year and the water becomes a splash of colour as pink, green and orange swim hats make to complete in their best PB. The Dyfi Valley also has some great waterfalls and rivers, which is half an hours drive from Snowdonia Hideaway and we also love to paddle at the base of Cadair Idris, a perfect spot for family picnics.
There are lakes and rivers a plenty in Snowdonia which make the perfect wild dipping spot, but we also have some beautiful unspoilt beaches in the South of the National Park. Tywyn our local beach is a long, sandy stretch which occasionally shows the roots of an ancient forest once used for peat fires. We like to walk from Tywyn to Aberdyfi and take lunch in Coast Deli Diner or Medina, then catch the train or bus back, dipping along the way as it takes our fancy. Aberdyfi is a bustling little seaside village with all you need for a great day out- locally made ice cream, clothing shops, pubs, restaurants and RNLI launch. Buy a crabbing net and spend an afternoon watching them crop from your line or jump the jetty at high tide (check with the coast guard if you’re not used to doing this). Lesser known, the Broadwater is also a lovely spot where the river meets the sea and a pebbly beach opens out to vast water. There is always a quiet spot to be found in Snowdonia. Come and stay and we can tell you more. Warmest, Katy and family