Love to swim? With picture-perfect rivers, natural pools, and the rugged beauty of the Jurassic coastline all within easy reach of your luxurious hotel room at the Summer Lodge or The Acorn Inn, why not don your swimming costume and indulge in some wild swimming during your next trip to Dorset? Whether you’re after a relaxed day out with the whole family or you want to swim through the iconic Durdle Door with your friends, there are plenty of places for an al fresco swim in these parts. Take a look at our guide to six of the best spots for wild swimming in Dorset.
The stretch of the River Stour near the ever so charming wrought-iron Colber Bridge in Sturminster Newton is perfect for long, leisurely swims both up and downstream, depending on your inclination. Clean and gentle with nearby grassy fields to lounge in (and dry off) on a sunny day, this stretch of river is one of our favourite places for wild swimming in Dorset.
Not far from Sturminster Newton and back in the River Stour again, the stretch near the beautiful 14th century Fiddleford Manor is great for a cooling dip after a cultural visit to the Manor, now an English Heritage Site. The water near the Old Manor and the Mill Pool are the best for swimming here.
If you find yourself in need of a cool down while exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Jurassic coastline, make a beeline for Chesil Beach. In fact, a number of smaller areas actually form Chesil, giving swimmers the choice between Hive Beach (which is a shingle beach) and Fleet Lagoon, the water separating Chesil from the mainland.
A great one for families, the shallow waters at Moreton Ford are ideal for smaller wild swimmers to conquer. Part of the River Frome, the Ford is surrounded by willow, making this a lovely shady spot for an afternoon outing. Plus, it has a rope swing to enjoy and the ford itself is located next to the charming St Nicholas Church, the burial place of Lawrence of Arabia.
The beautiful stretch of the River Stour near the market town of Wimborne Minster is a delightful place for an outdoor paddle. The wild swimming spot at Wimborne is a popular location, accompanied by its own footbridge, weir and riverside beach, making it the perfect place to lounge, float, or attempt the long swim upstream.
Durdle Door, the famed natural limestone arch, is another top spot for wild swimming in Dorset, found along the Jurassic Coastline. Picturesque and challenging, “swimming the door” has become something of a tradition in the area, prompting the question: can you make it through the door on your wild swim?
After an energetic day of wild swimming in Dorset, towel off and return to the relaxing environs of Summer Lodge or The Acorn Inn. A day of wild swimming should be rewarded with a delicious dinner and a glass of something suitably refreshing.
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