The best spots for wild swimming in Sussex

Written by Noor Sheikh

Cold-water swimming is beneficial for the body – that is no secret. We have seen our fair share of people going for a midwinter swim. Now that spring is here, you may be more enticed to take a dip. We’ve compiled a list of peaceful places you can get outdoors and go for a swim.

Barcombe Mills 

Starting off with a Sussex favourite, Barcombe Mills is a great area for anyone who is starting to take an interest in wild swimming. Surrounded by fields and meadows, it is thought of as somewhat of a sanctuary by its frequent visitors. The water is some of the best quality for outdoor swimming in Sussex. Completely accessible too, there is car park nearby which makes it ideal for a family day out. 

Cuckmere Meanders

Another spot for beginners in wild swimming, Cuckmere Meanders are a surprisingly warm cluster of lakes and streams just off the main River Cuck. Cuckmere Meanders also has quite clear water meaning the wildlife in the lakes is visible to swimmers. Going towards the sea, you’ll approach Cuckmere Haven where the water becomes chalkier. Cuckmere Haven is a superb spot for a quiet beach swim. For the more adventurous swimmer, the River Cuck’s slightly stronger currents are sure to give you a bit of a challenge.

Houghton Bridge

At Houghton Bridge, you’ll find swimmers in the idyllic rivers that run through the vast meadows. The area itself is filled with other activities. Another family friendly day out, Houghton Bridge has multiple streams to explore. No one is at risk of getting bored with how much open space there is. If you want to make the most of your trip, visit the tea rooms which make the perfect addition to the quaint wildlife scene.

Waller’s Haven

Up to 15 feet deep, the edges of Waller’s Haven are surrounded by reeds and marshy ground. This spot is best reserved for the more experienced swimmers. The river is notoriously awkward to get in and out of, but don’t let that stop you from attempting it. It is recommended that swimmers go in groups, just to stay on the safe side. Once you arrive, the tranquillity of the area is sure to put you at ease. The high quality of water at Waller’s Haven will make for a very easy swim once you’ve made your way in.

Pells Pool

For those who want to be in the peaceful wild swim environment without the swimming in natural water, Pells Pool in Lewes might be worth a visit. It may not be wild swimming per se, but it is the oldest freshwater pool in the United Kingdom. Located in a lawn lined with trees, you’ll still feel close to nature. It is a close second to real wild swimming, especially as the spring-fed pool is heated by the sun. Get outdoors and feel fresh with this swim option.

Sea Lanes – coming soon

If you’re opposed to a freshwater swimming pool and want to stay close to the city centre, a brand-new pool development is coming to the Brighton Seafront. Due to open this spring, Sea Lanes will be home to a heated outdoor pool, gym and indoor studios, as well as an indoor pool. 

Sussex is full of serene areas that are absolutely perfect for wild swimming.

Prefer to relax rather than be active? Beach Box Spa is an outdoor spa and sauna experience on the beach. Find out more in our article here:

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