Wild Swimming on Islay

Are you looking for stunning places to go wild swimming in Scotland?

Wild swimming in Scotland can be a wonderful experience. And especially just now in our exceptionally hot summer of 2018, many are looking for somewhere to cool down. However, this is an activity that must be undertaken responsibly and safely and if done so can be a very enjoyable experience. So below we have provided some safety tips and good swimming spots.

What you need to know to stay safe while swimming outdoors…

If you decide to head to an open-source of water for a dip, there are things to consider first. Below is a guide to wild swimming in Scotland:

  1. If you are paddling in shallow water, be careful as it can suddenly become deep. If you are a non-swimmer then this can be very dangerous, therefore a good quality buoyancy aid should be worn at all times.
  2. Always swim in groups and be aware of your abilities as a swimmer.  A rule of thumb is to swim 10% of what you can do in a swimming pool as it can take time to adapt to the colder temperatures of outdoor swimming.
  3. Make sure you are visible. You can buy bright floats or wear fluorescent swim caps. this allows other water users to see you and also you can be easily found if you get into difficulty.
  4. Be sensible!! DO NOT swim under the influence of alcohol. This impairs your judgment and gives you a false sense of security and has led to many drownings in the past.
  5. Do not dive or jump into open water. Again this has caused many deaths and injuries over the years as you do not know what lies underneath the surface.
  6. Avoid weeds. Weeds can get caught around your legs. These are usually easy to see and can be avoided. Should you ever find yourself amongst them, swim slowly with your arms and try to avoid using your legs until you are out of them.
  7. Ask the locals if they know safe outdoor swimming spots. You want to avoid strong, unsafe currents, and any water that can be affected by algae.

This article here gives you some more detailed information about how to stay safe when swimming outdoors.

So where is a good place to swim on Islay?

Obviously, Islay has plenty of outdoor water spots being an island. However, this does not mean that all are safe to swim in, especially given that a lot of our water is the sea and has strong currents. Below is a guide to some places that you can swim on Islay. It must be noted though that you do so at your own risk and please refer to the above safety guide before you do.

Laggan Bay

Laggan Bay is situated at what is known as the Big Strand on Islay. It isa  7-mile expanse of golden sand. So this makes for a wonderful beach to visit on a sunny day. You can bathe here but you are advised not to go too far out and always accompany your children. 

Loch Gruinart

If you head to the former fishing village of Tayovulin, you will find some of the warmest waters that can be found on Islay for swimming in, in Loch Gruinart. Accessed from a beautiful sandy beach you are sure to enjoy a refreshing dip.

Loch Indaal

Here at Loch Indaal, there is a choice of spots where you can swim. Black Rock, Port Ban and Port Charlotte all have areas you can swim from. Also, an array of water sports such as canoeing, surfing, and yachting are available here. Furthermore, our restaurant Peatzeria is located on the shores of Loch Indaal, where you can enjoy some refreshments. 

To find out more about beaches on Islay and their safety for outdoor swimming, please visit this link here.

Come and visit us…

If you are looking for somewhere to dine then why not come to Peatzeria in Bowmore after you have had a dip? With great reviews, a fabulous menu and stunning location, you will not be disappointed. If you want to know more then explore the our website via the links at the top of the page. Or you can call us on 01496 810810 or contact us here.