Wild Swimming in Scotland

Welcome to our aquatic haven, where the allure of open waters meets the thrill of untamed landscapes. If you’ve ever felt the irresistible call of nature, the pull of adventure in your veins, then you’re in the right place. This is a rendezvous for those who seek the exhilaration of wild swimming – an exploration into the untouched realms where crystal-clear lochs, meandering rivers, and rugged coastal shores become the canvas for our aquatic adventures.

In this blog, we embark on a journey beyond the chlorinated confines of traditional pools, discovering the hidden gems that Scotland’s wild waters have to offer, we’ll guide you through to reveal the benefits, hidden gems and top tips in our ‘Wild Swimming in Scotland’ blog.

  • Benefits of Wild swimming
  • Scotlands best Wild Swimming locations
  • Keeping safe in the water
  • Essential gear for taking the plunge

Benefits of Wild Swimming

Wild swimming offers a myriad of benefits for both physical and mental well-being. The act of swimming in the wild, surrounded by the sights and sounds of nature, promotes stress reduction and a sense of tranquility. This connection with the natural environment fosters mindfulness and elevates mood through the release of endorphins.

Cold water exposure, a hallmark of wild swimming, not only boosts the immune system but also improves circulation, contributing to better overall health. Beyond the physiological benefits, wild swimming encourages social interaction, community building, and a profound appreciation for the environment. The adventure and exploration associated with finding new swimming spots add an element of excitement, making wild swimming a holistic and rejuvenating experience for both body and mind.

  • Physical Health
  • Mental Health
  • Immune System boost
  • Connection with Nature
  • Social Interaction
  • Improved sleep
  • Adventure and Exploration

Our top 5 Wild Swimming locations- Scotland

Scotland boasts a plethora of stunning wild swimming locations, each with its unique charm and beauty. Whether you’re a seasoned wild swimmer or a newcomer seeking to dip your toes into the adventure,

  • Glen Nevis, Fort William
  • Fairy Pools, Skye
  • Glencoe Lochan, Glencoe
  • Gladhouse reservoir, Edinburgh

Glen Nevis, Fort William

Glen Nevis, located at the foot of Ben Nevis—the UK’s highest peak—in the Scottish Highlands, is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, and it offers some inviting swimming spots amidst its scenic beauty. Some of these clear mountain-water pools are hidden within the towering peaks of the glen, so be prepared for the walk- it’s always totally worth it for the picturesque wild swimming experience. Here are a few Glen Nevis swimming spots worth exploring:

  • Lower Falls (Polldubh Falls)
  • Upper Falls (An Steall Ban)
  • Steall Falls and the Nevis Gorge

Fairy Pools, Skye

The Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye are renowned for their magical beauty and offer a captivating wild swimming experience. Located in Glen Brittle, at the foot of the Black Cuillin mountains, the Fairy Pools consist of a series of crystal-clear, vibrant blue pools connected by cascading waterfalls. 

Glencoe Lochan, Glencoe

Glencoe Lochan, situated in the iconic Glencoe Valley in the Scottish Highlands, is a picturesque location surrounded by woodland. While wild swimming in Glencoe Lochan may not be as popular as in some other locations, the lochans’ tranquil setting makes it an appealing spot for those seeking a peaceful swim in a beautiful natural environment.

Gladhouse Reservoir, Edinburgh

Gladhouse Reservoir is located in the Scottish Borders, near the village of Temple. The reservoir, also known as Gladhouse Loch, is situated amidst picturesque surroundings and offers a serene setting for a peaceful escape

Wild Swimming Scotland- Keeping Safe

Wild swimming in Scotland offers a unique and exhilarating experience, but safety should always be a top priority. Here are some key safety considerations for wild swimming in Scotland:

Water Temperature
Scotland’s waters can be cold, even in the summer. Cold water can lead to hypothermia, so it’s crucial to be aware of the temperature and wear appropriate gear like wetsuits to stay warm.

Weather Conditions
Scotland’s weather is known for its variability. Check the weather forecast before heading out and be prepared for changes in conditions. Strong winds, rain, and low visibility can impact safety in the water.

Know the Environment
Understand the characteristics of the water you’ll be swimming in, such as currents, tides, and potential hazards. Be cautious of submerged rocks, underwater vegetation, and any potential dangers beneath the surface.

Safety Equipment
Consider wearing safety equipment such as brightly colored swim caps, which make you more visible in the water. Depending on the conditions and location, you may also need items like a tow float for increased visibility and buoyancy.

If you’re not accustomed to cold water, gradually acclimate your body by entering the water slowly and allowing time for adaptation. Avoid jumping straight into deep, cold water without first getting used to the temperature.

Essential gear for taking the plunge

When engaging in wild swimming in Scotland, having the right equipment is crucial for safety, comfort, and enjoyment. Here’s a list of recommended equipment for wild swimming:


Although some of you more seasoned wild swimmers may thrive off the adrenaline from the numbing chill as your skin touches the mountain water, wearing a wetsuit is always a good idea- not only for warmth, but for buoyancy too. 

Unless you are a distance swimmer, there is no need to spend hundreds on a wetsuit, a cheap all-rounder will do to start with, here are our favourite budget and not-so-budget wetsuits: 

Tow Float

Wether you’re trying to swim a distance or you’re heading in for a quick dip, a tow float is essential in keeping you safe in the water. A tow float is a buoyant device that you can tow behind you while swimming. It not only increases your visibility in the water but also provides a safety float if you need a rest or assistance. 


Arguably, it is not the most essential piece of equipment, but it definitely is for me. Quite frankly, there is nothing more lovely than sipping on your steaming tea or coffee to warm up your shivering body from the chilly Scottish water- it’s even better if you bring a wee sweet treat too. 

Warm layers

Contrary to the suggestions from google search engine, you do not need a fancy dry-robe to warm you up after your swim- unless you want to look like a hardened swimmer for the instagram. Wrapping up warm after your swim, is just as important as keeping warm in the water. 

Keeping warm after a cold swim in a Scottish waterfall

If you like wild swimming, you will love Coasteering. More and more at Intrepidus Outdoors we are getting wild swimming groups or organised clubs joining us of a Coasteering adventure. Participants are talking the the ice that already runs through their veins to the level by not only taking a plunge, but sending it off a cliff to get in!

MY Adventure and Intrepidus Outdoors are adventure tours and outdoor experience providers, both based in Edinburgh, Scotland. We specialise in private and open canyoningcoasteeringmountain biking and hill walking tours, and deliver these adventurous experiences across Scotland. We are also a provider of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions where we run bronze, silver and gold level awards for young people.

If you are looking for additional information about adventures from Edinburgh, we have published a number of blogs:

  • Eight Scottish Wonders- by Paul Lamarra here
  • The best head torches for adventures in the outdoors here
  • High and Mighty- Bouldering in Scotland here
  • Top tips for backpacking Scotland here
  • 6 steps to being happy like a Scot here 
  • You’ll never get bored in Edinburgh here 
  • Best Budget Hotels and Hostels Edinburgh here 
  • Hen Party Adventures Edinburgh: here
  • Stag Party Outdoor Adventures Edinburgh Essentials: here
  • SUP, A Buying Guide: here

If you haven’t already seen it, check out the our  Trip AdvisorYoutube channelVisit Scotland page and blog to hear about how others found their outdoor adventures with us! Equally, if there is any gear that you would like us to review, drop us a DM.

Intrepidus Outdoors – Adventures Edinburgh, Scotland!

Intrepidus Outdoors is based in Edinburgh, Scotland and specialises in Outdoor Activities. We are an adventure tourism and outdoor education provider based in Edinburgh. However, we also operate out of Glasgow, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Tweed ValleyPerth, Fort William, Cairngorm National Park, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Loch Tay.

We specialise in canyoning, coasteering, mountain biking and hill walking, and deliver these adventurous experiences across Scotland. The experiences that we provide take clients into some of the most exquisite, incredible and extreme environments the UK has to offer. Through our MY Adventure (Edinburgh) brand we are also a provider of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions where we run bronze, silver and gold level awards for young people. These expeditions are through the disciplines of hill walking as well as canoeing. 

Mission Statment :

To deliver the highest quality adventurous experiences to entertain, thrill and inspire.


Outdoor Activities: Edinburgh & Scotland

Our values reflect those of a business started by a small group of rock climbers and mountain bikers. The experiences that we have had adventuring, and our passion for the outdoors, has led us to choose a lifestyle dedicated to sharing our love for the outdoors with others. The approach that we take to the experiences that we provide, and the business that we run, is that of sustainability, and an unapologetic quest for quality.

For us at Intrepidus Outdoors, we recognise that our experiences kayaking in clean rivers, surfing on unpolluted beaches and climbing frozen waterfalls have contributed to who we are as people. Therefore, protecting the planet so that the next generation of adventurers can have their own experiences, is hugely important for us. We believe that for people, communities and businesses to make the choice to minimise their impact on our planet, they must first value the planet that we have. We feel that the best way for people to value our blue planet, is to have first hand quality experiences in nature. They can then see the beauty of a forest, feel the power of an ocean and learn to love what is outside our towns and cities, so that they then fight to protect them. We strive to through the products that we deliver make a small difference to peoples understanding of the impact that they have on our world.

Our experiences adventuring have made us who we are and Intrepidus Outdoors is a reflection of us. We provide real adventurous experience that we hope you will cherish.


Adventure Activities: Edinburgh & Scotland

There are cities where stuff is happening all year round and where you will never get bored. Edinburgh is undoubtedly one of these cities. It’s an extraordinary place, full of history, festivals, impressive architecture and plenty of attractions you won’t find anywhere else. Not to mention that we are located on the door step of so many amazing adventures and outdoor experiences.

We would like to introduce you to this extraordinary city, giving you a full range of possibilities that can be found north of the wall! Edinburgh has a huge dose of beautiful history, world-famous festivals, fantastic attractions, adrenaline fuled expereinces and great food. Edinburgh is calling you and you simply cannot refuse its invitation.

There are a many outdoor and adventurous experiences to be had in Edinburgh. If you are a thrill seeker visiting Edinburgh and interested in a canyoning, coasteering or mountain biking adventure in Scotland, Get In Touch!

Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland, is a fantastic destination with a rich history, stunning architecture, and a vibrant cultural scene. Here are 11 reasons why Edinburgh is a great city to visit with friends:

  1. Historic Architecture: Edinburgh is known for its historic and impressive architecture. Explore the medieval Old Town, with its narrow alleys and the iconic Edinburgh Castle perched on Castle Rock. The contrasting Georgian New Town offers elegant streets and squares.

  2. Edinburgh Castle: Dominating the city’s skyline, Edinburgh Castle is a must-visit. Explore the various sections of the castle, learn about its history, and enjoy panoramic views of the city from its vantage points.

  3. Royal Mile: The Royal Mile is the main street of the Old Town, running from Edinburgh Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. It’s lined with shops, pubs, and street performers, making it a lively and entertaining stroll.

  4. Festivals: Edinburgh is famous for its festivals, including the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival. If you visit during August, you’ll be treated to a vibrant atmosphere with countless performances, events, and shows.

  5. Scenic Views: Climb Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano located in Holyrood Park, for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. It’s a great place for a hike or a picnic with friends.

  6. Cultural Museums: Edinburgh boasts several excellent museums, including the National Museum of Scotland, the Museum of Edinburgh, and the Scottish National Gallery. These institutions offer a diverse range of exhibits, from art and history to science and technology.

  7. Whisky Tasting: Scotland is renowned for its whisky, and Edinburgh is a great place to sample some of the finest Scotch whiskies. Explore local pubs and whisky bars to experience the rich and varied world of Scottish spirits.

  8. Haunted History: Edinburgh is known for its haunted history, and there are various ghost tours that take you through the city’s spookiest spots. It’s a fun and eerie way to learn about the darker side of Edinburgh’s past.

  9. Dynamic Arts Scene: The city has a vibrant arts scene, with numerous theaters, galleries, and performance spaces. Whether you’re into traditional or contemporary arts, you’re likely to find something that suits your tastes.

  10. Friendly Atmosphere: Scots are known for their friendliness, and you’ll likely find the welcoming atmosphere extends to the city itself. The friendly locals and the convivial ambiance of Edinburgh make it an excellent destination for a memorable trip with friends.

  11. Outdoor Activities on your Doorstep: Edinburgh is on the edge of the Pentland Hills, Ochil Hills, East Lothian, the East Neuk of Fife and a hour and a half drive from the Cairngorm National Park. We deliver outdoor adventures, activities and exciting pursuits to all of these amazing locations. 

Outdoor Adventures Scotland.

We operate out of Edinburgh, Glasgow, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Tweed ValleyPerth, Fort William, Cairngorm National Park, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Loch Tay.

It’s no secret that Scotland is one of the most beautiful countries in the world. From the rural coastlines to vast mountain ranges, we have it all. Whatever kind of experience you’re after you’re sure to find it here, so we’ve put together an adventurer’s guide to Scotland to help get you started. Our guide breaks down all the outdoor activities Edinburgh has to offer and many more adventures to keep you entertained on your holiday.

Scotland’s allure for outdoor adventures is rooted in its unparalleled natural beauty and diverse landscapes. From the rugged peaks of the Scottish Highlands to the tranquil shores of its countless lochs, the country provides a stunning backdrop for a myriad of outdoor activities. Hikers can traverse historic trails like the West Highland Way, while mountaineers are drawn to the challenge of scaling iconic peaks such as Ben Nevis. The expansive coastline and intricate network of rivers offer opportunities for water enthusiasts, from thrilling white-water rafting to peaceful kayaking. Scotland’s commitment to preserving its wilderness allows for accessible exploration, inviting both seasoned adventurers and casual nature lovers alike. With a rich cultural heritage woven into its landscapes, including ancient castles and historic sites, Scotland stands as an exceptional destination for those seeking not just outdoor excitement, but a profound connection with the untamed beauty of the natural world.

Moreover, Scotland’s outdoor appeal extends to its diverse range of activities, accommodating adventurers with varying interests and skill levels. Cyclists can navigate scenic routes, taking in the breathtaking views of rolling hills and coastal panoramas. As winter blankets the land, the Cairngorms and Glencoe transform into playgrounds for skiers and snowboarders, offering a thrilling winter sports experience. Wildlife enthusiasts find solace in the country’s natural habitats, where red deer roam freely, eagles soar overhead, and seals bask along the rugged shoreline. The proximity of Edinburgh, the capital city, further enhances the Scottish adventure, providing a seamless transition from urban exploration to the untamed wonders that lie just beyond its borders. In every season, Scotland’s outdoor wonders beckon, promising a tapestry of experiences that blend natural splendor with a rich tapestry of history and culture.

MY Adventure and Intrepidus Outdoors are adventure tours and outdoor experience providers, both based in Edinburgh, Scotland. We specialise in private and open canyoningcoasteeringmountain biking and hill walking tours, and deliver these adventurous experiences across Scotland. We are also a provider of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Expeditions where we run bronze, silver and gold level awards for young people.

If you are looking for additional information about adventures from Edinburgh, we have published a number of blogs:

  • Welcome to Edinburgh- A guide to the Scottish Capital: here
  • 6 steps to being happy like a Scot: here 
  • Adventures guide to Scotland: here
  • You’ll never get bored in Edinburgh: here 
  • Best Budget Hotels and Hostels Edinburgh: here 
  • Hen Party Adventures Edinburgh: here
  • Stag Party Outdoor Adventures Edinburgh Essentials: here
  • Best Restaurants in Edinburgh: here

If you haven’t already seen it, check out the our  Trip AdvisorYoutube channelVisit Scotland page and blog to hear about how others found their outdoor adventures with us! Equally, if there is any gear that you would like us to review, drop us a DM.

Here is a list of our Frequently Asked Questions about Outdoor Adventures from Edinburgh!

What are the best outdoor activities in and around Edinburgh?

Canyoning, Coasteering, Mountain Biking, Hiking, Canoeing and Rock Climbing!

Is Edinburgh a good venue for adventures?

Edinburgh is on the doorstep of incredible locations for outdoor adventures. Only a short minibus ride and you are in world class venues for coasteering, canyoning, mountain biking and hiking.

Are your adventures suitable for beginners?

Yes. Our outdoor adventures are great for everyone!

Do you provide all the equipment?

We provide all technical equipment for your outdoor adventures with us. This includes canyoning and coasteering boots!

Is Edinburgh good to visit?

Yes. Edinburgh is a fantastic city to visit, offering a rich tapestry of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Is Edinburgh expensive?

If you live in the south of England, No. If you live in the Midlands or the North of England, Yes.

How much is a pint in Edinburgh?

Between £4 and £6

Do you collect us from our hotel for adventure tours?

Yes. On our private adventure tours we collect clients from their hotels.

Where do you collect open group tours from?

Edinburgh Waverley Train Station – The Market Street Entrance.

What is the age range of your adventures?

Open groups 14+. Private groups all ages!

How extreme are your outdoor adventure tours?

Canyoning and coasteering has jumps up to 10meters and the canyoning has waterfall abseiling uptimes 17 meters. So you tell us?!

How much are your adventure tours?

Days trips from £95 per person including transport.

What is the most popular outdoor adventure from Edinburgh?

Canyoning. People LOVE canyoning. We also love canyoning!

Do you take pictures?

Yes. All instructors will take pictures with their iPhones and GoPro’s. They will send them to you after the adventure.

What is your favourite outdoor activity?

Our team like lots of different adventures! Some like the extreme trips like canoeing while others like the more mellow tours like canoeing.

How are your trip advisor review so good?

We aim the exceed the expectations of our clients on all our outdoor adventure tours from Edinburgh!

Where do you run adventure tours from?

We operate out of Edinburgh, Glasgow, East Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, Tweed Valley, Perth, Fort William, Bruar, Dollar, Alva, Cairngorm National Park, Pitlochry, Aberfeldy and Loch Tay.  .

What are your group sizes for private outdoor adventure tours?

Between 8 and 80!

Do you provide transport for your outdoors experiences?

Yes! We have a National Operators License to operate our own fleet of 17 seater minibuses.

Who is the best adventure tour provider in Edinburgh?

With over 350 5star TripAdvisor reviews the Intrepidus team aims to exceed our customers expectations in every trip!

What provider runs the best outdoor experiences in Scotland?

Intrepidus Outdoors run canyoning, coasteering and hiking almost every day and we have over 350 5star TripAdvisor reviews!


Unit 2/2
Edlin Industrial Estate
Edgefield Road
EH20 9QX


Phone: 0131 357 1990
Email: info@intrepidusoutdoors.co.uk

Opening hours

Mon - Fri
8:00 to 18:30
Sat & Sun
8.30 to 19.30