Where to go wild swimming near London

by Mason Hiestand

Head out to the open water this season and go wild swimming near London! There are several amazing beaches, bays, lagoons, and other places for you, your friends, and your family to have some fun in the sun. Enjoy reading about our top 5 places to go wild swimming and participate in other watersports near London.

Elmer Beach, Bognor Regis

Off the beaten path, Elmer Beach is located in the eastern part of Bognor Regis. This particular beach has a wide stretch of sand when the tide is low, natural rocks create intriguing rock pools and is perfect for exploring for shells, shrimps, and crabs. Elmer Beach even forms little islands, so your group can enjoy a secluded day private to your group.

Grab some friends and family and head to Sandy Toed Sea Swimmers right near Elmer Beach to have some fun in the water! Sandy Toed Sea Swimmers offers small group lessons or private one-on-one lessons for wild swimming.

photo of seashore

Chalkwell Beach, Southend-On-Sea

Display your sand castle-building skills while enjoying a classic seaside experience at Chalkwell’s sandy beach. Arrive directly from the train to this beloved family destination, where children can delight in crabbing and collecting shells, while adults relax with some well-deserved sunbathing.

If you’re headed to Chalkwell Beach and are looking for another way to have fun in the water, check out Saltwater SUP. Spend time with your group during the summer learning how to SUP on the beach from their qualified instructors.

a bird on a pole in the middle of a body of water

Pevensey Bay Beach, East Sussex

Pevensey Bay Beach, located on the south coast of England in East Sussex, is known for its wide expanse of shingle and sand. It stretches along the bay, offering panoramic views of the English Channel. Right off the beach is a boardwalk lined with cafes and shops, making it a convenient spot for you and your group to enjoy refreshments and seaside strolls.

Unleash your radical side this summer with Be-Rad Watersports School LTD! Book a kitesurf, wingfoil, or paddleboard lesson at their certified watersports school, or rent the latest watersports equipment if you’re looking to explore the water alone with your friends and family.

rocky hill with grass facing ocean

London Royal Docks, East London

Once vital for Victorian-era trade with its steamship berths, London's Royal Docks now attract more swimmers than cargo vessels, boasting their own expansive body of clean and safe water separate from the Thames. Like the West Reservoir, the Royal Docks feature extensive loops for swimmers, with routes stretching up to 750m. With summer temperatures reaching above 20 degrees Celsius, this swimming spot is perfect to cool off and have fun!

Wakeup Docklands invites you to come ride with them for an unforgettable day. Located near the London Royal Docks, Wakeup Docklands offers several watersports opportunities including wakeboarding and paddleboarding.

London Bridge, London

Stone Bay, Kent

Stone Bay, situated close to Broadstairs town center and within walking distance from the main beach at Viking Bay, is known for its natural beauty, with golden sands, clear blue waters, and a breathtaking waterfall. It is a popular destination for families due to its clean and safe bathing waters, making it ideal for swimming and paddling. Stone Bay is surrounded by cafes and beach huts, making it a perfect destination in the summer months.

If you love swimming but want to add an extra flair to your day, try swimming out to catch a wave with Kent Surf School. Surfing is a great way to embrace the ocean to its fullest potential while learning a fun, yet challenging, new skill. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced surfer, their qualified and highly skilled instructors always have something new to teach you!

a sandy beach next to a cliff and a body of water


Need a booking system to help you run your outdoor activities? eola is dedicated to helping instructors and outdoor activity centres share their passion with more people. We reduce your administrative burdens, so you can have more time to spend doing what you love. Find out more at our watersports page.

Searching for other fun outdoor activities to do with family and friends? Check out our watersports page for more information.

If you’re looking for more ideas, check out Best places to go surfing near London and Top 7 places to go standup paddleboarding in London.

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