Dartmoor has lots of secrets, but the fact it has some of the best wild swimming spots in the UK must be one of its biggest.
With crystal clear rivers, mystical moor top lakes, gorges and waterfall pools, abandoned quarries and ancient woodlands the opportunities for wild swimming are vast!
Here are some of the best wild swimming spots on Dartmoor:
Spitchwick (Deeper Marsh/Spitchwick Common). The River Dart curls around a picnic area. The most popular wild swimming spot on Dartmoor. There’s parking and public toilets by New Bridge.
Paddling and Picnics
Bellever Forest The East Dart River skirts Bellever Forest. The stretch of water by the main car park is popular with families. There are public toilets in the car park.
Cadover Bridge. Where the River Plym leaves high moorland and enters a stunning valley is Cadover Bridge. Very busy when the sun’s out.
Fingle Bridge. Fingle Bridge is a beauty spot in the Teign Gorge near the National Trust’s Castle Drogo. There’s a pub called Fingle Bridge Inn on the north side of the River Teign. There’s a picnic area, car park and public toilets south of the river.
Popular Gorge / Valley
Salmon Leaps, Castle Drogo Weir and Drewe’s Pool. There’s a long pool of water on the River Teign below the National Trust’s Castle Drogo. An increasingly popular place to swim. Canoeists pass by in winter. Locals even paddle board there!
Tavy Cleave. Another amazing spot in a stunning valley on the western side of Dartmoor. There are pools of water below cascades in the cleave (valley) that’s cut by the River Tavy.
Double Waters. On the western border of Dartmoor National Park where the River Walkham flows into the River Tavy. There’s a big bend in the Tavy just downriver of Double Waters.
Shilley Pool. Below the bulk of Cosdon Hill in the northern section of the National Park. Part of Blackaton Brook.
Cullever Steps Pool. This is a small pool of water in popular walking country in the northern section of Dartmoor.
Crazy Well Pool. Close to Burrator Reservoir on open moorland.
Remote Gorge / Valley
Venford Brook Waterfalls. Downstream of Venford Reservoir. Follow the western bank of Venford Brook to access.
Shavercombe Waterfall. Pool below Shavercombe Waterfall on Shavercombe Brook by Shavercombe Tor.
East Dart River Waterfall. Follow the East River Dart from Postbridge and you’ll come to a pool of water below a waterfall. Wonderful place.
Sherberton West Dart River Stepping Stones. Locals swim in the huge bend in the West Dart River by the stepping stones.
There are long pools of water on the River Teign on the outskirts of Chagford between Chagford Bridge and Rushford Bridge. These are upriver from Chagford Swimming Pool (Outdoor).
There are long pools of water on the River Dart downriver of Dartmeet. Follow the path that runs along the northern bank of the river from Dartmeet car park.
Outdoor Swimming Pools
There are also outdoor pools at Bovey Tracey and Buckfastleigh. In addition, try the indoor pool at Tavistock.
Places on Dartmoor where wild swimming is forbidden