Okay, you've got us, this first spot isn't in Glencoe, but it is a great wee spot on your drive up that's worth a stop. A popular spot for fishing, camping, swimming and watersports, Loch Earn is a gorgeous spot and very much an indication of what to expect on your journey to the Scottish Highlands. A great place for a dip with Ben Vorlich on the banks and big dramatic skies, expect some spectacular views.
A gorgeous drive - driven by James Bond himself - offers up cracking landscapes and wildlife. It’s also home to some memorable wild swimming spots. Dotted along the River Etive, you'll find various pools suitable for taking a dip. Continue the drive to the very end of the road where you’ll find Loch Etive, a sea loch suitable for swimming as well.
Just a few minutes from Ballachulish town centre you’ll find Loch Leven, a popular spot for watersports. Here, you can try some paddleboarding, canoeing and kayaking with our neighbours at Rugged Coast. With the mighty Pap of Glencoe overlooking the loch, it is a tremendous spot to go for a dip and take in the magic of the area. What makes it even better? Isles of Glencoe Hotel is right on the banks so you can go warm up with a cuppa afterwards.
The Hidden Valley
Less of a swim and more of a plunge, The Hidden Valley has several pools that run alongside the trail that leads you to the Hidden Valley, once a famous castle rustling hiding spot for the Macdonald Clan. Fed by the rivers atop the three sister Munros, the water is clear, fresh and ice cold. A great spot to refuel water bottles - or on a hot day, cool off.
Wild Swimming is great fun and has fantastic health benefits. But there are a few things to be aware of before jumping right in.
- Safety first. It's hardly surprising that wild swimming can be a bit wild. Swim with a buddy, and where you are comfortable. Avoid rushing rivers, and deep waters. For longer distance swims, you should have a buoyancy aid that you can strap around your waist.
- Dress appropriately. Scotlands waters are very cold, even in the Summer months. Gloves and booties are ideal all year round, if not a full-body wetsuit.
- Beware of midges. Midges are terrible wee beasties that leave itchy bites. They tend to come out in mild weather from June - August. Have repellent at the ready.
- Bring warm clothes (and maybe a warm drink). After you've had your wild swim it's a great idea to dress up warm to regulate your body temperature. A hot brew does a great job too.