WILD SWIMMING NEAR CEDAR VALLEY

We often get asked about local wild swimming spots close to Cedar Valley. We are very lucky to be located just outside of London, but only 30 minutes from the south coast. Below we have some suggestions of the best wild swimming spots in Hampshire, including wild swimming in rivers, open water swimming in the sea and local wild swimmers to follow. 

RIVER SWIMMING

Wild Swimming Hampshire 2024

Compton Lock

If you follow the River Itchen south, you will find the parish of Compton and Shawford near the village of Twyford. 

Here you will find a deep pool at Compton Lock which is so popular that the parish council have built wooden steps to help swimmers get in and out.

This beauty spot can be accessed from Twyford across fields and meadows or along public footpaths from Compton. 

Distance from Cedar Valley: 15 miles

Address: Compton, Shawford, Twyford, Winchester, SO21 2BL

 

St Cross

The River Itchen flows through Winchester in Hampshire and a great place to access it is just outside the city in St Cross. This stretch of the river has good water quality and it’s a shallow swim in a strong current with meadows and pools all around. 

There is free parking available on Garnier Road and you can access the river along a public footpath which is signposted.

Distance from Cedar Valley: 15.8 miles

Address: Garnier Road, St Cross, Winchester SO23 9PA

River Meon

Perfect for paddling and picnicking on meadows but isn’t deep enough in summer in many places to swim. 

Great for children to play and catch small fish with a net.

Droxford has a lovely little riverside, with beautiful walks around and parking close by. Suitable for dogs and children.

Distance from Cedar Valley: 5.8 miles

Address: 2 High St, Droxford, Southampton, SO32 3PA

SEA SWIMMING

Sea Swimming Spots Hampshire

Hayling Island

Hayling Island holds a European Blue Flag award and its excellent beaches have also been awarded a Tidy Britain Seaside Award for their water quality, safety and cleanliness. You can access the sea along its five mile long beachfront. 

Some of the best parts of Hayling for swimming are in and around the Kench area, towards the west side of the island. Here you will find some magnificent wildlife that lives in, on and beside the water. Dog friendly. 

Distance from Cedar Valley: 18.5 miles 

Address: Hayling Island, PO11 9HL

Southsea

Over 2 miles of beachfront. This beach is shingle, and at points there is a sharp drop into the water, so this is for stronger swimmers. 

A very long stretch of beach means it doesn’t feel too busy, and you can take your dog with you at certain places, and during certain times of year. 

Parking can be a little tricky, so head down early to grab yourself a spot

Distance from Cedar Valley: 18.5 miles 

Address: Hayling Island, PO11 9HL

 

More Info

Check out Hampshire Mermaid (Instagram). She has amazing local wild swimming knowledge and has also recently written a book called ‘Toes in Water’. 

Join over four thousand local wild swimmers in the Hampshire Open Water Swimmers community here.

COLD WATER PLUNGING

Check out the Pump House Garden Spa in Winchester where you can enjoy a dip and sauna in beautiful surroundings. 

Distance from Cedar Valley: 15.8 miles |  Address: The Pump House Winchester, Garnier Rd, Winchester SO23 9QG

HOW TO STAY SAFE IN OPEN WATER

  • Have the right equipment – use a wetsuit, brightly coloured swimming cap and a tow float.
  • Plan your day – tell someone else where you are going and how long you expect to be.
  • Take a friend with you – don’t swim alone.
  • Know your limits – swim parallel to the shoreline, wherever possible stay away from deeper water, which will be colder. 
  • Plan and be aware of your exit points. Enter the water slowly and allow your body to get used to the cold – it will most likely be colder than you think.
  • Know how to stay safe and get help – if you get into trouble – float to live. To understand basic self-survival and rescue, take a free online water safety course here.
  • Be aware of dangers – including the depth of water, submerged objects like rocks, reeds and undergrowth, obstacles or other people in the water, shock of cold water can make swimming difficult and increase the difficulty in getting out of the water, strong currents can rapidly sweep people away, uneven banks and river beds, water quality eg toxic algal blooms and industrial/agricultural pollution.