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  • Writer's pictureFiona Mackintosh

Dive into Paradise: Top 5 Spots for Wild Swimming on the Isle of Arran

Like pretty much everyone else it seems, I've really got into wild swimming in the last few years (or as we used to call it 'swimming' 😂).


Living on the Isle of Arran I'm incredibly lucky to have such a plethora of places to enjoy a dip so I've made a shortlist of my favourites. These are all places that really stand out to me as offering something extra special while taking the plunge. So, grab your dry robe and let's dive in!


a group of girls walk into the water at sunrise
Sunrise swims are the best way to start the day
1.     Blue Pools, Glen Rosa:

Yes, this is the one you’ve probably seen on Instagram, and for good reason because as backdrops go it’s hard to beat! The water may be chilly, but the breathtaking scenery and sense of serenity make it worth the plunge. Whether you're a seasoned swimmer or just dipping your toes, the Blue Pools will leave you feeling refreshed and revitalized.

lady splashes in a turquoise pool surrounded by jagged mountains
The Blue Pools in Glen Rosa
2.   Coire Fionn Lochan: 

For those who crave a dash of adventure, Coire Fionn Lochan is the spot for you. Nestled in a high mountain corrie, this hidden gem offers a wild swimming experience like no other. Imagine swimming in crystal-clear waters surrounded by dramatic cliffs and lush greenery. It's a bit of a trek to get there, but trust me, the journey is just as rewarding as the destination. Pro tip: pack a picnic and make a day of it – you won't want to leave!


shadow of 2 girls with their arms in the air and up to their waist on water at sunset
Sunset at Coire Fionn Lochan

3. Glen Catacol

I'm slightly reluctant to spill the beans on this hidden gem! Glen Catacol offers crystal clear water tumbling down over light coloured granite creating a whole series of stunning pools but there are some incredible spots within just a short distance of the small car park at the bottom of the glen.





4. Blackwaterfoot Beach

If the idea of a more laid-back wild swimming experience appeals to you, head to Blackwaterfoot Beach. This picturesque stretch of coastline boasts soft golden sands and calm waters, making it an ideal spot for a leisurely swim. The charming village nearby offers post-swim treats, from ice cream to pastries from the local artisan bakery. It's a fantastic place to soak up the sun, feel the sand between your toes, and indulge in the simple joy of wild swimming.


serene sunset on the beach with the shadows of swimmers in the calm water
Sunset swim at Blackwaterfoot Beach


5. Machrie Water: 

Last but certainly not least on our wild swimming tour of Arran is Machrie Water. This tranquil river winds through the landscape and is an absolute delight for swimmers seeking a mix of serenity and adventure. There are several pools along the river where the sandstone rock has been worn into fascinating shapes, creating a series of mini pools and waterfalls to bathe in.


a lady sits in a mini waterfall in the river surrounded by rocks
Nature's jacuzzi in Machrie Water

So, there you have it – my top five wild swimming spots on the Isle of Arran. Whether you're an adrenaline junkie or someone who enjoys a more relaxed dip, Arran has something for everyone. So, pack your swimsuit, grab your towel, and get ready to make a splash in this island paradise. Happy swimming!


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