If your looking to do some wild swimming on Anglesey, your going to be spoilt for choice here. With over 40 beautiful beaches to swim on all over the wonderful island, you could spend a few seasons here exploring them all. They each have their own special points, from secret little beaches to silent rockey coves.. Although I have not swam them all myself yet, I have been to each and every one walking and fishing over the years. Anglesey is perfect for wild swimming, because you can go any time, wind direction or tide.
There are dozens of amazing swimming beaches on Anglesey with fabulous unspoilt areas for wild swimming spots all along our coastline, which covers an astonishing 138 miles, see our wild swimming maps bellow.
Of all the wild swimming outings I do, sea swimming is my primary type swimming on anglesey, unless I’m heading to the mountains that is, then ill find a river instead. If your wondering where you can swim on Anglesey, I’ve included a map to some of our blue flag beaches that I go to as well as a tide and weather app that I use too, I usually go at high water (for note) if I can. Hope the blog is useful for you on your adventures and let us know how you get on ..
There is nothing more uncomfortable than wild swimming when everything is dark, chilly and cold…. and thats why I like it. Most will stay in their zones of comfort I don’t. Id urge you not to too.
My year of wild swimming on Anglesey
Firstly I have to tell you about the game changing health, inflammation and over well being I have created in my body as well as immunity, discomfort tolerance and many many more health benefits over the past twelve months here on the island.
I set myself up with the challenge of going in the water most days to reduce inflammation in my body and to increase overall wellbeing, mindset and my levels of discomfort in my life. Comfort is not something I really enjoy it sounds a real strange thing to say, but its the truth. There is a part of me thats enjoys the challenge of being in discomfort in many ways. Probably born from a competitive upbringing and a desire to do well, I like to dig deep. This form of digging deep can occur in many ways, but lately, wild swimming or cold water immersion was my latest drug of choice!
Winding back 7 months in time to January 2021, the weather was grey, cold dark and the mornings where super chilly. Getting out of bed was easy, but then getting unchanged on a beach and getting into freezing water was not as easy. The clouds skies where grey, the wind was howling and the water was murky and with big onshore swells, a far cry from the still, calm, clear waters of the summer months you may get to see.
Taking your clothes off in the teeth of gale and preparing yourself for a dive into the sea, brought much strength inside mentally to commit doing that on a daily basis. That built a very interesting change mentally and soon after physically to my body and mind. I brought a new sharper edge to my life that carries over into my world of business and work also. The act of walking to the beach in real crappy weather and knowing you have to get cold, so cold that your hands and feet ache real bad and your breath gets taken away….
Mental health benefits of wild swimming ?
One of the main reasons I began wild swimming in the winter was its mental health benefits, there is no doubt that getting your vitamin D fix can be difficult here in Anglesey in the winter. One of the best ways I found to optimise my moods was to get cold, to get happy. I found it gave me huge resilience and fortitude in the darker months here. I would get a post swim buzz, which would give me an edge on my day, rather than being the other way round. Best thing is to go and get cold early when your metabolism is at its highest. That way for me I found that, I was able to warm back up faster. After 12 minutes of cold swimming, at 4.5c I used to get pretty cold, like shivering all the way home cold! I use cold water swimming now as my go to for mood enhancer, other than long distance off road running, it really works for me!
What are the upsides to this wild swimming on Anglesey ?
Mood enhancing, sea minerals your skin, develop a much better natural immunity, gets your heart rate up, create a super habit, hang with like minded people, have some child like fun and most of all get uncomfortable with something. If you can build a habit of being uncomfortable, its a super power in itself.
Swimming beaches of Anglesey
Long shallow beaches are amazing for beginner swimmers, shallow water, safe protected bays and little boat craft. There are over 40 beaches on Anglesey, so its dependant on where you are staying really, but, the best thing to do is look at the tides, weather and make a plan with those in mind. If your on big tides keep your eye on currents and take precautions as in swim with mates, take wetsuits and pull buoys and stay in shore. Rips are hard to spot so pay attention..
Wild swimming on beaches of Anglesey Map :
We’ve put together a map of the beaches on Anglesey that are best for wild swimming. Of course there are more, but these are our favourites and the most picturesque. If you click the image (or here) it will take you through to the interactive map where you can explore the beaches- (This version of WordPress doesn’t support them!)
Best beaches for swimming on Anglesey
My favourites right now and Treaddur bay, Porthdaffrach, Rhosneigr and I love Newbrough. See the map here for directions and locations
Is there anything to be careful of wild swimming Anglesey ?
Jelly fish- summer time we can get a few species here, that can give you a little sting.
Tides- on spring tides out in the bays, the tides can surge in hard bringing with it more water and force.
Rips- On each beach and bay, the water has to come in to go out, it does this in channels of moving water called rips. These are areas of faster moving water that can move you out faster than you realise.
Jet skis – They are my nemesis and I will eventually work to removing them from the island if I have my way. They are the biggest risk to swimmers and bathers alike, unlike normal boatcraft, who know the rules of the road, take care of others and have a duty of care, jet skiers in coastal regions are a real threat to both nature, environment and swimmers.
Weather – Storms, try not to go swim in a storm, its a bad idea generally.
Weaver fish (in summer)- Try not step on them, they will give you a nasty sting ! Often found at low water regions in warm water on the seabed, can be a good idea to wear wet boots in mid summer on the shores.
The benefits of cold water swimming on Anglesey ?
Improved mental and physical wellbeing, decrease in inflammation, decrease in fogginess of mind. I have found that I very rarely get cold since I have been cold water swimming.
Low water or high water for wild swimming on Anglesey ?
I prefer high water personally, it means we can get into the deeper water much easier. Also saves trekking miles down some of the long beaches of Anglesey. Tides can go out in some cases over a mile on the long beaches, so its easier to be there for HW.
Best time of year to go wild swimming on Anglesey ?
For me I love the cold temperatures of winter, but I love the clarity of the water in the summer and the snorkelling we can do in bare skins in the cool temperatures. I love the mental challenges of cold water and the buzz afterwards. Summers are also bliss, but you don’t get the cold kick you do in the summer months.
Wild sea swimming vs lakes swimming on Anglesey ?
In true honesty I’ve not done a lot of lake swimming on Anglesey, as I’m spoilt with beaches here. There are a few places you can go in for sure but they would not be my first choices. The lakes in Snowdonia are way better too…After catching some monster pike in a lakes around Rhosneigr (Llyn Maelog), it kind of gives me the creeps even thinking about swimming in there. There is also the consideration that land access to private waterways is private and that swimming in lakes is very different to the sea, its a more sensitive ecosystem and should be treated as such.
Wild swimming equipment / Kit ..
Essential items for post wild swim on Anglesey
Some items are for winters only ….!
Wool sweaters- love some trendy woolens for the winter (for after obviously!)
Open water swim Goggles by Aquashpere– have used these for years.
Park respectfully and do a quick litter pick up…
Always add a helping to the environment. We are seeing more and more visitors arriving on Anglesey and its your duty to leave our beautiful island better than you found it, which means if there is littler, pick it up please, if you can help do a beach tidy perfect too. Leave the land unaffected at all costs after your stay. if your camping and park respectfully, so that your not infringing on roads for other users and farmers access.
Best Wild swimming spots on Anglesey – These are mine personally…everyone has their favourite !
My favourites are :
Treaddur Bay Beach, Holy Island
Porth Daffarch Beach , Holy Island
Borth Wen / Rhoscolyn beach, Holy Island
Penrhyn bay / Sandy Beach – North coast of Anglesey
Benllech Beach- North East coast of Anglesey
Rhosneigr Beach – West Coast of Anglesey
Porth Tre Castell / Cable bay Beach – West Coast Anglesey
Traeth Llandwyn -Newborough beach
Note ((I like all these locations at high water )
Wild swimming north Wales map
The map below is of the wild swimming lakes and reservoirs of north Wales, where people go wild swimming in lakes and reservoirs of north Wales (note this map is for information purposes only and is not a guide to what is allowed at each location- please do your own homework, this is for a reference guide only). . If you click the image (or here) it will take you through to the interactive map where you can explore the beaches- (This version of WordPress doesn’t support them!) I have omitted the beaches from this map and that can be seen separately in the article above.
Is wild swimming allowed in Anglesey ?
Yes it is in the sea, for rivers and lakes you need think about who owns the land and the rights to the rivers and lakes, they are a different ball game. Lakes can get really cold in winter, don’t go swimming in them if you are not trained to it. They guys and girls who go into them here, have been doing it for ages and are super fit and conditioned to the temperatures, yes it looks good on instrgram, but not everyone is cut out for it. Go to the beach and first of all learn your skills there first with people who are good!
Rivers and lakes are far far more sensitive environments to all the skin creams humans like to lather all of themselves. Please think before jumping in a lake to swim with suncream and or lotions all over you because you will pollute the waterways kill off all the fauna and flora as well as the wildlife.
Where can I swim in Anglesey ?
Look at all the blue flag beaches and our maps above and take your pick. High water is best at Holyhead. You can find tide times here
A word on safety and pollution ;
If your a newbie to the world of wild swimming, don’t juts go nuts and start trying to do laps of glacial lakes you see in our glossy images. Most swimmers are seasoned triathlon swimmers and are fit as fiddles. They have spent years training to get to the level of this swimming and water temperature, so take it slowly and accustomed to it gently.
Get a wetsuit that fits well and get used to the water temperature in the sea first before venturing into cold lakes. Have a pull buoy with you and swim in groups for a safety. Please take a spare bag with you and clear up any litter (the usual idiots leave around) and take it home with you it always helps us keep north Wales tidy. Do you research on where you can and can’t swim, check the weather, tides, know the local rips if your heading out into the sea far out. I’m sure you get the drill.
Tide and weather resources ;
Open water Swimming events in north Wales (2021 Subject to COVID 19 Plandemic) ; All 2020 events are cancelled unless other wise stated, so please check with providers of their event schedule and running.
Previous blogs on wild swimming in north Wales :
The best guides for wild swimming in north Wales / alas there are not many for Anglesey! (Yet!) ;
Ok my favourite books right now (Nick) on this topic are as follows :
Wild Guide Wales
Wild Wales is an overall wild guide to north Wales-which encompasses wild swims too-great book, plenty of ideas.
This is an all-round wild swim guide to the UK (which has sections on north Wales too, the author has ventured here a lot, see the book above)
Wild Swimming hidden beaches
Not read this yet, but colleagues and friends say to me that its a goodie with a load of coastal spots in north Wales too.
Wild Swimming Coast
This was their original flagship book which was found on the coffee tables of cool eateries, loved it- I must buy it again. Quite general to the UK but a lovely over all guide if you a van camper like me!
Wild swimming kit recommendations for Anglesey and north Wales
Tan Y Tro Nesaf / Until the next time,
If you you like our content, it really helps if you would support our work with “Buy me a coffee”, the donations go straight to our account here and It helps keep us caffeinated and blogging through the long summer months!
Also join our whatson community newsletter here for up to date insights of what we get up to in north Wales as locals. You’ll be the first to receive blogs, news and insights that we share with the community.