Access & legality

The Outdoor Swimming Society has published this wonderful guide to access to inland beaches, with advice for landowners & managers, and anyone who wants to see more swimming in lakes, rivers, and other inland waters. Read about and download the OSS Guide to Inland Bathing Areas.

I have pulled together the legal issues in more detail, in this Page on Landowner liability and swimmers

See also Sixteen reasons why we need UK-wide swimming access in reservoirs

and Swimming in clay and gravel lakes

children in the river with a family sitting on the edge
Children enjoying the water in summer at St Helens

Anyone interested in negotiating to improve access, or to protect existing access, or to get advice on this, is welcome to join and discuss in the Inland Access Group – Outdoor Swimming Society group on Facebook, or to contact the OSS Inland Access Officers at inlandaccess[at]

Access and the legality of swimming is discussed on several websites – which take a variety of lines on the issue:

Outdoor Swimming Society: Is it legal?

River Access for All website: Issues related to river access

The Right to Roam campaign

River and Lake Swimming Association (RALSA): The legal side and access

I’ve written about one aspect of the discussion in this post, Is it only legal to swim in 3% of rivers in England?

swims and swim places, and related issues