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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Milo Boyd

The UK's most beautiful river swimming spots to cool off during heatwaves

Britain's rivers are all but literally calling out to the sweltering population to strip off and jump in as the weather heats up.

Thanks to a cloud of hot air which has drifted up from Africa, the UK is warming up right in time for the official start of the summer on June 21.

Undoubtedly the country's roads and train lines will be packed this weekend as people head to the seaside to bask and have a paddle.

As pleasant as a coastal dip can be, it is hard to better the pure ecstasy of swimming down a river on a hot summer's day, birds chirping in the hedgerows and dragonflies buzzing busily along the water's surface.

Here are some of the best swimming spots on Britain's rivers

River Dart, Staverton, Devon

The River Dart is full of swimming spots (Western Morning News)

This stretch of the River Dart is gentle and often quite warm in places, and deep and a little cooler in others.

A key feature of this waterway is a jumping platform that is built into the trunk of an oak tree which overhangs the surface.

The river can be accessed by a three mile ride on the South Devon steam train and refreshments found at the Sea Trout Inn.

The River Thames, Oxfordshire and Berkshire

The Thames is perfect for swimming further upstream (Lindsey Cole/SWNS.COM)

Few people are brave or ill-advised enough to jump into the Thames for pleasure once its hit the centre of London, due to the grimy state of the water and the often deadly currents.

Further up stream towards its source in the Cotswolds the river is actually a lovely place for a swim.

One great spot to stop off for a dip is at Pangbourne in Berkshire, which is around a five mile cycle or short train ride west from Reading.

Here the river has chalky banks, clear water and few fellow swimmers, as well as good access to the pretty pubs of Goring-on-Thames just a few miles away.

Those less keen on heading into the countryside should aim for Moulsford in south Oxfordshire, where there is a relaxed swimming spot on a lovely meadow.

Other great Thames swimming points can be found here.

Lower Ddwli Falls, Waterfall Woods, Brecon Beacons

The Brecon Beacons has some beautiful waterfalls (WalesOnline/ Rob Browne)

The Lower Ddwli Falls are a very different spectacle from the winding joy of most of the rivers in England.

Head to the Brecon Beacons in South Wales and you'll be treated to a five mile stretch of the Fechan and Mellte rivers which have 20 waterfalls on the way.

On a long day's walk there's enough time to dip into all of them, including the beautiful Lower Dwdli Falls and Horseshoe Falls, which has a rope swing.

Glen Rosa Water, Isle of Arran

The Glenrosa Water in Glen Rosa, Isle of Arran (Alamy Stock Photo)

Scotland is much better known for its sea and loch wild swimming opportunities than its rivers.

This is only for the river swimmers' benefit, as there are many beautiful and often quiet opportunities to slip down a muddy bank and into a body of fresh water.

The Isle of Arran's Glen Rosa is a stunning location speckled with emerald green swimming pools.

Near Goat Fell, the highest mountain on Arran, on a good day the views are wonderful. The water is cold, but exactly what you need after the walk.

River Stour, Fordwich, Kent

What is lovely about the River Stour near the small town of Fordwich is it begins as open and sunny, before it gentle winds its way into secretive woodlands after two miles.

After a paddle among the fallen leaves and floating twigs, you'll find yourself among the reeds of the Stodmarsh nature reserve.

River Trent, Anchor Church, Ingleby, Derbyshire

The River Trent has a lot to offer (Alamy Stock Photo)

The Trent has an unfair reputation as a river which only serves the industrial heartlands of the east Midlands.

In truth, there are many stretches of the grand river which are perfect for swimming on a hot summer's day.

Anchor Church, a mile upstream from Ingleby near Derby, has been turned into a series of grotto-like-caves by the river.

These have had windows and fireplaces carved into the stone by hermits who have lived there since the sixth century.

On a summer's day you can visit these before going for a dip in a quiet lagoon next to the river.

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