Wicklow is one of our favourite places to go explore on Ireland’s East Coast. It’s just a stone’s throw away from our capital city and it’s all hills, lakes and sweet, sweet fresh air. But where it really stands apart from its neighbouring counties is the abundance of wild swimming spots within its borders. So grab your togs and towel and head to the garden of Ireland for a dip in one of these awesome wild swimming spots in Co Wicklow.

1. Lough Dan, Roundwood


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This is a favourite of ours and a great little spot for a nights camping. The boomerang-shaped ribbon lake is a bit of an adventure hub. You’ll inevitably run into climbers, SUPers, hikers and kayakers ambling around this spot. You have to hike through some private lands to get to the beach but if you are discreet, respectful and leave no trace then there is a rarely an issue. Don’t be put off by the brown hue of the water, wade in and unwind!

2. Lough Ouler


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If you are looking for a remote swim in the wild, Lough Ouler is perfect. It’s a corrie lake at the base of Tonelagee Mountain. Cool off post-hike in Ireland’s heart-shaped lake. It’ll take just under an hour to trek to, but that’s all part of the adventure. The water is dark but fresh. It’s not well used as a swim spot because of its location but it is a well-worn walking trail so odds are you won’t be alone, you may, in fact, inspire some sweaty hill walkers to take a dip as well!

3. Cleevaun Lough


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Situated at the base of Mullaghcleevaun Mountain, Cleevaun Lough is a stunning corrie lake. This spot can only be reached at the end of a two-hour hike and offers a great location to cool off before tackling one of the summits. The water is crisp, cold and welcoming and because of its remote location, you’ll rarely have to share it.

Things to Do in Wicklow: The Complete Guide for Adventurous Souls

4. Lough Firrib, Wicklow Gap


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If you want a good navigational challenge before your swim, then Lough Firrib is the swim spot for you. Found in the heart of Wicklow Mountains, treat this as a treasure hunt. And boy, is it worth the effort. You definitely won’t have to share it with anyone else. And it is ideally located for a mid-hike dip.

5. Lough Bray Upper


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For something a little less remote, Lough Bray is a great roadside spot only about 30 minutes drive from Dublin. Situated just before the entrance to the Kippure mast, it makes for a nice stroll before taking the plunge. The water is dark and deep but don’t be put off, it’s so good for a swim and views from the water are unreal.

6. Arts Lough, Ballinaskea


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At the foot of Lug is this gem. It’s almost a natural infinity pool with stunning views across Fraughan Rock Glen and Glenmalure. There is a great hike into it too. Prop yourself up on one of the big granite boulders afterwards to dry off and tuck into a sandwich or flask of tea.



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By Orla O'Muiri

  1. October 17, 2019

    Try Ballyteige Lodge an old shooting lodge in the heart of the Wicklow mtns Sunday lunch plus a beautiful swim in wild salmon river all year round

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