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Liquid lures: 5 of the world’s best autumn wild swimming spots & dressing for cold water recovery

With a little heat left in the autumn sun, team kora are still up for an outdoor swim. But forget the local pool we’re hankering after something a little more rugged, rough and ready. Here are 5 trek-worthy wild swimming spots across the globe, featuring some of the most dramatic natural landscapes to inspire you on your next dip.

On the practical side of things, warming immediately after your outdoor swim is vital, as our bodies continue to cool for 20-30 minutes once out of the water. Here are our top tips for your best recovery out of the water:

- Dry off and get your wet kits off as soon as possible

- Dress in dry warm clothes, including hat gloves and thick socks – ideally lay these out in advance so you can do this quickly

- Drink warm fluids – be organised with your flask and have your tea, coffee, or hot chocolate at the ready

@trigsandteeth

 

And now for the inspiration…

Dancing Ledge, England

Unless you’re an agile rock climber and/or Spiderman, this remote wild swimming spot on the Jurassic Coast in Dorset is a little tricky to get to. On the plus side, this means it’s never busy, even in summer. Water-babies can launch themselves off the jagged ledge and into the sea; there’s also a large rock pool to splash around in, blasted out by obliging Victorian quarrymen for the benefit of the local school kids.

Dancing Ledge, Dorset, UK

Dancing Ledge, Dorset, UK

 

Crystal River, Florida

If you like the idea of sharing the water with somnolent wild manatees, Crystal River in Florida has your name on it. From November through 'til March, sunshine-seeking West Indian manatees migrate to these warm waters for a leisurely holiday, fuelled by frequent munching of the local sea grass. The Crystal River area encompasses 70 shimmering springs, including Three Sisters, where as many as 500 manatees have gathered in winter.

  

Llyn Cau, Wales

Nicknamed Wales’ Lake District, Snowdonia over-delivers when it comes to liquid delights for hardy types. Llyn Cau is one of the region’s best spots for wild swimming. This huge glacial lake sits at the crater of 400m-high Cadair Idris (‘Chair of Idris’) mountain, on the southern edge of the Snowdonia National Park. The closest car park is a 20-minute walk away, so you’ll work up a pre-swim sweat before your dip in the very blue, very clear waters.

Llyn Cau, Wales, UK

Llyn Cau, Wales

 

Alcantara Gorges, Italy

In northeast Sicily, the Alcantara river weaves its way through a series of dramatic gorges, shaped by erosion across millennia. Swimmers can marvel at the canyon’s 25m-high walls as they swim upstream, admiring the light beams playing on the cold, glassy water. This watery wonder can be accessed by car via the SS185 towards Francavilla di Sicilia, which takes you to the Parco Botanico e Geologico delle Gole dell'Alcantara.

  

Secret Lagoon, Iceland

Al fresco bathing is an intrinsic part of Icelandic life, and an abundance of natural hot springs and geothermal pools promise steamy sessions galore. The toasty Blue Lagoon and its pearly-white waters hog a lot of air time, so why not try the lesser-known and aptly named Secret Lagoon, instead? Set in the Golden Circle town of Flúðir, this is the country’s oldest swimming pool, harking back to the 1800s. Treats in store include bubbling pools, a little geyser and naturally heated, radiance-boosting waters.

Secret Lagoon, Iceland

Secret Lagoon, Iceland