A view of the Mawddach Estuary on a clear spring day with woodland lining the shores.
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Swimming and participating in water sports in lakes and rivers is a great way to enjoy Eryri.

In recent years, wild swimming has become an extremely popular activity that can make a big difference to physical and mental well-being. Activities such as paddleboarding have also become popular on lakes and in coastal areas. Eryri offers a wealth of opportunities for wild swimming and water sports.

Where to swim and participate in water activities

Some of the following places also offer water sports equipment for hire.

Llyn Tegid
Wales' largest natural lake and the perfect place for swimming, paddleboarding, canoeing and all sorts of other water sports. More information can be found on the Llyn Tegid page.
Llyn Padarn
Llyn Padarn lies on the edge of the National Park boundary in the village of Llanberis. The lake is popular with swimmers and water sports enthusiasts.
Afon Tryweryn
Afon Tryweryn river, near Y Bala, is home to a national white water sports centre.
Llyn Gwynant
Llyn Gwynant lies at the base of Yr Wyddfa in the Nant Gwynant area. This is a popular lake for swimming and water sports.
Aberdyfi Beach
A beautiful sandy beach in the southern part of the National Park—a perfect place to swim and participate in water sports such as surfing.
Barmouth Beach
A beach in the western part of the National Park with views over Cardigan Bay.
Safety in lakes and rivers

Stay safe when visiting lakes and rivers.

Check for hazard
Don't jump or dive into ponds or rivers without first checking that there are no underwater hazards and that the water is deep enough.
Strong currents and fast-flowing water
Beware of strong currents or fast-flowing water, especially near waterfalls and wild waters.
Germs in the water
Cover any wounds with waterproof plasters. Use footwear to prevent injuring your feet while in the water. Do not swallow the water, and consult a doctor if you present with any unusual symptoms.
If taking part in water sports, wear a lifejacket. If swimming, wear a bright swim cap and carry a floatation device.
Access to and from the water
Ensure you know how and where to safely get in and out of the water before you venture into a lake or river.
Check, Clean and Dry

Invasive non-native species pose a serious threat to our local wildlife and ecosystems. Therefore, bio security is an important issue for all UK inland waters. We urge all water users to adhere to the ‘Check, Clean, and Dry’ guidelines to prevent the introduction of these species into our waters.

For more information about the Waterside Code, please click here.

Check your equipment, boat, and clothing after leaving the water for mud, aquatic animals or plant material. Remove everything that you find and leave it at the site.
Clean everything thoroughly as soon as you can, paying attention to areas that are damp or hard to access. Use hot water if possible.
Ensure all equipment and clothing are completely dry, as some species can survive for more than two weeks in damp conditions.
Safety on beaches

Keep safe while visiting the beach.

Check tide times
Make sure you check tide times before swimming in the sea.
Choose a beach with lifeguards
Make sure you are aware of your ability and return to shore if you think the activity is getting beyond your capacity.
Watch out for riptides
If you get caught in a riptide, don't panic or try to swim against the current. You will need to stand and walk back to shore if you can. If not, you should swim parallel to the shore, wave your hand and shout for help.
Frequently Asked Questions

No, you can’t swim in all lakes or rivers in Eryri. Many of the National Park’s lakes and rivers are located on private land. You cannot swim in these lakes without the landowner’s permission.

In addition, some lakes and rivers are drinking water reservoirs, and swimming is not permitted in these lakes.

Other lakes, such as Llyn Idwal in Cwm Idwal, are located in nature reserves. You should not take part in water sports or swim in these lakes.

When inland, you should call 999 immediately and ask for the police and the Mountain Rescue service.

If you are on a beach, you should call 999 and ask for the police and the Coastguard.

Safety in the National Park