The idea of wild swimming, even for the briefest of dips, appeals to many people, and Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) offers a perfect backdrop.
Note that there is no statutory right of access to inland water in Wales without landowners’ consent. The following locations on Snowdon are strictly-speaking on private land, so if the landowner were to ask you to move on (unlikely), you should do so without quibble. In addition to wild swimming, this also includes canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding or using any unpowered vessel.
The most popular place for swimming – or rather, playing in the water – is at the waterfalls and pools a mile up from the bottom of the Watkin Path. Here there is an extended series of pools and falls which is sometimes used by walkers returning from Snowdon, but mostly by those who have walked the mile up specifically to enjoy them. They are popular with families on summer days.
The best lake for swimming in is Glaslyn, Snowdon’s upper lake (and second largest), some 3 miles up the Miners’ Track. Those going into the water here are more likely to be on their way down from Snowdon. This is mountain swimming at its most dramatic beneath the summit of Snowdon.
Less popular is Snowdon’s largest lake, Llyn Llydaw, lower down on the Miners’ Track.
Another contender for wild swimming is Llyn Ffynnon y Gwas (Snowdon’s third largest lake), passed half-way up the Snowdon Ranger Path.
Water activities should be undertaken with care. Note that the water temperature in these lakes and rivers, even in summer, never gets into double figures, so is always cold. It is also unwise to swim alone at these locations, and note that, should an emergency arise, there is no mobile phone reception.
The falls and pools on the Watkin Path
The ‘beach’ at Glaslyn, on the Miners’ Track