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Best places for outdoor swimming near Manchester

12 months ago

While there are plenty of wild swimming spots around Manchester, there aren’t so many options if you want a safe, visitor-friendly outdoor swim. The kind with changing facilities, rescue boats, and ideally coffee and cake afterwards.

As far as we know, there’s just three (two are listed below and the third is at David Lloyd Trafford City, though it’s members-only). That said, you’ve several options within an hour and a half of Manchester. Here we’ve listed the best of them, starting with the ones in the city and moving gradually outwards like a ripple on a misty lake (or heated lido if that’s more your style).

Know of any more safe spots for outdoor swimming in Manchester? Tell us on on Twitter: @cnfguides



  • Sale Water Park in Manchester where Open Swim UK is based

    Openswim UK


    If you want to go swimming at Sale Water Park, the safest way is with Openswim UK. They hold casual swimming sessions there four days a week in spring and summer, plus sessions throughout the winter. With regular water testing and lifeguards on standby, it’s a lot less risky than venturing in on your own.

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  • Media City

    USwim Salford Quays


    The idea of voluntarily getting into the oily, cone-strewn waters of Salford Quays would once have filled us with horror. But when Manchester hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games and needed a swimming venue for the triathlon, this corner of it got a clean-up.

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  • David James Seed at The Farm Club doing cold water immersion

    The Farm Club


    The Farm Club started life as a triathlon training centre before it expanded into offering a wider wellness experience. Situated on an actual farm (hence the name) in Pickmere village, near Knutsford, it offers outdoor exercise sessions, lake swimming, wellness sessions, yoga, and meditation. There’s also a cafe and a self-catering lodge.

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  • Swimming at Manley Mere in Frodsham, Cheshire

    Manley Mere


    This man-made lake used to be a field full of cows until the owners diversified their business model from dairy farming into water sports. Manley Mere is now home to an adventure trail, aqua park, cafe, and sailing centre. Sounds like they made the right decision.

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  • Hathersage

    Hathersage Swimming Pool


    Catch the Hope Valley line train from Piccadilly to this picturesque Peak District village for a dip in Hathersage Swimming Pool, a heated lido built in the 1930s.

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  • Paddleboarding at Wild Shore Delamere - one of our recommended places to go paddle boarding in Manchester, LIverpool and the North West

    Wild Shore Delamere


    If you’ve never known the joy of flying over a lake on a rope swing and daring yourself to let go, get it on your bucket list, and then get yourself over to Wild Shore Delamere to tick it off.

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  • The aquapark at Alderford Lake

    Alderford Lake


    Alderford Lake is the perfect summer day out. It’s an idyllic location but you won’t be able to sit still and enjoy the birdsong or take in the view; there’s far too much going on.

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