Outdoor Swimming Society Publish Guide to Inland Bathing Areas

Outdoor swimmers will increasingly have the chance to enjoy the same access rights as walkers and cyclists with the help of a new free guide to inland bathing areas from the Outdoor Swimming Society (OSS).

Written by Robert Aspey and Chris Dalton who lead the OSS Inland Access Group, with support of the Amateur Swimming Association (ASA), the guide is intended to help anyone interested in establishing or maintaining a safe and enjoyable inland beach in their area, such as: owners and occupiers of land where there is a pond, lake, river or reservoir; including councils, water park operators and local water supply authorities. 

So what is an inland beach? The guide describes it as a, “fairly level grassed area and/or sand along the edge of a lake, reservoir, or riverside, with gentle sloping entry into the water for easy access, where people can swim, paddle, and have fun.”


Inland bathing areas are popular in Europe and North America, but since the 1950s the many informal inland swimming spots in England and Wales have been shut down, leaving only a handful remaining. However the huge increase in popularity in outdoor swimming and desire of many public bodies and land owners to give outdoor swimmers the same access rights as walkers and cyclists, has led to a resurgence in demand, and new swimming locations are emerging, like Rutland Water and Swan Pool.This guide helps support the outdoor swimming renaissance, and features case studies, practical and legal information on how to set them up.

Concerns about legal responsibility for accidents means that “There are many ideal inland bathing areas but landowners often have a default no-swimming policy. We hope, through this guide, to help turn that around,” say Robert Aspey and Chris Dalton, who lead the OSS Inland Access Group. 

The guide is free and available to download via the Outdoor Swimming Society website. You can also contact the OSS Inland Access Group at or via their Facebook page

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Outdoor Swimmer is the magazine for outdoor swimmers by outdoor swimmers. We write about fabulous wild swimming locations, amazing swim challenges, swim training advice and swimming gear reviews.