News Feed

Welcome to our new Creative Arts & Progression Worker Sara Turrill!

Sara will be focused developing partnerships with arts and environmental organisations in Bristol, to develop opportunities for Imayla's children, young people and families to get involved in! If you are interested in working with us please contact

If you are interested in volunteering with us please contact Sara: 





Wild Swimming

Wild Swimming is, basically, just new terminology for what many have already been doing for years: taking a dip in the sea, or a river, lake, lagoon, reservoir, pool or waterfall. These locations often tend to be secluded without facilities (no chiriguitos or public toilets) and therefore uncrowded - which is exactly what attracts people to wild swimming: its quiet and magical quality, getting close to nature. You often have to walk through woodland or over hills to find your ideal dipping spot, but the reward is that you're likely to have it to yourself. Below are a few suggestions of wild swimming spots but why not check out Wild Swimming for details and suggestions about wild swimming all over Britain and Europe and Wild Swim Map allows you to seach for spots that suit you and add your own spots for others to enjoy. Also recommended is Wild Swimming: 150 Hidden Dips in the Rivers, Lakes and Waterfalls of Britain by Daniel Start, ISBN 978-0955203671.

Cow Castle, River Barle, 3 km from Simonsbath, TA24 7LA. The Barle rises on Exmoor and sinuously makes its way from the moors to meet its destiny with the Exe near Dulverton. Along the way are hidden pools with crystal-clear waters, none more so than this bend in the river as it passes below the Iron Age encampment of Cow Castle. (Grid Ref: SS 793375) 45 min walk from parking.

Sherdon and Landacre, 7km from Withypool, TA24 7LA. Found at a medieval bridge which spans the River Barle and set in the open moorland of Exmoor National Park, this is the perfect spot for a picnic and a swim especially in the deep pools further up river by Sherdon Hutch when the weather is good. (Grid Ref: ST 816362) 5 min walk from parking.

West Lydford, TA11 7DH. A picturesque stretch of river that’s deep enough to bomb into from the nearby bridge. It’s also got a rope swing and some impressive church-side scenery.

Tellisford, Frome, Trowbridge, BA3 6RL. Excellent spot for a picnic and sunbathing, swimming & diving (Grid Ref: ST 806553). Parking close by.

Cadover Bridge, The Plym, Devon, nr Shaugh Prior. There are dozens of pools and waterfalls upstream on the Plym along from Cadover Bridge that are ideal for "one-person" swimming or simply plunging. It's popular, but there is enough to go around for a good bit of splashing followed by a spot of peace and quiet (Grid Ref: SX 554646).

Crickhowell Bridge, The Usk, Powys. The Usk flows through the bustling market town of Crickhowell, but those in the know escape the crowds by making for the locally popular Galvey Pool, upstream alongside Bulpit Meadows. (Grid Ref:  SO 215181)

Parc Waun Capel, The Wye, Rhayader. Downstream from the town bridge is a pebble beach, but avoid the pool immediately upstream from the bridge, where the current is strong. Slightly further upstream, however, behind the sheep market is a cascade of water leading to a pool, with a shallow weir behind (Grid Ref: SO 967683).

Ivybridge, The Erme, Devon. The Erme dashes over boulders through the small town of Ivybridge, which doesn't look too hopeful for swimmers. But park under the railway viaduct, avoid the pool beneath and walk 40-50 metres upstream to find a lovers' pool, all dark and shaded. Continue up to the higher weir pool and then on to the delightful dappled Trainman's Pool (Grid Ref: SX 637571)

Warleigh Weir, River Avon, Near Claverton. BA2 &BH. Up to 500 swimmers a day visit this popular swim spot near Bristol over summer. There's a big sunbathing field and a long deep relaxing swim upstream and downstream of the weir (Grid Ref: ST 793643).

The Lake, Trench Lane, Bradley Stoke, Bristol BS36 1RY. Mad Mike, 71years old, dug this 11 acres / 4'6" deep lake by himself!


Entry price is £4 and it's open for swimming from Tue to Sun.

 Changing rooms, and tea/coffee available for the chilly days.

Farleigh and District Swimming Club, River Frome, near Frome BA2 7RS. Farleigh boasts the only river swimming club left in the country. Founded in 1933, it now has over 2000 members and provides idyllic swimming in the river Frome, sunbathing in a dedicated meadow, and chatting while sitting on the weir with other swimmers. The water is fresh, with a deep area above the weir for lovely swimming. There are toilets and changing rooms available. There is also a large car park with easy access to swimming. 

You have to become a member to swim here for insurance purposes. See the Stowford Manor Farm website below for more details (Grid Ref: ST 805577).

Belstone, River Taw, Belstone, Dartmoor, Devon. Here there is a deep and refreshingly cool pool on the moor just above Belstone. Park by an open grassy area in the village and follow the road and then a track towards Belstone Tor, walking alongside the Taw as it slips down from the moor. The swimming hole is the first deep place you come to (Grid Ref: SX 621930).

St Nectan's Kieve, Nr Tintagel, Cornwall. St Nectan’s Kieve is a hidden gorge where a double waterfall has scooped out a fair-sized plunge pool. A place of myth and mystery, King Arthur and his knights were allegedly baptised here and the Cornish saint Nectan made it his home. An exhilarating place to wash away the cares of the world. Entrance fee: £3 (Grid Ref: SX 081885).

Pwllau Maen Mawr, Glyntawe, Powys. North of Glyntawe, turn left off the A4067 (by the Tafarn-y-Garreg pub) and after a couple of miles you'll come to the Maen Mawr standing stones. Here you'll find a long stretch of safe paddling pools in the Tawe that are ideal for children and popular with the locals (Grid Ref: SN 8525).

Tarr Steps, River Barle, 7km from Withypool, TA22 9PY (Grid Ref: SS 868321) 20 min walk from parking

Long Pool, Watersmeet, 3km from Lynmouth, EX35 6NT, 20 min walk, plunge, swim

Rockford Pools, 5km from Lynmouth, EX35 6PT, 10 min walk, plunge jump

Badgeworthy Pool, 2km from Malmsmead, EX35 6NU, 20 min walk, plunge

Colber Bridge, Sturminster Newton, DT10 1EG, 5 min walk, swim, dive Grid ref: ST 783143

Pamphill, Wimborne Minster, BH21 4EE, 5 min walk, swim, dive, paddle

River Safety:

Non-swimmers – shallow waters can deepen suddenly. Make sure you scout out the extent of the shallows, set clear boundaries and keep constant supervision.

Hypothermia – Outdoor swimming in cold water saps body heat. Shivering and teeth-chattering are the first stages of mild hypothermia, so get out of the water and warm up with a combination of warm, dry clothes and activity.

Slipping on Rocks – Rocks are very slippery when wet so NEVER run. Go barefoot to get a better grip or wear plimsoles with a rubber sole.

Jumping & Diving – Always check the depth of the water, even if you visit the same spot regularly.

Moving Water & Currents – Always consider: if I do lose my footing or get swept downstream, where will I get out? Identify your emergency exits before getting in and scout around for any downstream hazards (obstructions, waterfalls and weirs).

This information was taken from the Wild Swimming website, so please visit the site for more detailed river safety information.

Windmills and Watermills

For hundreds of years, before electricity arrived, windmills and watermills were a crucial part of keeping everyone alive and were everywhere. Quite a few still remain in their original condition and they are a fascinating insight into how people used to live.

Ashton Windmill is an 18th-century flour windmill in Chapel Allerton and is the only complete one left in Somerset. Open from Easter to September. Free admission.

Dunster Watermill was built in 1680 and is still working alongside the River Avill, Dunster, Somerset. Stoneground corn flour produced with ancient agricultural machinery.

Stembridge Tower Windmill is the last surviving thatched windmill in England and is found at High Ham in Somerset.

Otterton Watermill is the last working mill on the River Otter, Budleigh Salterton, Devon, and is still grinding grain after 1000 years!

Bursledon Windmill is a working windmill at Burlesdon, Southampton, now the only one left in Hampshire, along with barn, granary, nature trail and pond.