Wild Swimming

Wild Swimming in Northern Ireland.

The Coastguard Boat House has a variety of lovely wild swimming spots.

Safety First

Please do remember safety first, make sure you have a float (with a light at night), gloves and boots/swim socks (at least 3mm). Some of the areas I discuss below are a bit rocky so these will keep you warm and your feet safe.  Please don’t swim alone.  Join one of the groups below who are all very friendly.  If you need a swim robe let us know, we have two to spare.  We don’t offer safety equipment but these are available at the nearby sports shops.

For safety tips I recommend having a look at the blue tits site. They have lots of easy to follow instructions, especially useful if you a newbie. https://thebluetits.co/pages/about

Safety tips are here Don't Be A Tit, Be A Bluetit! - Swim Safety Resources (thebluetits.co)

Where to sea swim?

Firstly, there is the slipway right on the door step of the Boat House.  You will see people swimming here when the tide is just past high.   They are usually the Dirty Dippers Facebook group.  A friendly group who always welcome visitors. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/896514161746677)  And here is a helpful hint, stay to the left of the slipway (when looking out to sea) to avoid most of the rocks. And keep an eye on the Coastguard Boat House tide clock to work out the best time to dip.

Swim in the shadow of Carrickfergus Castle

Only ten minutes away from the Boat House is the home of the Carrickfergus Blue Tits https://www.facebook.com/groups/2836175713296127

Another friendly bunch who swim in Fisherman’s Quay, right in the shadow of Carrickfergus Castle.  If you are new this group will look after you very well!  Sometimes the group head down to Gleno Waterfall (which is a delightful spot) as described by a fellow blogger here Gleno Waterfall – WildSwim.ie  and there is also sunrise and sunset swims.

If you want to venture further afield then there are lots of options.  Helen’s bay is about 20 minutes away and is very popular spot.  Or there are the Moira Lakes and one of my favourites in Waterfoot Beach.  Each location has a very different vibe but they are all perfect for sea swimming memories.


 slipway in front of Boat House



  • Less than a metre from the sea
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