As soon as the temperature warms up in the UK, we strip down to our swimwear and run for any available water, be it a lido, river, swimming pool, lake or even just a nearby hose or sprinkler. Wild swimming - that is, in rivers, lakes, waterfalls and anywhere else that is an unregulated body of water - has seen a huge popularity surge of late with people looking to get away from the masses at their local pool and reconnect with nature. The benefits are endless: cool, clean water, incredible surrounding, total peace and quiet (usually), and truly fresh air, plus some potential tanning opportunities. So suit up and head out to these top wild swimming spots across the UK.

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    Dorothea Quarry, North Wales

    One to head to in a hurry, as development plans may shut it to the public. This flooded quarry is a deep pool with a pontoon for swimmers to jump in from and many hidden treasures. The treasures are both around and beneath you, meaning swimmers share the water with divers looking at the quarry and mining remains on the bottom of the lake. Wildswimming.com describes it as a 'Welsh Angkor Wat'.

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    River Ouse, Sussex

    Rolling through Yorkshire and the Sussex Downs is the mighty Ouse, whose grassy banks and neighbouring meadows make for inviting swimming. The Sussex Downs area has plenty of these and from the Anchor Inn in Lewes, you can hop in and paddle your way (yourself or by boat) up a two mile stretch. It's a handy spot for pre- and post-dip refreshments.

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    St Nectan's Kieve, Cornwall

    For a small entrance fee (and with the help of some kind locals to show you the route), the waterfall at St Nectan's Kieve is a heavenly place to cool off. For some, it really is a heavenly place as it is a known holy place with prayer flags and a shrine room, but don't let that distract you from taking advantage of a waterfall swim. 'Kieve' means plunge pool so it's deeper than it looks.

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    River Waveney, Suffolk

    Roger Deakin is a name familiar to many stalwart wild swimmers as he was a pioneer of the movement, and his favourite swimming spot was in Suffolk on the Waveney river. The river loops around Outney Common by the town of Bungay (a great place filled with shops to rifle through), creating a two mile route that attracts swimmers of all types.

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    River Dart, Devon

    The river Dart runs through Devon, but by Totnes is a standout swimming spot for serious swimmers. The famous Dart 10k starts here and ends near the sea, so hardy types can give that a go, whereas upriver by Staverton is a more relaxed stretch to plunge into, with steps handily carved into an overhanging oak tree.

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    River Lugg, Herefordshire

    Winding its way down from Wales and into England, the River Lugg passes through the small village of Bodenham and it's here that is the best place to jump in. There are stretches of sandy shoreline beaches and river pools to splash around in. It's a great place to picnic if you're looking to make more of a day of it.

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    River Thames, between Pangbourne and Goring

    The Thames may not conjure ideas of bucolic wild swimming, but before it reaches London, it truly is the picture of country living with many spots to swim in. Head for Lower Basildon and park by the church, then romp down the path which opens into meadows and fields bordering the river. Here, you'll find many little inlets to wade in from. It's peaty, so swimming shoes make a difference and you'll be sharing the water with swans and the occasional boat.

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    The tarns of Snowdonia, Wales

    High on the Rhinog range of the Snowdonia mountains is the largest collection of tarns - or llyns in Welsh. These are magical pools that collect on hilly terrain and are oasis-like to sweaty hikers. It's worth the effort to get to the top just for a swim in this crystal, chilly waters with the mountains and crags as your backdrop. Heaven for anyone looking for pure escapism.

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    Skye Faerie Pools, Isle of Skye

    It may seem an odd name, but swimming in these rocky pools is a magical experience. Pink and green hues imbue some of the pools with a phosperescent glow, and two are linked by an underwater arch. If you swim underneath, you’ll see the rock face is encrusted with pieces of quartz. It feels a million miles away, and the surrounding landscape of black rock and grassy knolls adds to the atmosphere.

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    Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds, London

    There are around 30 ponds on Hampstead Heath, and three of the biggest are designated for swimming. The men's and ladies' ponds are on the east side of the heath, while the mixed pond is in the southwest corner. The single-sex ponds are open all year round, and are popular for winter swimming. Children under 8 are not allowed in the ponds, which makes them slightly more tranquil options than some of London's lidos.