Wild – or outdoor – swimming has enjoyed increased popularity in recent years, with more and more people braving the elements and swimming throughout the seasons. If winter swimming sounds a little bracing, then luckily summer is upon us. The water temperate can still be cold at the start of the official outdoor swimming season, but through gradual acclimatisation your body will soon adjust, and you may be surprised by how much warmer the water temperature feels by the end of the summer – and you should find the experience much more comfortable.

From chilly dips in hidden lagoons to epic lakes and rivers and the sea, outdoor swimming is increasingly popular in the UK, but how do you get started? Before heading for a wild swim it is important to do some research into water safety.

Here is our essential wild outdoor swimming guide, including guidance on water safety and how to get used to swimming in cold water.

Wild swimming is essentially swimm