Wild Swimming on the Isle of Skye – Top Spots and Hidden Hideaways!

The most famous place to go wild swimming on the Isle of Skye is undoubtedly the Fairy Pools. However, what many don’t know is that there are countless magical spots for wild swimmers all over the island, from enchanting lochs to emerald pools and hidden caves. 

If you’re looking to get wet and wild on your next trip to the island, keep reading. Below, I reveal my favourite wild swimming spots on Skye and share everything you need to know about taking a dip on the Misty Isle! 

Read more: (opens in new tab)

Best Places to Go Wild Swimming on Skye

1. Fairy Pools

You can’t talk about wild swimming spots on the Isle of Skye without mentioning the Fairy Pools. Sitting in the shadow of the Cuillin Hills and Instagram famous for their turquoise ponds, they are one of the most popular attractions on the island. 

Fairy Pools Isle of Skye
The Fairy Pools are one of Skye’s most famous attractions!

While undoubtedly an incredible place to swim, their increasing popularity has somewhat marred their magic. Crowds of tourists frequent the Fairy Pools all day long during the summer season and shoulder-season months, meaning that you will likely be swimming with an audience. 

For fewer spectators, head to the pools at sunrise or take a dip before sunset. Just be warned, if you’re visiting during summer, you will be at the mercy of the Highland midge! Remember to bring insect repellent and apply it after your swim, to avoid contaminating the water. 


You don’t have to be in open water to be at risk! People have sadly lost their lives at seemingly innocent spots, including the Fairy Pools. Practice caution around waterfalls and never swim beyond your limits.

2. Loch Coruisk

Hop on board one of the boats departing Elgol to Loch Coruisk for an epic adventure! Named ‘Coire Uisg’ in Gaelic, meaning the Cauldron of Water, this 38-metre deep freshwater loch offers a wonderful location for a wee swim. 

Loch Coruisk
Loch Coruisk is a great wild swim spot on Skye!

Loch Coruisk sits inland, surrounded by the jagged Black Cuillin mountains. While it can be a moody spot on a misty day, this only heightens its magic. Look up while you’re swimming to get an impressive view of clouds brushing along the mountain peaks. Nature has a habit of making us feel very small! 

Most people prefer to get a boat to and from Loch Coruisk but it is also possible to make your way back to Elgol on foot. Alternatively, hug the coastline until you reach Camasunary Bay before taking on the hike through Glen Sligachan. Be aware that if you want to leave Loch Coruisk on foot and don’t want to summit a mountain, you’ll need to brave the Bad Step!

3. Torrin Pools

A good alternative to the very popular Fairy Pools, Torrin Pools, also known as Skye’s Marble Pools, sits near the banks of Loch Slapin. Right next to the road but easily overlooked, this series of waterfalls and pools is a great place to go wild swimming on Skye. 

Swimming Pools at Torrin
The Torrin Pools are a wonderful place to take a dip!

There are a couple of laybys near the Torrin pools which means they are frequently visited by those travelling in camper vans. To heighten your chances of getting this swimming spot to yourself, visit in the off-season, or at dawn or dusk. 

Sitting in the township of Torrin, between Broadford and Elgol, there is a bunkhouse within walking distance and a café down the road. Try and time your visit to arrive just before lunch, after the campers have left. This will heighten your chances of getting a parking space nearby. 

4. Coral Beach

The beautiful Coral Beach is a must-see place on Skye. Located in the northwest of the island, Coral Beach is famous for the sun-bleached fossilised algae that make up its shoreline. Volcanic rock lines the beach and sheep wander the hills above.

Coral Beach, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Coral Beach gets pretty busy during summer.

Coral Beach is a popular spot with wild swimmers but be warned, the water here is very cold! For a wee adventure, swim over to the Isle of Lampay which sits opposite the bay. Although it is possible to walk across to the island via a causeway at low tide, it is far more fun to make the journey by water! 

This beach is popular with tourists and sees a fair few visitors in the summer months. If you fancy doing a bit of outdoor swimming here without the crowds, you can always bring a tent and camp, allowing you to access the sea before most even arrive at the car park. 

Good to Know!

While you can wild swim on Skye without a wetsuit, they are highly recommended year-round. Wetsuits offer extra protection from the cold as well as water beasties such as jellyfish which are a factor when swimming in open water!

5. Loch Shianta 

Also sometimes spelt Loch Sheanta, this wild swimming spot on Skye is lesser known. While it is naturally a beautiful spot to swim, the main draw to this wee loch comes from the folklore behind it. 

Girl looks cold in Loch Shianta
Just look at that clear water!

Loch Shianta was an important healing site for locals. The sick were brought here to drink the water before circling a hidden well three times clockwise. It was thought that this would cure them of their illnesses.

With its clear water, Loch Shianta is very inviting. However, visitors beware – it’s absolutely freezing! A swim here certainly makes for an invigorating experience. If you want to get a taste of Skye’s healing water, you’ll need to make the short journey from the car park on foot. After rain, this trail can get very muddy. 

6. Spar Cave

The little-known Spar Cave is a great place to enjoy a dip on Skye. Hidden away in Elgol, few people know about the cave and even fewer visit it. Only accessible at low tide, this wee gem requires a bit of planning but offers intrepid travellers true adventure.

Flowstone steps at Spar Cave, Skye
The journey to the cold pool in Spar Cave is the highlight!

While the pool nestled away at the end of the cave sits somewhere between a very large puddle and a small pond, you can certainly take a quick dip here and swim a couple of (very short) lengths. The water temperature is super cold so brace yourself before you ease in! 

Arguably the most novel wild swimming spot on the Isle of Skye, due to its size, it is not suitable for groups of people. Only two or three people can fit into the swimming hole at any one time. Still, it makes for an unusual spot. 

7. Talisker Bay

Made up of black sand and stone, Talisker Bay sits a short drive out of Carbost. Sheltered by high vertical cliffs on either side, complete with a large waterfall, this spot feels very wild once you’ve passed the houses en route. 

Talisker Beach sea stack
Talisker Bay is a quiet spot on Skye.

It is a great place for a swim on a warm day but beware, the waves here can be pretty lively when the wind blows into the bay. Talisker Bay is actually one of the few places on the Isle of Skye where it is possible to surf – however, the conditions have to be quite specific! 

Talisker is a popular area with dog walkers but rarely sees the crowds of other beaches in the area, such as Glenbrittle. To make a day of it, bring a picnic to enjoy on the beach once you’ve had your fill of swimming. Just watch out for any sheep poo! 

Other Places to Wild Swim on Skye 

The locations above are some of the best places to go wild swimming on the island. However, they by no means make up an exhaustive list. If you’re looking for more outdoor swimming locations on the Isle of Skye, there are also the following options:

  • Glenbrittle Beach
  • Camas Daraich Beach 
  • Glenbrittle Falls
  • Staffin Beach
  • Allt Daraich Falls

Elgol Bay – Not Recommended

Every time that I go to Elgol, I see wild swimmers in the bay. While I completely understand that the clear water is inviting (just look at the photo above for proof), I do not recommend wild swimming here during the summer months.

Elgol Bay
I know it looks inviting but save it for the off-season!

This harbour is used by all of the boats which head to Loch Coruisk and the small Isles, meaning it not only gets very busy but can also be dangerous. Only consider wild swimming here during the winter when the boats are no longer running. 

Aspiring mermaids and mermen need look no further than Skye! Home to a range of incredible outdoor swimming spots boasting crystal-clear water, this wee island is a paradise for wild swimmers. From healing pools to spots on the front of all the guidebooks, there is something for everyone here! 

What is your favourite place to wild swim on the Isle of Skye? Share it with everyone in the comments!