1/1
  • Words by Mr Ian Belcher

Summer isn't over. Not quite. The nights are still long, the sun warm, the water inviting. And yet, it's an unavoidable fact that autumn with its mists, mellow fruitfulness and unexpected chill, is lurking around the corner.

These are the dog days of summer. Still splendid but dog days nevertheless ? and that's a very good reason for fitting in one final life-enhancing swim: a climatic alfresco plunge to savour and recall over the long dark months ahead (for those of us in the northern hemisphere at least).

So where to go? Well we've pinned down eight of the very best late summer swim spots. Some are salty, some freshwater, but all allow a breeze to caress your skin under a vast canopy of cyan sky, surrounded by widescreen nature rather than four tiled walls. There are rock pools massaged by Pacific surf, Greek heat and Cornish winds, exquisite landscapes worthy of a Hollywood lens and one African showstopper to leave your heart in your mouth. Occasionally man has intervened to give nature a nudge, creating the perfect outdoor swimming spot, but all, without fail, feed the soul and the senses. Your wild water awaits.