There are some glorious places to go wild swimming whilst you are staying here at The Secret Campsite. Sussex boasts some truly marvellous spots. Although one destination definitely won’t be our pond. It’s dried up and even the Great Crested Newts that live with us here on site would struggle to get damp wriggling around in it.
Fortunately there’s some other great local options. Nearest to the campsite is Barcombe Mills. Described as the worst-kept wild swimming secret in Sussex ! it’s a marvellous 5 km stretch of deep, clear water with very little current. You can access the water at any point. We recommend avoiding the area around the Anchor Inn Pub which gets very busy. You can walk to the Mills from The Secret Campsite approx 60 mins over the fields. There’s a small car park there, which gets very full when it’s hot and sunny. Please be aware that there are nearby sewage works. But you will be joining a crowd of locals who come back time and again.
Striking further afield, try Cuckmere Meanders, located close to Seaford. Here there are oxbow lakes that are cut off from the main river. These natural meanders are large and shallow with average quality water. Its best to avoid drinking the water. So take your on drinks rather than joining the cows and sheep sipping from the river.
If you fancy open water swimming, you can head down to Seaford Beach. It’s a pebbly beach and accordingly very painful to walk on. But it has free parking, is rarely busy and has a couple of coffee kiosks on the beach close to the Martello Tower. We are big fans of Seaford beach and there is a great fish and chip shop there called Trawlers.
Heading in a Westerly direction then check out the very modernist Saltdean Lido . They offer a range of morning, afternoon and evening sessions available and recommend pre-booking online. Brighton offers great open water swimming opportunities. We tend to just paddle there so don’t have any top tips worth sharing, however this lady does!
Pells Pool Lewes
By no means last on the list is Pells Pool in Lewes. It’s the oldest freshwater documented outdoor public swimming pool in the UK, a mere 150 years old. It’s very popular and online booking is essential with no tickets sold at the door. There’s a range of swimming sessions available starting at 7 am!