Keem Beach in Mayo named best wild swimming spot across UK and Ireland

Keem Beach in Mayo named best wild swimming spot across UK and Ireland

KEEM BEACH on Achill Island off the coast of Mayo has been named the best location in the UK and Ireland for wild swimming.

New research from reusable bottle company Ocean Bottle analysed water samples from over 800 waterways, which included the E.coli and intestinal Enterococci count, to determine how safe various spots to swim in are.

It also cross-referenced each location's Google rating to rank the best places for wild swimming based on visitor experiences, with Keem Beach then coming out on top.

It scored a water cleanliness score of 20, as did every other location in the top 20, but its 1,683 positive reviews meant it had an average rating of 4.9.

Keem Beach has been awarded the Blue Flag for its ultra-clean waters and is a beautiful rural and picturesque spot to enjoy a swim.

Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire, Wales and Mwnt Beach in Ceredigion, Wales take second and third place, respectively, with both having cleanliness scores of 20 and average ratings of 4.9, but with fewer overall reviews.

Other Irish locations that made made the top twenty include Trailer an Dóilín in Galway (6th), Dooey Beach in Donegal (9th), Curracloe Beach in Wexford (12th), Dog's Bay in Galway (13th) and Enniscrone Beach in Sligo (14th).

On the opposite end, Eyemouth Beach in Berwick, Scotland was deemed the most unsafe spot for wild swimming.

It had a with a huge E.coli score of 1180 per 100ml and an Enterococci score of 1137.8 per 100ml, both of which are too high to deem safe for swimming in.

The research also found the top 20 least visited clean wild swimming locations, of which there are numerous in Ireland.

Aillebrack/Silverhill Beach in Galway had a cleanliness score of 20 but with just one 5-star review was deemed the most clean but least visited wild swimming location.

Other less-visited clean water locations were found at Tránaun Beach in Mayo, Oysterhaven Bay Beach in Cork, Gurteen Beach in Galway, Boat Strand in Waterford, Golden Strand in Achill, Stroove Beach in Donegal, Garnish Beach in Cork, Carrigholt Beach in Clare, Shelling Hill Beach in Louth and Trá na Reilige in Galway.

Will Pearson, Co-Founder at Ocean Bottle commented on the findings:

“Our work involves the rivers and waterways further afield where plastic pollution is worst but it’s our belief that everyone deserves the right to a clean planet. Being a British company we’re passionate about providing the UK with this data, wild swimming is not only great for exercise and mental health, it helps us to connect with the planet, something we all need to do as much as we can!”