It is difficult to pick a single location for wild swimming in Orkney, the archipelago off the northern coast of Scotland. In her award-winning memoir, The Outrun
, author Amy Liptrot details the regenerative power of nature — including the joy of wild swimming
— following a return to her home islands of Orkney. With over 900 kilometres (560 miles) of varied coastline to choose from, it’s all here; whether you want to swim in the Atlantic Ocean at the (rather chilly!) Bay of Skaill with its famous Neolithic village
, or the identically named Bay of Skaill in the North Sea off Deerness, or find a secluded spot where you only have birds and seals for company. In summer, the sun only just dips below the horizon, which means sunny, long days can warm bays to a surprising level, such as at Waulkmill Bay in Orphir. The sun also heats the surrounding hills, and the coconut scent of the gorse bushes and honey of the heather adds to the sense of bliss as you float in the warm waters.