Swimming & Events

Barefoot and Bower Lakeside Yurts, glamping in May Hill, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, Mayhill camping and retreat

Do you enjoy wild swimming?

Barefoot and Bower has two spring fed lakes, both over an acre and set in beautiful ancient woodland. The upper lake hosts guests in beautiful Yurts and the lower lake is quieter and lost deep in nature. This is the swimming club lake and is sure to become your special place.

Barefoot & Bower Wild Swimming and Events

Great news we are up and running…

If you’d like to become part of the Barefoot & Bower swim community you will need to become a member of NOWCA, for both insurance and booking purposes. NOWCA membership only costs £15 per year and gives you access to other great Swim venues across the UK, as well as a host of other perks. Once you’ve joined and downloaded the ACTiO App, booking is extremely quick and it costs £8 per swim.

There are two routes to swimming at Barefoot & Bower depending on whether you are experienced or completely new to wild swimming:


  1. Join NOWCA – https://nowca.org/become-a-member-dev/
  2. Request to join Barefoot & Bower Wild Swimming Facebook group –                                                                                              https://www.facebook.com/groups/1345396709428137/
  3. Book and pay for your swim session via NOWCA’s ACTiO App
  4. Collect your member band at the session, or bring it with you if you are already a member – bands must be scanned in and out at each swim



  1. Join NOWCA – https://nowca.org/become-a-member-dev/
  2. There are two options for this step and it MUST be completed before your first swim, either:
  • Complete the NOWCA online Cold Water Induction Course- This informative course is available to buy through the ACTiO App for £5 using the discount code supplied and will take about an hour to complete; OR 
  • Complete an in-person induction course – If you are interested in attending one at Barefoot & Bower in the new year please email and let us know.
  1. Request to join Barefoot & Bower Wild Swimming Facebook group – https://www.facebook.com/groups/1345396709428137/
  2. Once you’ve completed your induction course, book and pay for your first swim session via NOWCA’s ACTiO App
  3. Collect your member band at the session – bands must be scanned in and out at each swim



Only the Sunday Social Swim is supervised all other sessions are unsupervised and members must not swim alone. We encourage all unsupervised swimmers to load the NOWCA WILD app which allows members to pin their swim and notify their emergency contact that they are swimming. Please ensure that you choose me, Bronwen da Costa Freeman – 07940 500 345 as one of your contacts. I am local and need to keep tabs on who is swimming and when they are swimming. Sessions still need to be booked via ACTiO.


Barefoot & Bower Wild Swimming Facebook Group

This is a private group specifically for our swim community to keep everyone informed of updates, news and events. It also contains a pinned post detailing a few rules about using the site, which we request you read before attending your first session. Please make sure to join the group so you don’t miss out on any important information.


Rules & Regs for using the lakes at Barefoot & Bower

All swimmers must be a member of NOWCA.

No swimming alone.

Leave site as found close and lock gates.

Please keep noise to a minimum.

No Fires – unless during organised events.

Leave no rubbish.

We recommend the use of tow floats.

No children under 16yr olds.


Instagram barefootandbower

Facebook Barefoot & Bower Swimming and Events

Every Sunday there will be a Social Swim in the morning from 9.30-11.30 for existing and new members. 


For further information contact Bronwen on 07940 500 345 or [email protected]