Swimming at the Linn of Dee and Linn of Quoich

There was more wild swimming for us today. This time we swam in the Linn of Dee and the Linn of Quoich. Linn means a “pool below a waterfall”. The Linn of Dee is a well-known tourist attraction about 6.5 miles from Braemar. It was a favourite spot of Queen Victoria’s and is a gorge with a 19th century gothic-looking bridge.

I have never swum here before as it can be quite treacherous, especially near the bridge. However, the water levels are very low right now and we were able to swim up the gorge, right through the narrowest section where you can touch both sides of the river at the same time. It is very deep, like a scary abyss and it’s still too dangerous to swim right up to the bridge. Another swimmer told us there are whirlpools near the bridge that can suck you into an underwater cave. People have died swimming here so take care if you go for a dip. That said, there are many calm and shallow pools downstream of the bridge. These are safe and the water was warm.

We had a picnic on an island of rocks in the middle of the river.

About another 5 miles down the road from Linn of Dee is Linn of Quoich which is on the River Quoich. The water here was much colder but not cold enough to discourage us. It was refreshing!

There’s a punchbowl here where a smooth hole has been carved out of the rocks by the rapids. We swam inside it today but again, it’s not something you can do unless the water levels are low. People have drowned in this river too.

We were able to swim against the current and duck under the rock into the bowl. You can also climb in from the top. It was shallow enough for us to stand in there but that is not always the case.

The Linn of Quoich is much quieter than the Linn of Dee. It’s also only accessible via a single track road. The Linn of Dee is warmer and better for swimming. Both spots are gorgeous and there are tonnes of walking tracks in the area for hiking.

8 thoughts on “Swimming at the Linn of Dee and Linn of Quoich”

  1. It all look so awesome. Beautiful country. And great that you’re giving your kids experiences beyond the bounds of ‘tameness’. I’ve just finished reading ‘The Coddling of the American Mind’, and although it’s based on American kids, youths, and younger adults, it’s applicable to all Western countries. The books talks about the mess of fragility kids are in now because of safetyism, which has its roots in over-protective parenting but extends out from that, too, and how that is negatively affecting young people’s resilience and mental and emotional health. It’s worth a read, if you haven’t already.

    1. That sounds like a good book and it would probably do me some good to read it. I think I’m probably overly cautious as a parent although I’m more than happy for us all to go swimming. Both kids can swim and they’re not dare-devils so I know they’ll be careful. America is unique in many ways and the culture of suing people there has probably meant lots of restrictions for young people. For instance, I’ve heard that children’s playgrounds in the US are very boring because they don’t want anyone to get injured and sue the local authority. That’s such a shame. One greedy person can spoil it for everyone.

  2. I’m sure the culture of suing in the USA has a lot to do with over-safetyism. Plus, every parent wants to keep their kids safe and free from harm, it’s entirely normal. All the information we absorb now about ‘danger’ is messing with our willingness to have experiences, though, or let our kids have them. Like everything, it’s striking a workable balance, and like always, that’s easier said than done 😊

  3. Those pictures look magical. Also a scary description of how deep the water is, that deepens the wonderful experience, like marvelling at the power and danger but also the beauty of the ocean.

    1. I was thinking the same – that it’s a much richer experience than swimming in an indoor pool. The rock formations, the colours, the fish, the currents – there’s so much going on.

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