summer swimming in Stockholm

Swimming at Rösjöbaden in Sollentuna

summer swimming in Stockholm

Summer at Rösjöbaden looking towards the dive platform

As I’ve written elsewhere, one of great things to do in Stockholm in the summer is to swim in the lakes and open water. When I lived in Sollentuna there were numerous opportunities. One of the ones that can be easier with children is to go swimming at Rösjöbaden.

Many of the swimming opportunities that abound in Stockholm are wonderful directly due to their informal nature, but sometimes, as all parents will know, it’s nice to have that type of experience, but with a few extra facilities or entertainments to keep the little ones happy. I’ve been to Rösjöbaden many times as both a couple and as a family and it works well on both counts.

As you can see from the photo here, there’s nice sand, good grass (and much more of it out of shot here) where you can happily have a picnic or a BBQ or play games with the children. In terms of water activities, there’s great swimming and an excellent tall diving board for the braver. Also out of shot is a large bendy slide which drops into a small swimming pool, toilets, changing rooms, shop and cafe. It’s also a campsite with cabins for those who want to holiday there.

It’s very accessible by either public or private transport and there’s some nice woodland walks in the woods next to the site itself. Being as it’s a commercial enterprise, you do have to pay a small fee for the use of some of the facilities, but that’s the trade off you make. You can read about the full facilities on their website (English and Swedish). In my opinion it’s probably not worth a trip up from central Stockholm (although it’s only 15km as the crow flies) as there are better alternatives, either closer or more well appointed, but if you’re already in the northern suburbs or thereabouts, it’s well worth a visit on a warm day.

Edsviken Ulriksdal

Wild swimming at Edsviken near Ulriksdal

Edsviken Ulriksdal

a wonderful small beach on Edsviken near Ulriksdal

As i write this, I’m in the middle of a summer London heatwave and it’s been 30 degrees or so all week. All I wish right now is that I still lived in Sollentuna and that I could nip down the road for spot of wild swimming at Edsviken near Ulriksdal slott. The picture here is of Matilda sitting on the beach early one sunny summer morning in 2009. It’s taken from a tiny beach which is a local hidden secret, ironically though it’s only a few hundred metres from a major tourist site at Ulriksdal Slott.

As I’ve written on other pages on this site Edsviken is full of many wild swimming opportunities and this is another great one. For me I used to walk south from my house, past Silverdal and the police high school along a beautiful lakeside path for about 30 minutes and then you come to this little quiet secluded beach (there’s a map below of the exact location).

This beach is absolutely tiny though, there’s only room for a few families, but the swimming is great as it’s a gently sloping beach where small children can happily paddle quite a long way without getting into trouble. Once you go out about 5 metres though, there’s a bit of a shelf where the adults can kick off from and do some proper swimming. You might also be able to see in the background a small island which the more adventurous can swim over to.

The thing which is strangest though about this beach is that it’s incredibly close to the fantastic tourist site of Ulriksdals Slott. You simply walk north past the slott itself for about 300 metres and you come to this glorious private beach, but noone ever goes there whilst visiting the slott (castle) as who takes their swimming trunks on a tourist castle visit. This is sad for the people visiting the slott, but great for those in the know who fancy a chilled swim. For those with children there are always ducks on the beach as well which adds another entertainment. Sarah describes it to me as “The beach where the ducks are there eating ants” which is pretty accurate.

Finally on the ridge up above the beach is the Ulriksdals Garden cafe (Slottsträdgården Ulriksdal), which is another local secret (in fact I’d call it a local institution) with the most amazing vegetarian buffet lunch. More on this on another post, but it’s definitely worth a visit.

 

open water swimming at Edsviken

Swimming at Edsviken in Sollentuna

One of the most glorious things about Stockholm in the summer is the near constant possibility to go swimming in open water, either in one of the many lakes or in the sea off one of the many islands of the archipelago.

open water swimming at Edsviken

A glorious view south across Edsviken

This picture is taken at a wonderful lake in Sollentuna which is in the northern suburbs of Stockholm. The lake is called Edsviken and it stretches north south more or less for about 20 km, before it actually reaches the sea. There are numerous individual spots where people can just turn up and have a quick dip, and there’s loads of other activities to be had along its borders, which I’ll detail in other posts. For example, on other occasions I’ve hired a kayak (swedish only site) in town and paddled up to this and other swimming spots. But that’s a bit of a full day commitment and one for another post! The particular spot marked on the map below is one of my favourites as because of the rocks here, meaning that there’s great opportunities to jump in from a few feet up. This is always great fun in my mind, but for the less adventurous, there’s an easy path down to the edge of the water and nice shallow sections where you can just wade in and out if you don’t want to actually swim. Just be careful though, as rocks above tend to mean that there’s rocks below and as with all open swimming you need to be careful as there’s no lifeguards to save you should you get into trouble.

Here’s a map of the actual location. You can walk , drive or get the bus there, it’s fairly accessible (or kayak of course which is the truly stylish way to arrive!). There’s no facilities there though, as it’s just one of many little public spots all along the edge of the lake, so make sure you take some food and drink with you if you’re planning on staying a while, and remember that there are no toilets as well!


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