With another summer heatwave approaching, Kim’s Bay on Achill Island in Ca Mayo has been named the UK and Ireland’s No.1 ‘wild swimming spot’.

The survey, carried out by UK reusable bottle company Ocean Bottle, listed 20 wild swimming spots, with no fewer than six in Ireland.

As well as Kim, it includes Tra na Duillin and Dog Cove in Connemara (6, 13), Dui Beach in Donegal (9), Curraclo in Wexford (12) and Enniscrone Beach in Sligo (14).

In compiling the results, Ocean Bottle said it relied on water samples from more than 800 waterways over the past year, analyzing levels of E. coli and E. enterococci in samples obtained from government sites, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

He then cross-referenced each waterway’s Google ranking and number of reviews.

“The higher the rating and the number of reviews, the better the waterway,” it said.

Kim’s water achieved a clean score of 20 (10 points per 100ml for bacteria sampled, the company said), while visitors gave the beach an average score of 4.9 from 1,683 reviews.

“Boasting clean white plastic-free sand and clear turquoise water, Kim Beach has been awarded the Blue Flag for its ultra-clear water and is a beautiful, rural and scenic spot to enjoy swimming,” the statement added.

This is not the first time that Kim has been in the spotlight of international lists and polls.

Last year, Lonely Planet named this beauty spot one of the 20 best beaches in Europedescribing it as a “magnificent remote” treasure and a “crescent bay with golden sand (scattered) at the foot of steep cliffs and grassy slopes”.

However, traffic on the beach was a problem during peak season and before the pandemic Mayo County Council issued a ban competitive documentation for developments including a ‘skywalk’, traffic management and footpaths.

More than 13,000 people signed it Change.org petition against the plan.

With work delayed by the pandemic, the council now says it is working with Fáilte Ireland “in relation to the overall development of a plan for Kim”.

The plans look at car parking, traffic management, facilities and general people management at the site as part of a wider plan to develop Clew Bay’s visitor experience, recently launched by Fáilte Ireland.

In his own surveyOcean Bottle also looked at waterways that had the fewest views but the best water quality.

Islebrack/Silverhill beach in Connemara topped the Ireland and UK list of “20 best hidden gems for wild swimming”, “thanks to its pristine white sand beach and immaculately clear water”.

Blackpool Beach in Lancashire, England has been named as the most dangerous place to swim in the wild.

“Our work touches the rivers and waterways further afield, where plastic pollution is at its worst, but we believe that everyone deserves a right to a clean planet,” said Ocean Bottles co-founder Will Pearson.

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