A guide to wild swimming in Cornwall

April 07th, 2016

Along Cornwall’s exquisite coastline, sandy coves and tiny inlets are secret places you can enjoy wild swimming all close to our luxury holiday cottages. The county serves up some fantastic places to indulge in this activity whilst offering up the chance to escape the crowds, get some exercise and see some beautiful natural landscapes.

The south coast is known to be gentler with several meandering estuaries while the north coast is wilder and bears the full brunt of south-westerly winds and big Atlantic swells. There are so many advantages to partaking in outdoor swimming from health (the colder the water, the better, apparently!) and the chance to get up close with nature. From the end of June is a good time to go swimming, with September the best month to do it in fresh and salt water as the summer warms up the sands, rocks and water, making it a highly enjoyable experience.

Below you will find some of our favourite places to go for a wild swim all within a short distance of our luxury holiday cottages.


Lostwithiel Bridge

You can find the swimming spot near the train station in this small Cornish town, with plenty of parking close by. There is a stretch of about 500m of swimmable water that varies in depth depending on the tides and there is plenty of grassy areas along the river making it the perfect place for a picnic and swim.


Lansallos Cove, Fowey

This picture perfect cove can be found after following the smugglers passage through the granite rocks. Take in the sights before your swim as the land is owned by the National Trust, providing gorgeous fern-lined trails through the woods and abundant wildlife.


Goldiggins Quarry, Bodmin Moor

A secret, crystal clear spring-fed quarry lake, out on the open moors but hidden in a small grassy amphitheater surrounded with wild flowers. There are lots of flat rock ledges for jumping.


Porthtowan Tidal Pool

Wonderful, secluded tidal pool set among the cliffs, 300m to the north east of the main beach. At low tide you can walk along the sands to Chapel Porth.


St. Nectan’s Kieve

This swimming spot is like a scene from Lord of the Rings, a tall water fall cascades into a high basin before flowing through a circular hole into a plunge pool nearly 2m deep.


Daymer Bay & St Enodoc, Trebetherick

Pristine white sands and the 15th century St. Enodoc church nestled in the sand dunes frame this idyllic swimming spot. Try and time the tides right where, the sand has been basking in the sun all day before the tide begins to fill in as it really does seem like you’re in St. Tropez not Cornwall when the tidal pools fill up with crystal clear water.



Other articles you may also find helpful:

The best dog friendly beaches in Cornwall.

Cornish wildlife to look for this April.


Photo by: Tony Atkins