Wild Swimming Spots in Cornwall

August 28th, 2020

With plenty of incredible seaside spots around Cornwall, the county is one of the best places you can visit to enjoy activities in the water.


While surfing is currently the most common watersport on Cornish shores, wild swimming has grown in popularity in recent years, with many favouring natural swimming spots over pools.


What is Wild Swimming?

Wild swimming refers to any swimming in natural bodies of water, such as in lakes, rivers, or the sea. Many enjoy how refreshing and freeing the experience feels.


Wild swimming allows you to reconnect with nature and see new sights, all while getting the health benefits of a good swim.


Why Experience Wild Swimming in Cornwall?

The Cornish coast is such a good place to try out wild swimming for many reasons. For one, there are simply so many places for you to choose from! With over 400 beaches and 40 rivers, as well as many other streams, lakes and outdoor pools, you’re absolutely spoiled for choice in Cornwall.


Another reason why Cornwall is an ideal spot for wild swimming is how stunning the scenery is here. From dramatic cliffside landscapes to calming woodland valleys, there are diverse areas to discover and enjoy here. It will be easy to find somewhere you love, and somewhere that suits you, allowing you to better connect with the nature around you!


Finally, Cornwall is one of the only counties that is almost entirely surrounded by water, giving you different experiences wherever you go. For example, the north coast is dramatic, and a popular spot for surfers, so if you’re up for an adventure, head here to swim.


The south coast is one of the gentlest areas of water, offering much calmer swimming endeavours. Throughout Cornwall, rivers and streams feed through the towns and countryside, offering plenty of opportunity for wild swimming.


As there are so many places you can go, we have rounded up some of our favourite places for wild swimming in Cornwall:


Goldiggins Quarry, Bodmin Moor

Located on the incredible Bodmin Moor, the Goldiggins Quarry is a spring-fed quarry lake. It is a secret, sheltered lake, surrounded by rocks so that you don’t realise it’s a quarry lake until you’re right by it!


To reach the quarry, you’ll have to do a bit of trekking across the moors first, but it’s well worth it for the experience.


Goldiggins Quarry is one for adrenaline lovers as, while you can simply walk down the grassy path to the water’s edge, many love to fling themselves into the water from the cliffs that surround the lake.


Porthcurno, Penwith

Widely considered one of the best beaches for wild swimming, Porthcurno is an incredible bay, featuring shallow lagoons and dazzling turquoise waters that will have you believe you’re somewhere far more tropical.


This area is full of plenty of other impressive beaches perfect for swimming, including Nanjizal, where you can swim through the ‘Song of the Sea’ rock arch at low tide, as well as explore sea caves.


Respryn Bridge, River Fowey, Bodmin

Respryn Bridge is found within a wooded National Trust estate. The riverside walk is stunning, but if you’re up for a challenge, then the river is also perfect for a swim!


Some sections are up to 2 metres deep, and you will be swimming against the current, which flows fairly briskly. It’s a beautiful spot though, with dappled light shining through the leaves into the river.


jubilee pool outdoor swimming pool in Cornwall

Jubilee Pool, Penzance

If you want to experience swimming in natural water, but don’t feel too confident swimming in the sea or river, then the Jubilee Pool is the one for you. This outdoor pool is one of the most famous in Cornwall and is a seawater lido.


Depending on the tide time, the pool will vary between 1.2m and 2.25m in depth. The pool has no mechanical filtration and minimal chemical treatment. The water in the pool is simply replaced each day as the tides change.


Once you’ve gone wild swimming in Cornwall, you’ll probably want to spend the evening warming up, which is why our hot tub cottages in Cornwall are the perfect place to be!


These are only a handful of the many wild swimming spots available in Cornwall! Do you have any favourites we haven’t mentioned? If so, drop us a comment on Facebook!