Dive into the Beauty: Exploring Wild Swimming in Cornwall

wild swimming in cornwall

Salty skin, sea breezes and sand between your toes… nothing feels better than throwing off your clothes, pulling on your swimming togs or wetsuit and running down the beach to the water. The thrill of the cool water hitting your feet, the gasp as it reaches your waist and the first brave duck of the shoulders under the waves. But once you’re in, nothing beats the feeling of wild swims in the summer!

With its stunning coastline and abundant natural beauty, Cornwall is the perfect place to indulge in this popular pastime, and our coastal resort Gwel an Mor is the perfect base for your wild swimming adventure!

So in this blog, we explore the joys of wild swimming in Cornwall, including the best spots to swim, safety tips, and the benefits of this wonderful outdoor activity.

Best Spots for Wild Swimming in Cornwall

Porthcurno Beach
Porthcurno Beach
  • Gyllyngvase Beach: This picturesque beach in Falmouth is a popular spot for wild swimmers, with its clear waters and sheltered bay. The beach is also home to a range of cafes and restaurants, making it the perfect place to relax and refuel after a swim.
  • St Nectan’s Glen: This mystical woodland valley in Tintagel is home to a stunning waterfall and plunge pool, making it a unique and magical spot for wild swimming. The water is cold, but the experience is well worth it.
  • Mermaids Pool, Kynance Cove: Only accessible at low tide, wander down onto the beach and walk around the headland to the other side. Once there, head to the far side of the rocks and nestled in there is the most secret of all pools. Big enough to swim, deep enough to jump and the most crystal-clear turquoise water you’ll ever see. Mermaid heaven.
  • Treyarnon Bay Natural Sea Pool, near Padstow: This beautiful beach holds a secret – at low tide, a natural sea pool appears in the rocks, big enough to really get swimming and up to 8ft deep in places. The pool has steep sides nearest the cliff which make it great for perfecting that dive!
  • Pedn Vounder near Treen: Park in Treen village, follow the track to the cliffs and then scramble down to this beach with such white sand and blue waters that you’ll think you’re in the Caribbean. At low tide, a sandbar pops up – your very own desert island! The isolated location of this beach also makes it a popular one for those who are brave enough to go without the swimsuit altogether!
  • Porthtown Tidal Pool: Just a short hop from the resort you’ll find this beach, popular with surfers but at low tide, it holds a secret, a pool on the cliff. Head out towards the right-hand side of the beach as you’re facing the sea and you’ll find it at the bottom of the cliff. If the tide is low enough there is a great walk all the way to Chapel Porth beach as well – don’t forget to stop for a famous ‘Hedgehog’ ice cream at the cafe while you’re there!
  • Porthcurno Beach: This beach is a hidden gem on the Cornish coast and a perfect location for wild swimming. With its clear waters and stunning scenery, Porthcurno Beach offers a unique and unforgettable wild swimming experience. One of the main reasons to visit Porthcurno Beach is the quality of the water. The beach has consistently been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag status, meaning the water is clean and safe for swimming. In addition, the beach is sheltered by cliffs, which means that the water is usually calm and relatively warm, making it a comfortable place to swim.
  • Portreath Rock Pool & Lady Basset’s Baths – Portreath, just a few minutes’ drive from our resort, Gwel an Mor, is a haven for wild swimmers thanks to its beautiful rock pools, and among them are Portreath Rock Pool and Lady Basset’s Baths. The Rock Pool is a hidden gem, nestled behind the harbour wall and providing a sheltered spot for swimming when the sea is too rough, whereas Lady Basset’s Baths are more exposed to the elements, offering a more adventurous swimming experience. The natural rock formation creates a series of connected pools that are perfect for exploring and discovering all the marine life that call them home.

Safety Tips for Wild Swimming in Cornwall

Wild swimming, or open water swimming, is a wonderful way to exercise and have fun with friends, but before taking the plunge, it is vital to keep the following safety tips in mind:

Always swim with a buddy: Never swim alone, and make sure that someone is aware of your plans and expected return time.

Check the tides: Cornwall’s tides can be strong and unpredictable, so it is essential to check the tide times and conditions before swimming.

Wear a wetsuit: Even in the summer months, the water in Cornwall can be chilly, so it is recommended to wear a wetsuit for warmth and buoyancy.

Stay close to shore: It’s best to stay close to the shore when wild swimming, particularly if you’re not a strong swimmer or if the conditions are challenging.

Respect the environment: Finally, it’s essential to respect the environment when wild swimming. Don’t leave any litter behind and don’t disturb any wildlife you encounter in the water.

Health Benefits of Wild Swimming

In addition to being a thrilling and exciting activity, wild swimming also offers a range of health benefits, including:

  • Improved mental health: Swimming in cold water has been shown to boost mood and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Increased fitness: Swimming is a great form of low-impact exercise that can improve cardiovascular health and build strength and endurance.
  • Enhanced immune system: Cold water swimming has been linked to increased production of white blood cells, which can help to boost the immune system and fight off illness.

Wild swimming in Cornwall is a truly magical experience that offers a range of physical and mental health benefits. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a beginner, there are plenty of stunning spots to explore along its beautiful coastline. Just remember to stay safe, respect the environment, and have fun!