Our Editorial Assistant, Rachael Brown, discovers some of the most thrilling wild swimming spots in Cornwall.
Although some wild swimming purists might disagree with the saltwater swims included on this list, we’re sure any disagreements will melt away when they see the ocean. Sea pools or giant rockpools are good places to start for beginners, before you build up to a skinny dip in a river…
If the tide is far out enough, it’s easier to approach this seapool from sandy Porthtowan beach by clambering up a cluster of rocks. It’s a smaller secluded pool, hidden around the side of the bay, but finding it is rewarding. Deep enough to dive in, it’s a nice spot for gazing at anemones.
Grebe (Helford River)
You can reach this unspoilt stretch of shoreline by parking in Bosveal and following the woodland walk towards the river. You’ll reach a pebbly band of beach with clear, peaceful water, framed with lush woodlands and a couple of rockpools. Usually still and a bit warmer than the sea, the coves and inlets of the Helford river are reliable spots for wild swimming. Feel free to follow the coast round to Durgan for a pit stop.
Two miles north of Lizard Point lies Kynance Cove. Its aquamarine waters make it a popular tourist destination which means there is limited parking. Arrive early or walk down on the south west coast path to guarantee being able to stop. Plan your arrival for when the tide is going out to properly explore the caves, azure waters and Asparagus island.
This sandy shingle crescent is enclosed by folding cliffs and clear blue sea. To get to the cove, set off on the wooded trail from Lansallos, it’s signposted by the church and Victory Cottage. The coast around Lantic and Lantivet Bay has a wealth of coves for swimming in, so explore and find your own secret spots along the coast path. Look out for Reed Water waterfall, also in Lansallos cove.
Treyarnon Bay Rockpool
This large natural rockpool is deep enough to plunge into and wide enough to swim lengths, a great introduction for beginners who want to immerse themselves in nature whilst avoiding any strong waves or currents. Scramble over the rocky areas on the side of the beach to find it.
Bodmin Parkway, River
Behind the train station, one of the bends in the River Fowey swells, running deep enough for a refreshing freshwater dip. Walk along the leafy riverside to this secret spot and look out for a deeper space to submerge. As with all swims, judge the level and flow of the water before getting in.