We love being able to Sea Swim in Cornwall. Being by the coast on a sunny day makes you want to jump into the turquoise waters.
If you can, then always swim at a lifeguarded beach and between the red and yellow flags. You are responsible for your own safety so be aware of the conditions and of your own ability. Swimming in the sea is very different from swimming in a swimming pool so be aware of your weaknesses. Having both been Beach Lifeguards in Cornwall we are very confident in the sea, but if you don’t feel comfortable then don’t swim! Our Cornish coastline can welcome lots of big waves, tides and currents so speak to a lifeguard if you are unsure of the conditions.
If you’re not one for swimming in our Cornish seas then the next best thing is a sea pool! Head along to Summerleaze Beach Bude, Porthtowan or Jubilee Pool for a sea water swimming experience. The sea pools are filled by our wonderful sea water and warmed by our Cornish sun, so you may find they are quite a bit warmer than the sea.
This sheltered South Coast sandy beach offers sea swimming at both high and low tide. You can park just behind the beach for a small daily fee and access is straight on to the sand.
This far East in Cornwall there are usually no waves making Looe a great spot for a few lengths of sea swimming. Looe can get very busy in the summer months but there’s a large car park at the bottom of the valley. Walk along the river and out to the beach for a (usually) very flat swimming experience.
Read about our Day Trip to Looe.
There used to be an annual swimming race from Newlyn to Jubilee Pool on the high tide which takes you alongside the Penzance Promenade. This is quite a long flat expanse of water so is best only swam by experienced sea swimmers.
Porthminster, St Ives
Lifeguarded in the summer months this vast sandy beach offers a great place to swim, but it gets very busy so you may have to avoid the bathers and watercraft in the height of the season. You can park in the Station car park just above the beach, or get the coastal train line in from St Erth or Lelant.
Not so good for a long distance swim, but if you’re after a quick dip then this is the place! One of the most beautiful backdrops in Cornwall make sure you don’t forget your camera.
You may be mistaken for thinking this sandy sheltered beach was somewhere tropical, but this bay makes for perfect sea swimming conditions. Every year there is a Biathlon which begins by running from St Ives to Carbis Bay, and then jumping in the sea on Carbis Bay beach and swimming back past Porthminster. Please do not try this on your own without safety cover, but do consider entering the competition if you fancy a challenge!
When you say Falmouth most people think of boats and the harbour but have you ever been to Gylly beach? Just a short walk around from Pendennis Point is a popular sandy beach. With a lovely beach cafe and SUP hire available you can easily spend the day here enjoying the sea.
The Camel Estuary provides a large expanse of tidal water which is sheltered from the North Coast Surf. There will be currents and boats to take into consideration but every year there is a 1 mile race from Padstow to Rock organised to raise money for charity. Open to both experienced and novice sea swimmers, give it a go if you fancy swimming in the Camel River. Find out more here.
A wide sandy beach found down on The Lizard, Coverack is a sleepy seaside town for most of the year. Due to its shallow shores Coverack is a great place to launch your watercraft or to jump in for a quick dip or longer sea swim. You can park just up the hill behind the beach, it’s a great spot if you want a quieter sea swim in Cornwall.
Due to the rocky nature of this stretch of coastline, Prussia Cove is only really accessible for experienced swimmers. Prussia Cove is known to be a great snorkelling spot, so pack your mask if you’re heading this way. There is a small car park a short walk from the sea, but you’ll find lots of locals come down here to find a sheltered sunbathing spot on a windy day.
Obviously, the conditions are dependant on the local weather, tides and winds so always check the conditions before deciding to swim. If you want to take part in more of an organised sea swimming holiday then Sea Swim Cornwall are the guys to contact!
Here’s where to find all these Cornish Sea Swimming Spots…
These sheltered beaches all make for great SUP conditions too…
Where are your favourite places to sea swim in Cornwall?
Here are the Best Cornish beaches to visit!
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