Soi 55 Lifestyle | Top 5 wild swimming spots in Cornwall, England

I may be biased but I truly believe Cornwall is one of the most beautiful places in the world and I’ve seen a lot of stunning backdrops in the past few years to compare it too. We are very lucky to have the U.K’s answer to the Mediterranean on our doorstep and with hundreds of coves, bays and beaches to choose from wild swimming is an obvious choice of activity in the area. I’ve sifted through photos and wild swimming memories to compile what I think are Cornwall’s 5 best wild swimming spots!

1. The River Gannel, Newquay
This tidal estuary is nothing more than a dry sand bottom at low tide but when the tide floods in it turns into a flat-water paradise. Popular with SUP’ers, swimmers and kayakers it can be a hive of activity during the summer months but that just adds to its appeal. Check out the local Wild Swimming Group Wild Swim Newquay who swim weekly in the River Gannel.


2. Holywell Bay
After spending my first four years in Cornwall working here Holywell is probably my favourite beach in the whole of Cornwall. The golden sand bay is about a mile wide and features a shipwreck, a holy cave and the iconic rocks that sit just off the beach look like something out of The Goonies. Holywell is not usually a flat-water beach but if you catch it on a day without swell its such a scenic wild swimming spot!

3. Coverack Cove
I know it’s hard to believe this is in the U.K but I promise it really is. It’s places like Coverack Cove that make it easily to believe why so many people claim Cornwall as being one of the most beautiful places in the World. In the summer months this gorgeous fishing cove with pebble and sand beach might just entice you to ditch your wetsuit and indulge in some real wild swimming. Coverack can be found on the Lizard on Cornwall’s south coast.

4. Portscatho, the Roseland Peninsular
If you’re looking for a typical quaint Cornish village this is your spot. The harbour is scattered with lobster pots and the local butcher does a mean Cornish Pasty. Its south coast orientation means it rarely picks up swell making it an ideal spot for some flat-water scenic wild swimming. Porthscatho’s lively pub Plume of Feathers with Cornish ale, great food and friendly locals is the perfect place for a post-swim pint. If you’re more into tea and cake nearby Porthcurnick beach has an adorable and very popular beach cafe called Hidden Hut.

5. It’s a secret! Seek and you shall find….
With hundreds of secret coves and hidden beaches in Cornwall it wouldn’t be right to do a top 5 without including at least one.  This secluded cove can be found at high tide near a popular surfing beach on the Cornish north coast but this isn’t the only secret spot in Cornwall. One of the reasons Cornwall’s rugged coast is so beautiful is the fact that theres still treasures to be found. Pack a picnic & some beers and set off on a walk along the spectacular SW Coast path and you’ll soon find your own secret wild swimming paradise!