Cornwall has more coastline than the rest of the Southwest put together. It leaves us with a fair few swims to choose from.
In no particular order…
- Carbis Bay : Now if you’re not a fan of crowds you’ll need to avoid Carbis Bay in peak season. The car park next to the beach can also be very expensive during busier months. It is however, very sheltered a lot of the time. Both the water quality and clarity are fantastic and the place is stunning. If you’re organised or don’t mind a walk on a summer’s evening you could always swim into St Ives Harbour (being careful of boats of course), swimming back, walk back or park a second car in the town and grab a drink and some food.
- Porthcurno : We took a group here on a September morning, swimming to Logan Rock and back and it was stunning. I still haven’t ‘got over’ it four months on. Crystal clear water, a stunning back drop…there was an Opera singer warming up at the Minnack Theatre whilst we were swimming. If the conditions are right this swim takes some beating. Beware though, the water’s normally a good couple of degrees cooler than surrounding areas.
- Gyllyngvase Beach : the locals love this place. I’ve personally never really seen the appeal. I think Swanpool is far nicer. The swimming here is good though! Amazing marine life and…this seems to be a common theme…beautiful clear water. Offers favourable swimming conditions, rarely picking up swell and fairly sheltered. Suggested swim Gylly to Swanpool and back.
- Nanjizal (photo above) : Difficult to find, well worth the effort. Quite remote and can be difficult to access. One week you pop down there and you have a beautiful sandy beach, the next the sand has disappeared and you have to clamber over rocks. More of a quick dip than a long swim kind-of location.
- The Gannel / Goose Rock : The Goose Rock off Crantock Beach can be a fantastic swim in good conditions, terrible in bad! You can get a fairly challenging current around the back of the rock so we definitely wouldn’t recommend swimming around the rock. Incredible views and Crantock is probably my favourite beach. The Gannel takes some beating. You need a big tide, setting off from the beach a few minutes before high tide. Once the tide turns just make sure you keep left on the way back, especially if you’re not a confident or strong swimmer. You’ll get a nice little boost the whole way.
- Anywhere in the Isles of Scilly (above) : Having competed in the Isles Of Scilly Otillo with the other half of Sea Swim Cornwall – Jo, we can highly recommend. Half dead, legs like Lead and wheezing like an air bed in the process of inflation whilst completing the 40km Swimrun I still managed to take in the world class views of St Mary’s, Bryher and Tresco. We swung by St Agnes on the Sunday and I fell in love.