5 Beautiful Places to Swim in Cornwall (That Are Safe and Easy To Get To)

The summer season in Cornwall brings smaller swells and sunnier days, but you still need to have your wits about you every time you go for an ocean dip. If you’re new to sea swimming and are looking for safe spots to swim in Cornwall, here’s a roundup of our favourites.

Newquay Harbour

This tiny beach in the town centre of Newquay is one of our favourite wild swimming spots since it’s safe and sheltered. It’s also where we’ll take you for quiet dips on our Water Women Weekends. At high tide, the beach is totally covered, but it’s still easily accessible from the rocks.

Starting our Water Women Weekend with a fresh morning dip in Newquay harbour. Image by Annie Taylor

Penzance Jubilee Pool

A popular spot for both sunbathers and serious swimmers, this seawater lido is the largest of its kind in the UK. It’s been a favourite swimming spot since its opening in the 1930s, for the stunning location (it looks out over Penzance Promenade on one side and St Michael’s Mount on the other) and unique art deco design. The high walls mean you can still swim on windy days, and there’s a 30-degree geothermal pool if you need to warm up!

The seawater lido in Penzance is a lush place to spend a summer’s day.

Bude Sea Pool

Another tidal pool that’s been around since the 1930s, the sea pool at Summerleaze beach is just a five minute walk from Bude centre. Backed by low grassy cliffs and surrounded by sea views, it’s a lush spot to spend a summer’s day. If you’re not a confident swimmer or you’re not ready to swim out in the open ocean, a tidal pool is the next best thing. It also has lifeguard cover during the summer months and over weekends in October. 

Feel the health benefits of saltwater swimming in Bude’s tidal pool

Porthtowan Tidal Pool

This secluded little pool takes a bit of searching since it’s tucked away in a rocky nook at the foot of the cliffs. It disappears completely at high tide, so make sure you get there as the tide is going out for the safest swimming experience. Tidal pools also tend to be a bit warmer than the sea – perfect if you’re not so keen on the cold!

A little harder to find, this tidal pool in Porthtowan is worth the search. Image by Cornwall Guide.

Gylly Beach, Falmouth

Just a fifteen-minute walk from Falmouth town centre you’ll find the turquoise waters and sandy shores of Gyllyngvase Beach. There’s rarely any surf at this spot, so the water is mostly calm and crystal clear. Hire a standup paddleboard, swim to your heart’s content and grab a coffee and cake at Gylly Beach Café. 

Head to the south coast for a relaxing day of swimming and stand up paddleboarding on Gylly Beach.

There are so many health benefits of immersing yourself in saltwater. But swimming in the sea is a totally different ball game compared to swimming in a pool. You’ve got to navigate through waves, pay attention to the tides and even in the calmest waters, there could still be some undercurrents that you’re not aware of. Our advice is to always swim at beaches with lifeguard cover, and stay between the red and yellow flags. If you’re swimming out of season, always let someone know where you’re going and if you can, avoid going alone.

Whether you’re a seasoned sea swimmer looking for some salty sisters to join you for your daily dips, or you’re looking to boost your confidence in the water – join us on our next Water Women Weekend for two days of wild swimming, surfing and stand up paddleboarding around the beautiful Cornish coastline.

By Lily Plume

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