en +44 (0) 1865 513 007 hello@activeenglandtours.com
+44 (0) 1865 513 007 hello@activeenglandtours.com
English (UK)

Top 10 Hidden Swimming Spots in the South West

With so much coast, it was a really difficult job to narrow down the top 10 hidden swims in the South West. From the wilder North Coast through to the more gentle Southern Coast, there are so many swimming spots in the South West and the hidden gems often provoke much debate amongst the swimming community. The vast majority of the outdoor swimmers we know are both great people (you rarely meet an outdoor swimmer who is a di*k) and respectful of the environment in which they swim, leaving no trace of their visit but their happy splashing memories!

In the Covid world, helping people find new spots can be extremely rewarding and helpful to mental and physical well-being, as long as people are respectful to these special places. There are some locations where parking and litter is an issue and we have seen some rightly frustrated locals this summer. We recommend the wild swimming community avoid the busy times of the day to get their “fix” as nothing set’s up the day better than a swim or finishes off the day better than with an evening beer / wine after an early evening dip! We encourage everyone to swim safely, respect the sea at all times and if in doubt – don’t do it!


The Hidden Swimming Spots of the South West

  1. Broadsands Beach, Combe Martin
  2. Sharrah Pool, Dartmoor
  3. Chagford Lido, Dartmoor
  4. Start Point, Great Mattiscombe
  5. Cawsand
  6. The Three L’s on the South Coast
  7. Goldiggers Quarry
  8. Colona Beach
  9. Coves on the Lizard Peninsula
  10. Porthcothan Beach

1. Broadsands Beach

Broadsands Beach

Broadsands Beach at Combe Martin is known by our guides as James Bond Beach, as it looks like Khao Phing Kan in Thailand! With 124 steps down, it’s hidden and difficult to find. For the strong swimmer it’s accessible from Combe Martin, just head left off the beach and follow the shore around the bay.

2. Sharrah Pool

Sharrah Pool

This iconic and almost mythical pool sits at the top of the Dart River. The two mile walk either way (from the closest car access point) is worth every step. It’s starting to be discovered and therefore best to visit either in the morning or late afternoon.

3. Chagford Lido

Chagford Lido

Not quite ‘wild swimming’, we have included Chagford Lido in our lists as it is a river fed (by the Teign) and solar heated lido in the centre of Dartmoor. Eccentric and much loved it’s close to the great little town of Chagford. Try the Three Crowns for a spot of lunch and then head up onto Dartmoor to see stone circles and the splendour of Dartmoor unveiled.

4. Start Point

Great Mattiscombe

At the remote and picturesque Great Mattiscombe – away from the crowds on the South Hams, perfect for a spot of solace-filled swimming.

5. Cawsand

Cawsand

Cawsands can be accessed via ferry from Plymouth or over the Tamar Bridge and round the Rame Peninsula. There is a wonderfully quiet swim, between two villages, Kingsands and Cawsands that is best in the early morning when the sun is just coming up!

6. The Three L’s: Lantic Bay, Lanivet and Lansallos Beach

Lantic Bay

These three are the hidden beaches of South Cornwall. With a steep downhill walk to all of these beaches: Lantic Bay, Lantivet and Lansallos beach, swimmers are rewarded with the beaches to themselves and unrivalled clear water – bliss!

7. Goldiggins Quarry

Goldiggins Quarry

Located on Bodmin Moor, this is maybe an unusual choice but the water’s clear and it’s big enough to get in a proper swim. Look out for Quarry cliff jumpers parading their acrobatics (we would not recommend this!), and always be cautious of the dangers of deep quarry swimming and be aware of the very cold nature of the water you are paddling in!

8. Colona Beach

Colana Beach

This beautiful hidden inlet is accessible only on foot! For those fancying a walk and swim take the coastal walk from Goran Haven to Mevagissey. Portmellon beach is also worth a look as is the wonderful King’s Arms in Mevagissey – with seafood brought in every day. Just ask for Kris!

9. The Lizard Coves: Cadgwith / Coverack / Mullion Cove

Coverack

These three are all stunning beaches on the Lizard Peninsula with islands, blow holes and hidden beaches ripe for exploration. Each has it’s own flavour and is distinct and unique – we think they are truly unmissable! (Top Tip: during the height of summer avoid the beautiful Kynance Cove like the plague – far, far to many people!)

9. Porthcothan

Porthcothan

Why not head out through a sea arch on the right hand side of the beach. This spot is only accessible at low tide and we know you’ll have the beach to yourselves. There is a huge rock for sunbathing, known as the “frying pan” – remember to take sun screen!


Active England’s swimming holidays are the perfect balance of exploration and relaxation, immersing guests in some of the most iconic swims and walking trails throughout Devon, Cornwall and the South West. Join one of our friendly groups, meet like-minded people and discover new and iconic swims – from the water up!

Our wild swimming holidays are for all types of swimmer with a number of different swims planned every day. On these tours you will swim in deserted coves, inaccessible by car, walk to hidden beaches which look like the Caribbean, dip or dive in sea pools at low tide and visit some of the iconic swims which are fast becoming bucket list “must swims”. 

Cornwall Wild Swimming – 6 Day Holiday

Devon Wild Swimming – 6 Day Holiday

Cornwall Wild Swimming – 4 Day Holiday

Devon Wild Swimming – 4 Day Holiday

Cornwall Swimming – 3 Day Wild Swimming Weekend

Devon Swimming – 3 Day Wild Swimming Weekend

Get a Question?

Do not hesitage to give us a call. We are an expert team and we are happy to talk to you.

1.8445.3356.33

Help@goodlayers.com

Recent Articles

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cornwall Swimming Holiday – 6 Day

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cornwall Swimming Holiday – 6 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cornwall Swimming Holiday – 4 Day

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cornwall Swimming Holiday – 4 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cornwall Swimming Weekend – 3 Day

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cornwall Swimming Weekend – 3 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Dorset Swimming Weekend – 3 Day

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Dorset Swimming Weekend – 3 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Devon Swimming Weekend - 3 Day

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Devon Swimming Weekend - 3 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Devon Swimming Holiday – 4 Day

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Devon Swimming Holiday – 4 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Thames Swimming Weekend – 3 Day

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Thames Swimming Weekend – 3 Day

Make This Tour Your Own

Turn this into a private trip, exclusive to your group, family or friends. Tailored to the activities you would like to do, the sights you want to see! Talk to our team today to create your own private tour:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Devon Swimming Holiday – 6 Day

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Devon Swimming Holiday – 6 Day

Cotswolds Autumn Cycling -   Self-Guided Weekend 

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cotswolds Autumn Cycling – Self-Guided Weekend

Cotswolds Villages Autumn Walking – Self-Guided Weekend

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cotswolds Villages Autumn Walking – Self-Guided Weekend

Cotswolds Short Walks Autumn– SG Weekend

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cotswolds Villages Autumn Walking – 4 Day Self-Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cotswolds Villages Autumn Walking – 4 Day Self-Guided

Cotswolds Short Walks  Autumn – 4 Day Self-Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cotswolds Short Walks Autumn – 4 Day Self-Guided

Walk The Ridgeway – 7 Day Self-Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Walk The Ridgeway – 7 Day Self-Guided

Walk The Ridgeway – 7 Day Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Walk The Ridgeway – 7 Day Guided

Walk The Cotswolds Way - 11 Day Self-Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Walk The Cotswolds Way – 11 Day Self-Guided

Walk The Cotswolds Way – 11 Day Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Walk The Cotswolds Way - 11 Day Guided

Cotswolds Villages Walking – 5 Day Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cotswolds Villages Walking – 5 Day Guided

Cotswold Villages Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cotswold Villages Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Self-Guided

Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Cornwall Walking – 6 Day Guided

Walk The Lake District - 9 Day Self-Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Walk The Lake District - 9 Day Self-Guided

Walk The Lake District - 7 Day Self-Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Walk The Lake District - 7 Day Self-Guided

Walk Coast to Coast – 14 to 18 Day Self-Guided

To download a PDF copy of our Trip Itinerary, containing full details about this holiday, please complete the form below:

Fields marked with * are mandatory

The phone number field is not required but if  you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

Walk Coast to Coast – 14 to 18 Day Self-Guided