What to Expect from our Wild Swimming Holiday in Devon
As Seen in Outdoor Swimmer Magazine
Truly immerse yourself in the best of South Devon. From our start in Exeter, we will transfer you straight to a remote, river-fed lido in the heart of Dartmoor before visiting the iconic river Dart and the mythical Sharrah Pool. We then head for two full days on the South Devon Coast, including a quick swim, over the border in Cornwall. We visit wonderful coves (Hope Cove), Beaches (Bantham and Burgh Island) and hidden gems on our exploration of wild swimming. We believe we have created the perfect balance of exploration and relaxation, immersing guests in some of the most iconic swims in South Devon. The tour orchestrated by our wonderful guides and is fuelled by cake of all different types, Devon cream teas and great company!
Iconic Swims & Hidden Locations - Swimming for all in South Devon
Inclusive and for all, our swimming holidays are for all swimmers – the “dippers”, the head up breast-strokers and the 10k warriors, with options for all, every day.
Our guides, the heartbeat of our trips, ensure safety and enough swimming and variety of swims for all levels of swimmer (we suggest swimmers can swim 400m unaided as a minimum).
Invigorating and reviving, we all know swimming is great for the soul and the hidden swimming spots, coves and beaches of Devon’s gorgeous and rugged Coast, coupled with beautiful swims on Dartmoor are a tonic for those who need to recharge the batteries. With two or more swims planned each day your journey through South Devon will be memorable – joining together the most stunning sea and estuary swims and some relaxing walks along the South West Coast Path. We’re biased (very), but we feel our tours are the perfect balance for mind and body!
Devon Wild Swimming Holiday Itinerary
Day 1Chagford's River-fed Lido and Dartmoor's magical Sharrah Pool
Arriving into Exeter St Davids for 11am, we’ll meet you at the station and take the short transfer to the quaint village of Chagford on Dartmoor. Chagford is home to a river-fed, open air Lido which we visit for a relaxing late morning swim – and perhaps a few lengths before lunch. In the afternoon we head into the heart of Dartmoor to the tucked away Sharrah Pool. Sharrah Pool is only accessible by foot – a beautiful 2 mile walk through the National Park to discover its location! This otherworldly spot, surrounded by woodland, is a gem of Dartmoor and an incredible swimming experience. The late afternoon sees us transfer south toward the South Hams and your accommodation for the evening.
Day 2Hope Cove, Thurlestone Rock, Burgh Island and the Bantham Swoosh
We transfer to Hope Cove for a beautiful morning swim to Thurlestone Rock – famous for its unusual natural arch, created over centuries by the waves. Experienced wild swimmers pride themselves on being able to swim through the arch, but it’s just as fun to simply float over the reef and – when the water’s clear – take in the aquatic garden of seaweed and fish below you. We lunch in a seaside café and there is the option – at low tide only – to walk to Burgh Island. When sea conditions are right there is the option to swim around Burgh Island or part of the famous Bantham Swoosh along the estuary towards the end of the day.
Day 3Tinside Sea Swimming or Lido, Cornwall and Cawsands
We head out for a refreshing early morning sea swim with the friendly Tinside outdoor swimming club! We’ll always stick around for a warm cuppa and a chat with the local swimmers to find out more about their sea swimming adventures. In poor weather (or if you prefer!) the Tinside Lido is well worth a visit – overlooking the sea it is consistently voted in the top 10 of Europe’s outdoor pools! We then take the ferry over to Cremyll (Cornwall) for our coastal walk along the coastal path to Cawsands for lunch and an afternoon swim here. We head back on the ferry to Plymouth from Cawsands in the late afternoon.
Day 4Farewells & ongoing travels
After a relaxed breakfast we transport guests back to Plymouth/Tiverton and say our goodbyes, helping with all ongoing travel arrangements.
Download Detailed Intinerary
For full information about this tour and to find out all you need to know, download your copy of the detailed itinerary by clicking the button below.
With easy rail, bus and car journeys from London, Bristol or the Midlands, arrive to the start of your trip in Exeter ready to go! Immerse yourself in dramatic Dartmoor and and the chilled atmosphere of the South Devon coast with a wide range of swims and relax in the evenings with like-minded people in some of the best pubs known to man! We’ll start your holiday straight from Exeter St David’s so just bring yourself, your swimwear, tow float, wetsuit (if you use one) some sturdy walking shoes and a sense of adventure – we’ll cover everything else.
Fully Guided, Hassle Free, Swimming Adventures
Led by our outstanding qualified swimming guides, who put safety at the forefront of everything they do, we know every hidden cove and beach, bend in the river, beach cafe, local pub and restaurant. Most importantly our guides are students of the sea and understand where and when to swim in relation to tides and weather conditions. We also have inland options available, every day, if the sea is too rough!
We take care of everything for you including accommodation, transfers between swims, wonderful picnics on the beach, lunch and dinner bookings with our guides available from first thing in the morning to last thing at night! All you need to do is relax, immerse yourself in the journey ahead and enjoy.
Swimmers are wonderful people – fact. Our guests are “the salt of the earth”, fun and supportive, groups become like family and often enjoy each others company so much they come back again – altogether!
Meet and Greet Location
Exeter St Davids Train Station, Devon
Handpicked 3* Hotels and B&Bs
3 Nights Accommodation
Professional Tour Leader / Guide
Shore and On-Water Safety Support for all Swims
Transport and Transfers Throughout
3 Dinners and lunches
Wetsuits - Strongly Recommended But Not Essential
Tow Floats - Essential
Gratuity for Guide / Tour Leader
What is the best way to get to Devon?
The best way out of London and other major cities into the heart of Devon is by train. The direct journey from London Paddington to Exeter St Davids is a direct 2 hour journey, ready for a leisurely afternoon strolling and swimming. You’ll start your afternoon at the sea, with the sand between your toes and feeling refreshed. You may also drive, using the station parking at Tiverton Parkway.
Can I join this Swimming Holiday on my own, as a single traveller?
Absolutely! We bring like-minded people together on these trips, to enjoy a group atmosphere, get stuck into some great activities, water sports, hikes and to share a well-deserved meal with at the end of each day. Over 30% of our guests travel alone and swimmers are always very accommodating and welcoming. Solo guests have the option to have a room on their own or share with another guest.
Do I need to be a good swimmer to go wild swimming?
We require guests to be competent swimmers. All guests must be able to swim 400m unsupported before joining this tour. If you would like to chat to one of our team about your particular trip, fitness and activity levels and what is involved in coming on one of our tours, please get in touch and we would be happy to help
What do I need to bring on this Devon Wild Swimming Holiday?
For all our tours we will send out kit lists in plenty of time before your tour.
It’s completely up to guests what they swim in, however we recommend wetsuits in April – June as the waters are still chilly! For “skins” swimmers, we ask for evidence that they are swimming regularly in advance of the tour.
We provide brightly coloured hats for all guests
Tow-floats are mandatory, for visibility purposes
What else do I need to bring?
We highly recommend bringing warm clothes – Dry robe / dressing gown etc – for after you have swum
Hats / warm shoes are also highly recommended
Beach shoes – such as crocs are required although flip flops are not recommended (to flimsy on rocky beaches)
Walking shoes / a strong pair of trainers are required as there are walks of up to 2 miles to access the more remote swimming locations
A walking jacket / trousers, should the weather be inclement
Relaxed evening attire – nothing smart needed!
Can I bring a non-swimming guest?
Non-swimmers are actively encouraged and play a full part in the tours. They will be able to walk to all the swims and be part of all of the group activities. They will not be able to travel in support boats or craft however. Please contact us prior to booking if you would like to bring a non-swimming guest.