Your Wild Swimming Holiday in Devon - What to Expect
As Seen in Outdoor Swimmer Magazine
Truly immerse yourself in the best of Devon, both North and South. We start in North Devon, with Victorian Sea Pools, beaches that look like Thailand (christened James Bond beach by our guides) and then head onto Dartmoor for remote lidos and iconic river pools (Sharrah Pool) before a final few days on wonderful beaches and coves of the South Devon Coast. We even dip into Cornwall for a swim! We have created the perfect balance of exploration and relaxation, immersing guests in some of the most iconic swims in Devon.
The tour is for all types of swimmers, with our guides providing the safety and good humour, and fuelled by cakes of all types, wonderful local food and good company!
Iconic Swims With Like-Minded People
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 ensure the safety for all and there is enough swimming and types of swims, for all levels of swimmer (we suggest swimmers can swim 400m unaided as a minimum).
We know there is nothing more reviving and refreshing than swimming in the hidden swimming spots, coves and beaches of Devon’g gorgeous and rugged Coast as well as the hidden jewels on Dartmoor including the river fed Chagford Lido and the iconic Dart River – Sharah Pool, Spitchwick Common and more.
With two or more swims planned each day, we’ll take you on a journey from the North to the South of Devon with great walks along the South West Coastal path thrown in, making for a magical and memorable week-long journey.
Devon Wild Swimming Photos
Devon's Wild Swimming Holiday Itinerary
Day 1Ilfracombe and Tunnels Beach, Woolacombe Bay and curry on the beach
Arriving into Tiverton Parkway for 11am, we’ll meet you at the station and take the short transfer to the North Devon coast. Get to know your group over a seaside lunch in the pretty town of Ilfracombe (you’ll recognise the iconic Damien Hurst statue ‘Verity’ that towers over the pier, guarding the harbour entrance). In the afternoon we have an introductory swim at the famous Tunnels Beach Lido. We walk in the late afternoon along Woolacombe Bay to Barricane Beach for a dip and ‘curry on the beach’ – a fabulous little pop-up café serving Sri-Lankan curries right on the sand, with time to get to know your group – the perfect start to this swimming, walking holiday!
Day 2Watermouth Cove, Broadsands beach, Sandy Bay and Devon Cream Tea
This morning’s walk takes us along the South West Coast Path to Watermouth Cove for a mid-morning swim from this stunning cove to Broadsands beach known by our guides as James Bond beach. With a lovely picnic by the sea for lunch, there is the option for an afternoon swim or walk to the pretty beach at Combe Martin or Sandy Bay. We enjoy a ‘proper’ Devon cream tea in the late afternoon – you’ve earned it! – before travelling the short journey back to your accommodation.
Day 3The mystical Sharrah Pool, Chagford Lido and the Teign Valley
We have a morning transfer of an hour into the beautiful Teign Valley on Dartmoor and walk from along the river into the quaint village of Chagford. Chagford is home to a river-fed, open air Lido which we visit for a relaxing 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 4Hope Cove and the stunning 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 5Tinside Sea Swimmers and its famous LIdo, Cremyll 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 before taking the ferry over to Cremyll (and Cornwall) for our coastal walk. 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! After a glorious afternoon sea swim at Cawsands we head back on the ferry to your accommodation and a group dinner on the last evening.
Day 6Tiverton/Plymouth and Farewells
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.
Led by our outstanding qualified swimming guides, we are “students of the sea”, the rivers and the estuaries and understand where and when to swim in relation to tides and weather conditions. Our guides also know every bend in the river, beach and cafe, local pub and restaurant, tucked-away cove and isolated beach!
All you need to do is relax, immerse yourself in the journey ahead and enjoy. We take care of everything for you, with 3* accommodation pre-booked, all transfers between swims in our own vehicles and beach picnics, Sri Lankan curry on the beach and many other culinary surprises waiting for guests to enjoy – we think (although we are very biased) this is the perfect swimming holiday!
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!
Easily Accessible - Devon's not far!
With easy rail / bus and car journeys from London, Bristol or the Midlands, arrive to the start of your trip ready to go! We’ll start your holiday straight from the train station at Tiverton Parkway 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.
Meet and Greet Location
Tiverton Parkway Train Station
Handpicked 3* Hotels and B&Bs
All Breakfasts, 2 Dinners, 1 Picnic Lunch
5 Nights Accommodation
Professional Tour Leader / Guide
Shore and On-Water Safety Support for all Swims
Transport and Transfers Throughout
All swims, walks and alternative options
Wetsuits - Strongly Recommended But Not 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 Tiverton Parkway is a direct 2 hours journey. We start our tours directly from the station, setting you up to your bikes for a leisurely afternoon strolling and swimming. You’ll finish your day 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 traveler?
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.