Cornwall is a region renowned for its picturesque landscapes and breathtaking coastline. While many tourists flock to Cornwall's sandy beaches, there's a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by adventurers and nature enthusiasts - wild swimming spots.

Imagine immersing yourself in crystal-clear waters, surrounded by stunning natural scenery, and experiencing the thrill of wild swimming in Cornwall's hidden coves, rivers, and lakes.

We dive into the beauty of wild swimming in Cornwall and explore some of the top spots to take a refreshing dip.

St. Nectan's Kieve

Tucked away in a wooded valley near Tintagel, St. Nectan's Kieve is a mystical wild swimming spot that will leave you mesmerized. The highlight of this location is a stunning 60-foot waterfall that cascades into a deep plunge pool. You can take a dip in the pool and feel the invigorating spray of the waterfall on your face, making it a truly unique wild swimming experience. The lush green surroundings and the serene ambiance of St. Nectan's Kieve make it a perfect spot for reconnecting with nature and enjoying a refreshing swim.

Golitha Falls

Situated in the heart of Bodmin Moor, Golitha Falls is a hidden gem that offers a tranquil wild swimming experience. The River Fowey flows through a series of cascades and pools, creating a magical setting for a dip in the water. The water at Golitha Falls is clear and cool, and you can swim in the calm pools or relax on the rocky banks and enjoy the serene atmosphere. It's a fantastic spot for swimming and exploring the surrounding natural beauty of the moorland.

Porthcurno Beach

If you're looking for a wild swimming spot by the sea, Porthcurno Beach is an excellent choice. This stunning sandy beach is located near Land's End and is known for its turquoise waters and dramatic cliffs. Porthcurno Beach offers safe and secluded swimming opportunities, and you can immerse yourself in the refreshing waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is also home to the famous Minack Theatre, a unique open-air theatre carved into the cliffs, which adds to the charm of this wild swimming spot.


Nanjizal is a secluded and stunning cove located near Land's End, known for its crystal-clear waters and beautiful rock formations. Accessible only by foot, this hidden gem offers a unique wild swimming experience in a breathtakingly beautiful setting. You can swim in the turquoise waters, explore the underwater caves, and marvel at the natural arch known as the 'Song of the Sea.' It's important to note that Nanjizal can be challenging to reach and the currents can be strong, so caution is advised. However, for those who make the effort, the reward is a truly unforgettable wild swimming adventure.

Portreath Pool

Portreath Pool, also known as Portreath Harbour, is a tidal pool located in the coastal village of Portreath. This man-made pool is a safe and sheltered spot for wild swimming, perfect for those who prefer calmer waters. The pool is filled by the tide and provides a great opportunity for swimming, snorkeling, or even just lounging in the water. The pool also has a sandy beach nearby, making it a great spot for families and those looking for a relaxed wild swimming experience.

Polly Joke

Polly Joke, also known as Porth Joke, is a secluded cove located near Crantock on the North Cornwall coast. This hidden gem is a peaceful spot with golden sand and clear blue waters, perfect for a refreshing wild swim. The cove is surrounded by stunning cliffs and offers a secluded and tranquil swimming experience. There are also lovely coastal paths to explore, making Polly Joke a great spot for a day of wild swimming and hiking. 

Perranporth Beach

One of the unique features of Perranporth beach is its tidal pool, which is a man-made pool located at Chapel Rock. The tidal pool is a safe and sheltered spot for wild swimming, especially during low tide when the pool is filled with seawater. It's a great spot for families and those who prefer calmer waters, as the pool provides a protected swimming area away from the waves and currents of the open sea. The pool is also surrounded by rocks, perfect for exploring and snorkelling to observe the marine life. It's important to note that the tidal pool is dependent on the tides, so it's essential to check the tide times before visiting for the best swimming experience.

Grebe Beach

Grebe Beach is a hidden gem located near the town of Falmouth on the South Cornwall coast. This secluded cove is known for its clear waters, golden sand, and picturesque surroundings. It's a perfect spot for a tranquil and refreshing wild swim, away from the crowds. The beach is accessible via a steep path from the nearby National Trust car park, adding to its secluded charm. The calm waters make it an ideal spot for a relaxing swim or even some snorkelling to explore the marine life in the area. It's important to note that there are no lifeguards at Grebe Beach, so caution is advised, and it's always best to swim with a buddy.

Tips for Wild Swimming in Cornwall

Safety first: Always check the tide times, weather conditions, and currents before venturing into the water. Be aware of any hazards such as rocks, submerged objects, or sudden drop-offs.

Respect the environment: Leave no trace and follow the countryside code. Take your rubbish with you and respect the local flora and fauna.

Swim with a buddy: It's always safer to swim with a partner, especially in remote areas.

Be mindful of local rules and regulations: Some wild swimming spots may have specific rules or restrictions, so always be aware and follow any signage or guidelines in the area.


Cornwall is a wild swimmer's paradise, with its stunning landscapes, picturesque beaches, and hidden coves offering a plethora of opportunities to connect with nature through wild swimming. From waterfalls to lakes, rocky gorges to sandy beaches, Perranporth and its surrounding areas have something for everyone seeking a unique and refreshing wild swimming experience. So, put on your swimsuit, pack your sense of adventure, and dive into the beauty of wild swimming in Cornwall.

Stay safe, respect the environment, and create unforgettable memories in this breathtaking part of England.

Happy swimming!