Cornwall is home to some of the best beaches in the UK and in the world, so it is no surprise that it is a popular location for sea swimming. Sea swimming has so many health and mental benefits, not only stimulating the body but allowing you to appreciate the wonderful surroundings we have in the UK.
In this article, we take a look at some of the best beaches to go swimming in Cornwall, with recommendations from Cornish locals, local bloggers, and sea swimming fans.
Swanpool Beach is a stunning beach near Falmouth. Made up of sand and shingle, the area is sheltered and offers lots of shallow waters that make perfect conditions for swimming. There is no lifeguard on site, so any time spent in the water should only be undertaken at the swimmer’s discretion. The beach is also home to some great post-swimming activities including crazy golf and a delicious ice cream shop.
Anna from the blog This Cornish Life recommended Swanpool Beach to us and commented on it further: "My favourite spots for swimming in Cornwall are definitely around the Falmouth area because the south coast tends to be calmer and less wavy - perfect for a relaxing dip! Swanpool Beach is particularly sheltered, and the cafe here does the best luxury hot chocolates with all kinds of toppings, which you'll want to help you warm up after a sea swim."
Gylly Beach is a popular beach for visitors to St Michaels Resort and is known for being Falmouth’s largest beach! Just a 10-minute walk from the town centre, the beach is blessed with flat crescent shaped sand and was one of only seven beaches in Cornwall to receive the Blue Flag Award 2020.
For those looking to take a leisurely dip in the mild waters, this is a wonderful location. There is RNLI Lifeguard cover between 15th May and 26th September so you can rest easy that you are safe when swimming.
Situated in the large village of St Agnes, Trevaunance Cove is a laid back, family-friendly beach of sand and shingle that is perfect for sea swimmers. Lifeguard cover is in place between 15th May – 26th September, 10am – 6pm and dogs are allowed all year as long as they are on the lead.
Visit St Agnes recommends Trevaunance Cove for those visiting the area that want to dip their toes in Cornish waters: “We have four beaches in the parish – Porthtowan, Chapel Porth, Trevaunance Cove and Trevellas Porth and all have their own charm and activities. If you love to swim, this part of Cornwall is a lovely place to experience many different types of beach and swimming conditions.”
Sitting on the west coast, Carbis Bay is one of the more famous beaches in Cornwall but is still as outstandingly beautiful as others in the county. The crisp, white sands are a delight in the warmer months and the sheltered cove is safe for sea swimming. There is a car park at the beach but for those who want to enjoy a little more of the area, the beach can be accessed by the coastal path.
The website Cornish Secrets spoke about Carbis Bay on their blog and highly recommends it to swimmers, commenting: “Perfect for families with young children, the water is just right for swimming, and usually free of surfers/bodyboarders. On a hot summer’s day, you feel as though you could almost be in the Caribbean with warm azure seas and white-gold sand.”
Lifeguard cover between 10th July – 5th September, 10am – 6pm. Dogs are not permitted on the beach from 15th May – 30th September, 10am – 6pm. For those who may want to enjoy some other activities whilst at the beach, kayaks and paddleboards can be hired from Ocean Sports Centre.
Located in the exquisite town of St Ives, Porthmeor Beach is a Blue Flag beach and is commonly known for its crystal-clear blue waters and relaxed vibe. Lifeguard cover is available from 2nd April – 31st October from 10am-6pm so those who are swimming can rest easy that they are safe. Swimming isn’t recommended when the lifeguards are not present due to its exposure to the Atlantic waters.
For those who want to enjoy the rest of the location, there is a lovely beach café and also a local surf school for those who want to learn a new water sport. Go Cornwall Beaches talks about the beach on their site a little more, reporting: “Facing northwest, Porthmeor beach is an iconic north-coast beach situated just a small distance from the centre of St. Ives. One of four beaches in St. Ives, Porthmeor is a wide expanse of coarse shell-based sand. When the tide is out the beach seems huge, surrounded by rocks on either side at low tide and to the right of the beach you have the headland called “The Island”.
If you’re thinking about enjoying a wellness break or are planning to visit St Michaels Resort in the coming months, then make sure you add some of these beaches to your must swim list and enjoy their fantastic clear and refreshing waters. For more articles like this, then head to the St Michaels blog.