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The best places to swim in Cornwall

With the summer weather fast approaching and the conversation of holidays becoming more frequent, you might be thinking about getting away and where to go. Cornwall is a place that, whatever the weather, has charm and is attractive to many holiday makers. Staying in the UK for the summer holidays is becoming more popular as people turn to caravan holidays and road trips that work out cheaper.

While being in Cornwall, there are many activities that are great for all the family. Swimming in Cornwall being one of them. Throughout Cornwall, there are hidden gems when it comes to places to swim, with some of the best beaches, lakes, indoor and outdoor pools in the country. Whether you’re in a caravan park in Looe or road tripping around the whole of Cornwall this summer, there will be a gold mine around the corner for swimming.



perranporth arch rock

This north coast location is a great place to start if you’re looking for places to go swimming in Cornwall. With outstanding natural beauty, this beach has golden sands and gorgeous walks, including part of the South West Coastal path. A recommendation from the blog Wandering Bird, she told us: “We’ve spent a lot of time enjoying road trips and finding places to visit in Cornwall and one of our absolute favourite beaches is Perranporth.

“This spectacular beach has a combination of shallower areas which dry as the tide goes out, creating fantastic rock pools, but also offers decent surfing when the weather is right. It’s slightly quieter than neighbouring Newquay, although arrive early in high summer if you want to good spot, especially if you want photos of the famous rock arch”.


Daymer Bay, Padstow

padstow to rock swim
Photo Credit: Marie Curie

Daymer Bay is a beautiful place to visit on the north coast of Cornwall. Surrounded by great Cornish beaches like Rock and Polzeath, there are so many places to explore. It is a sheltered and secluded bay so swimming here can be nice and peaceful at times.

If you travel down to the south end of the beach you can visit St Enodoc church, which has been loved by many, including the poet John Betjeman who wrote many poems about Padstow.

If you enjoy Daymer Bay, you can also travel down to Rock where Marie Curie holds the annual Padstow to Rock swim! A mile of open water separates Rock from Padstow and is the stage for this wonderful charity swim.


Headland Hotel

If want to go swimming in Newquay, then the spa is a good place to start. This next location is an indoor swimming pool at the Headland Hotel and Spa. Spending some time at the spa can be a great treat on your holiday. Taking a dip in the hotel’s hydrotherapy pool is topped off with its surrounding coastal views that are stunning to encounter. Whether you want to relax for a few days away at the spa and take everything in or you just want to spend the day there, this peaceful setting is a great way to enjoy Cornwall.

Recommended by Melissa from her blog Melissa Carne, she tells us: “The iconic Headland Hotel in Newquay is not only best known for its starring role in the Roald Dahl’s adaptation of the Witches but, for its mostly undiscovered ‘five bubble’ rated spa and swimming facilities.

“The Headland spa offers spellbinding panoramic views from the spa lounge of the famous Fistral beach where you wait in relaxation for your chosen treatment to work its magic on you. Alternatively, if you are just wanting to use the spa facilities, The Headland can offer to residents and non-residents the use of the: hydrotherapy spa pool, hot tub, Cornish salt steam room, Swedish sauna and aromatherapy showers that are guaranteed to leave you in relaxed bliss”.


Bude Sea Pool, Summerleaze beach

bude tidal pool

An outdoor pool that must be mentioned is Bude Sea Pool on Summerleaze beach. It was built in the 1930s for safe bathing and entertainment for the town. A semi-natural tidal pool that is open to the public for free all year round. The way the pool works is that it is topped put by the high tide, meaning that the water is refreshed twice a day. One thing to point out is that it does bring sand and stones in with it, so be careful of anything sharp at the bottom!

The pool is 91 meters long and 45 meters wide so there is lots of room for everyone to enjoy it! Over 50,000 people visit the Bude pool every year as it brings Brits from all over the country. If you love outdoor swimming, we recommend trying this one with all the family.


Nanjizal Bay, PenwithNanjizal Bay

Nanjizal Bay, also known as Mill Bay, can be found on the West coast of Cornwall. In the area there is a beach, but the true treasure is the hidden cove down by the rocks. Not known by many people due it not being signposted anywhere (and there is limited access to it), you could say it is undisturbed. It is one of Cornwall’s best-kept secrets.

With clear waters in the pools, this cove is a beautiful place to visit for some quiet time away from the crowds. Salty Songs, a local Cornish blog, has been there several times, writing on her blog: “This untouched part of the Cornish coast path has amazingly clear waters. You can often spot a seal playing in the shallows, as we did late in the evening when we visited.”


Waterworld Newquay

Saving the best till last for those with younger kids, Waterworld in Newquay is an amazing indoor water park and leisure centre for all ages. Found opposite Newquay zoo this is a great location to visit if the British weather isn’t up to scratch. It has a brilliant and fun tropical-themed swimming pool with two water slides. This topical world is packed with snake floats, a water play hunt and an erupting volcano, helping your kids have a wonderful day in Newquay.


If you’re planning a holiday at the Looe caravan park in Cornwall, be sure to check out these great locations for swimming. There are some wonderful sights to behold in Cornwall and whether you are at the beach or visiting an indoor pool, there is always something great for everyone.


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