Discovery

7 of the UK’s best open water swimming spots

by Freya Merritt

Open water swimming is one of the most thrilling and addictive activities out there. Listening to the gentle splashing of water as you glide along, it’s not hard to see why the activity has taken the UK by storm. 

Open water swimming provides many health benefits, from a boosted immune system to the many mental health benefits of being out in nature. If you’re new to the sport, it can be an intimidating prospect - luckily, there are many guided sessions available.

Here are seven of the best guided open water swimming sessions to add to your bucket list. Many are available throughout winter, so get your flask and wetsuit ready and head out for an adventure. 

Swimming

Burgh Island, South Devon 

Based in the turquoise waters of South Devon, watch the waves lap against the rocky edges as you plunge into the softly waving sea with Coast to Coast Water Safety. Just an hour’s drive from Exeter, their Burgh Island swim venture is an enthralling swim, covering one mile of this majestic coast. 
You’ll explore cracks and caves once you reach the island, and share your experience with like-minded open water enthusiasts. The guided swim is run in group sizes of no more than eight, making this an intimate and special experience. 

Book swimming
Source: Coast to Coast Water Safety


Firestone Bay, Plymouth

Close your eyes and transport yourself to an oasis of calm seas and a fresh salty breeze. Jason from Ace Swimming runs sessions at Firestone Bay in Plymouth year-round that will immerse you in stunning 360 degree beauty. 


Enjoy local landmarks such as the old navy base at Royal William Yard as you swim. Whether you’re a total beginner or a seasoned pro, Jason will help you achieve your goals and get the most out of your experience. 

Book swimming with Aces Swimming
Source: Aces Swimming


Brighton beachfront

Flow-through the wavy seas at the iconic Brighton Beach Front with Lauren from Swim Coast and Calm. Experience the rich peach, purple and deep blue shades of the sky and the remaining structure of the old pier as you explore on an early morning or evening swim. 


Lauren offers tailored coaching sessions, so whatever your aspiration, she’ll help you reach it in her relaxed and informative classes. Feel any tension melt away as you drift through the sea - it really does have a relaxational power!

Book swimming with Swim Coast and Calm
Source: Swim Coast and Calm


Port Gaverne, Cornwall

Watch the glossy seas delicately lap against the craggy cliff edges at Port Gaverne on a swimming adventure with Cornish Rock Tors. Deep blue waters and breathtaking views are all part of this awesome swimming experience. 


Book onto a guided swim explore this otherwise inaccessible coastline nestled between Padstow and Tintagel. 

Book swimming with Cornish Rock Tors
Source: Cornish Rock Tors


Ansteys Cove, Torquay

Wild Water Swim runs guided swims to the peaceful Ansteys Cove, between Torquay and Babbacombe in Devon. Spot limestone cliffs, unique rock formations, and spectacular coastal views. Keep an eye out for seals regularly spotted in this Bay as you go! 


This session runs monthly on the 7th. Alongside this, Wild Water Swim also provides guided swims at Goodrington, Meadfoot and from Broadsands to Elberry.

Book swimming with Wild Water Swim
Source: Wild Water Swim


Newquay, Cornwall

Explore the cliff-lined coastline of Newquay on a swim session with Wild & Open Water Swim Coaching. 1-1 lessons, beginner group sessions, and Saturday swims are available. Newquay boasts fantastic sea views and invigorating emerald seas. Whether you’re looking for a new spot to try or to improve your technique, they have something for you. 


WOW Swim Coaching are open throughout winter - why not give cold-water swimming a go?

Book swimming with Wild and Open Water Swim Coaching
Source: Wild and Open Water Swim Coaching


Anglesey Coast, North Wales


Cut through the tranquil, glassy green sea on the spectacular Anglesey coastline with Anglesey Outdoor’s Introduction to Wild Swimming. This relaxed session provides perfect foundations for planning your own swim. You’ll learn about picking a location, tides, what to watch out for, cold water shock and of course have an awesome time. Join as a group or make your session private. Just be sure to soak up the incredible scenery as you go!

Book swimming with Anglesey Outdoors
Source: Anglesey Outdoors


With so many incredible open water swimming spots to choose from in the UK, we hope we’ve given you some inspiration to give open-water swimming a go this season! Wherever you choose to go open water swimming it will provide a feeling of relaxation and a sense of adventure. 

On the hunt for more experiences? Explore our marketplace! And be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest inspiration!

Read more:


Read more: Newquay's hidden surf beach paradise

Newquay's hidden surf beach paradise

Read more: Plant a tree with eola this Christmas

Plant a tree with eola this Christmas

Read more: 5 places to learn bushcraft in the UK

5 places to learn bushcraft in the UK

Enjoyed this?

We have a broad selection of activities you can book right now!


See activities

Next article: Looking back on 2021, with eola CEO Callum Hemsley