Open water swimming in Cornwall

Credit Rock Tors

Our pick of some fabulous open water swimming events around Cornwall. If you know any other great events, let us know by commenting in the box below, we would love to hear from you!

Endless Summer Swim, Falmouth

On Sunday 27 September the annual ‘Endless Summer Swim’ will take place in Falmouth. The Gyllyngvase SLSC organise this event and have put on a range of races for open water swimmers to enjoy. The longest race for those over 18 is 1500m while they also offer a 250m race for 8 and 9 year olds. It is something for everyone to enjoy on the Gyllyngvase Beach in Falmouth.

Kernow Wake Boarding Park, Penryn 

At Kernow Wake Boarding Park you can enjoy open water swimming in a safe and supervised environment, making it perfect for those who want to try it out or are just discovering it. The crystal clear water is also a great place for seasoned triathlete’s to practice. There are sessions twice a week on Monday from 6-8pm and a Saturday morning session 8-10am.

The Big Swim, Port Isaac 

Taking place on the 28th August 2016 in the gorgeous coastal villages of Port Isaac and Port Gaverne, it is described as ‘the challenge of the summer’. You can choose from a selection of races to challenge you, swim for fun or come back to beat your last year’s personal best! As part of ‘The Big Swim’ there is the option of taking part in ‘The Little Swim’, which is 300 yards and is a great introduction to open water swimming. ‘The Not So Serious Swim’ is a one mile sea swim from Port Gaverne Beach to Port Isaac Beach; it passes gorgeous scenery and rugged coastline. There is also ‘The Serious Swim’ which is designed for those who want to swim as a race, and ‘The Super Serious Swim’ that is a 3.2 mile swim from Port Quin to Port Isaac Beach. There is a challenge for everyone and for more information about registering and requirements you can visit their website. It is a great way to get involved wth open water swimming and push your boundaries. It also raises money for local charities in 2014 it raised over £15,000 for charities.

Around the Mount Open Water Swim For the RNLI, Marizion

At the start of September (2016 dates to be confirmed), the Around the Mount Open Water Swim will take place, It is a one and a half mile open water sea swim around St Michaels Mount in Mounts Bay. It is an annual event and all the money raised from the event goes towards helping the RNLI and the fundraising appeal at Penlee Lifeboat Station for them to raise funds for a new Lifeboat Station. It  is £10 to enter, swimmers must be over 14 intermediate or experienced open water swimmers that have previously swam at least one and a half miles in open water. It is a fantastic event that can really help, even if you are not swimming you could go and support those that are.

Inn to Inn Swim, Falmouth 

This is a 2.7km swim from the Old Quay Inn at Devoran to the Pandora Inn, Mylor. Taking place on the 6th August 2016 the swim will start at the quay just 100m from the Inn. It’s a great swim to be involved with and their website helps to give various tips on training and swimming. It costs £35, which includes car parking above the Pandora Inn, bus transfer to registration at The Old Quay Inn, swimming cap (which must be worn during the event), an event t-shirt and BBQ breakfast at the Pandora after the swim.

Newquay Triple Crown, Newquay 

If you are up for a challenge you can take part in the Triple Crown, which involves the Crantock Biathlon, Newquay Swim Run and Newquay Surf Triathlon. This involved both open water swimming and running. The first event is the Crantock Biathlon, which is on the 19th June 2016 and involves a 1.5km swim up & back down the tranquil Gannel River Estuary. A transition on the beach is followed by a soft sand run across Crantock Beach, up the dunes and around West Pentire Headland, finishing back on the beach (5km run). There are also Junior Biathlon and events in the Triple Crown so that children can get involved.  The Newquay Swim Run is on the 23rd July 2016 involves multiple swim and run stages around Newquay Bay and the Barrowfileds ancient burial grounds overlooking the Bay. It’s a total of 1500m swim and 6000m run. The Newquay Surf Triathlon is on the 18th September 2016 it starts with an exciting surf swim out into Newquay Bay and return to transition behind the beach.  It then involves a 40km challenging bike route and a tough 10km run.

Kernow Splash Mob Swims, Carbis Bay St Ives 

This is a chance to have a go at open water swimming in sessions that are supportive, informal, social and safe. They happen every Thursday at 6.30pm at the beautiful Carbis Bay beach in St Ives. Any age and experience are welcome. The sessions are free and start from mid-May to mid-September. It offers the perfect opportunity to try it out, for more information email

Cornish Rock Tors LTD, Polzeath or the Roseland 

This is the perfect opportunity for beginners, setting off from Polzeath or the Roseland this offers you the chance to experience Open Water Swimming with a professional who can take you on wild swimming routes, featuring sandy beaches and stunning stretches of low cliffs.  You can choose the length of the route to help you to find the most suitable length for your ability. These guided sessions cost £40 per person, it includes the use of equipment such as wetsuits, goggles and swim caps, participants must be at least 8 years old and competent swimmers. The Roseland is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the views from the wild swimming routes are spectacular. Setting off from the National Trust’s Towan Beach, the open water swimming routes head south towards St Anthony Head along a stretch of low cliffs interspersed with sandy beaches. Each session can be tailored to suit your requirements, be it a relaxing sightseeing swim or a tough training session. 

Padstow to the Rock Charity Swim, Padstow 

This swim will take place Sunday 31 July 2016 where you could get involved and swim one mile from Padstow to Rock, across the Camel Estuary to raise money for charity. The conditions are controlled to ensure safety but entrants must be capable of swimming at least one mile in open water. There are two waves of swimmers, the elite swimmers and non-elite swimmers. Elite swimmers are those that can complete the swim in a maximum of 30 minutes while non-elite swimmers have a maximum of one hour. From 2007-2012 it had raised over £150,000 for charity and it continues to grow so now it can be your turn to get involved!  

Mad Hatter sporting Events Velotive Sea Swim Series 2016 

It’s only in its second year but this series has proven very popular. It consists of 5 swims, ranging from 2-4km in distance at some of the most beautiful locations throughout the summer. The first swim is already booked up but there are 4 more swims that you can take part from with a variety of dates from June to September. They take place in a variety of beautiful open water swimming locations, including Porthpean, Caerhays and Carlyon Bay. The places are chosen, as they are great locations for swimming with clear water and good conditions usually.  Carlyon Bay was the most popular event last year and this year the race is on Saturday 25th June 2016, the swim involves two 1km laps with the start and finish located on the beach with an Australian exit between each lap. Each race costs £25.  

Swim Trelissick, Feock

The Swim Trelissick event takes place from 3pm on Sunday 19th June 2016 in the grounds of the beautiful National Trust Trelissick estate, Feock near Truro. The amazing natural setting offers the perfect location for everyone to take part in an open water swim and a chance for you to give it a try! From first timers to the more experienced swimmer, you can take on either a half or one mile course, to support Cornwall Hospice Care. To celebrate father’s day there will also be a very special ‘Swim with your Dad’ wave at the event for a fun family ½ mile swim. All levels and abilities are welcome; aged 8 to 80+, registration is £15 for adults and £8 for children under 16, which includes entry to one of the choice of swims, a swimming cap and post event memento.

Keep safe at the beach with these Beach safety tips.

Do you know any other great open water events? Let us know by commenting in the box below.