The Best Wild Swimming Spots in Devon

The Best Wild Swimming Spots in Devon

Numerous individuals are exchanging monotonous laps in a swimming pool for the invigorating advantages and natural beauty of open water swimming. Devon, a breathtaking county in England, is the perfect destination to indulge in this hobby. With its two stunning coastlines, including the renowned Jurassic Coast, there are abundant beaches to explore. However, Devon offers more than just beaches; it also boasts a variety of lakes and rivers that are perfect for wild swimming. If you're wondering where to go for your next swim, we have curated a list of the finest wild swimming spots in Devon to assist you in making your choice.

Wild Swimming Safety Equipment

  • Tow Float/Dry Bag - These essential safety tools ensure maximum visibility to watercraft and rescue teams while swimming, helping to keep you safe in the water.
  • Swim cap - Apart from enhancing your visibility, swim caps also provide insulation and warmth when swimming in cold water.
  • Wetsuit - Particularly crucial during winter swims, wetsuits create a protective layer of warmer water around your body, shielding you from the chilly open water.
  • Whistle and light - During emergencies, attracting attention quickly and effectively can make a life-saving difference. Therefore, we highly recommend attaching a whistle and light to your float for increased visibility and signalling.

Explore our blog for valuable insights on staying safe while indulging in the thrilling adventure of wild swimming.

Anstey's Cove

Location: Torquay

Experience the tranquility of crystal-clear waters, whether you're a seasoned or novice open water swimmer. Anstey's Cove provides the ideal setting for a refreshing sea swim. If you're new to wild swimming and seek guidance for your initial ventures into the sea, consider engaging in coasteering experiences that offer expert instruction and boost your confidence. Additionally, Anstey's Cove offers fantastic opportunities to combine your swim with snorkeling, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the diverse aquatic life, from vibrant plants and seaweed to various fish species and occasional sightings of seals. Remember to appreciate these marvellous sights while respecting the wildlife, as the fish and seals are untamed creatures deserving of our reverence.

Sharrah Pool

Location: Holne

Discover the hidden gem known as Sharrah Pool, an outdoor swimming paradise nestled within the captivating Holne Woods. This 100-meter-long pool, situated in the enchanting River Dart, offers a truly magical experience as you immerse yourself in the crisp, invigorating, and gently flowing waters. Delight awaits as you explore the small cascading waterfall, find solace on the grassy patch for a delightful picnic, or bask in the warmth of the sun on smooth granite stones. While typically a tranquil swimming spot, caution is advised during periods of heavy rainfall when the river's currents can become swift and hazardous. To reach Sharrah Pool, begin your journey by parking at Newbridge and embarking on a leisurely two-mile stroll upstream, amidst the ancient trees that adorn Holne Woods. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear for this delightful excursion.


Location: Staverton

The River Dart meanders through the quaint village of Staverton, where a picturesque stretch of the river flows beside the Staverton Railway Station. A short stroll of 350 meters along the path from the station leads you to a delightful spot ideal for swimming laps. Above the weir, the water is deep, gently moving, and shrouded in darkness caused by the towering trees that line the riverbank. Nonetheless, caution must be exercised while swimming in this area, as there is a concealed rock beneath the water's surface.

South Milton Sands

Location: Near Thurlestone

Located on the south coast of Devon, near Salcombe and Kingsbridge, lies the charming South Milton Sands. This delightful National Trust beach provides all the essential amenities for a wonderful seaside excursion, including a beachside cafe, public toilets, and a spacious car park right by the shore. Whether you're a seasoned swimmer or a beginner, this beach offers an array of captivating underwater areas to explore. For the optimal experience, it is advisable to swim during high tide, enabling you to embark on a 200m loop from the beach, passing beneath the majestic Thurlestone Rock before returning to the shore. Additionally, in proximity to Thurlestone Rock, there exists a captivating reef, making it worthwhile to don goggles or bring along a snorkel to fully immerse yourself in the swim and appreciate the local marine environment.

Sugary Cove

Location: Dartmouth

Introducing Sugary Cove, an enchanting and serene destination nestled at the mouth of the River Dart. Located merely a mile's stroll away from the vibrant heart of Dartmouth town and conveniently close to Dartmouth Castle, this beach offers a prime position to escape the hustle and bustle of neighbouring shores. Here, tranquility reigns supreme as you share the space with only the company of seals and occasional dog walkers. Complete your aquatic adventure with a delightful picnic on the lush greenery overlooking the sandy shore.

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