5 of the Best Swimming Spots in Cornwall

Posted on 11 February

With Christmas having come and gone, much of the allure of winter has gone with it. Huddling inside with family in the warmth was great during the holiday season, but by now you're tired of being stuck indoors staring out into the grey and the drizzle. A cursory glance at the calendar to work out when you will see a spot of blue again.

If only summer could come a little bit faster. Long days, with the sun shining down - the perfect weather for a quick dip in some sparkling sea.

But where? Well we're here to help with your daydreaming.

Kynance Cove

Kynance Cove

"Glorious grass-green monsters of waves, sat watching wave-rainbows." Not our words, but those of Alfred Tennyson - and who are we to argue with a Poet Laureate? Kynance cove became a popular spot for the Romantic poets and painters of the eighteenth century, and even Queen Victoria visited. Back then you could hire a donkey to carry you the last leg of a tough trek, but it's become much more accessible today, allowing anyone to enjoy the beauty of an area full of bustling wildlife.

The cove itself is home to white sands, azure water, and dark green and red Serpentitite rocks, forming caves and rock pools to explore, along with a cafe in case you work up an appetite.

Pedn Vounder

Pedn Vounder

To the West of the granite headland of Logan's Rock, Pedn Vounder boasts crystal clear lagoons and clean golden sands, protected by steep cliffs. With the sandbars forming little shallow pools, the water can be a bit warmer in the summer than going straight into the sea, although it may just be perception.

It's also an unofficial naturist beach so you can't say you haven't been warned.



If the thought of getting an eyeful from one of your fellow beach-goers puts you off, just next to Pedn Vounder is Porthcurno. It's also more accessible than its neighbour, with a wide footpath meandering down from a car park an alternative to clambering down a cliffpath.

Sitting above it is the Minack Theatre - an open-air theatre built by Rowena Cade in the 1920s that is still putting on shows today.

Lamsallos Coves

Lansallos Cove

If your daydreaming is a bit more adventure-driven, Lansallos Cove might be the place for you. A few minutes walk along the coast from Palace Cove, a hidden quay cut into rocks, this is smugglers' territory. You can retrace the steps made through hewn paths by smugglers in the 18th century for two miles to reach the nearby town of Polperro, a port of old fishermen's houses that saw much of the smuggling trade.

There's camping near to the cove, and opportunities for snorkeling in the waters surrounding it, or you can just lounge on the beach and admire the nearby waterfall.

Harlyn Bay

Harlyn Bay

With sand dunes to traverse, rock pools for discovery and shallow streams to splash around in, Harlyn Bay has plenty to keep children occupied. Lifeguards patrol the wide yellow sands in the summer, ensuring the beach is a safe place for families in the summer.

It's also known as an excellent spot to learn how to surf. The Harlyn Surf School can help turn those interested in the sport from novices into masters of the waves, but there's also various coastal walks for those interested in calmer activities, and plenty of space to bath in the sun for those preferring calmer still.


Where's your favourite place to swim in Cornwall?