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This trip is the perfect way to experience SwimTrek, have a new adventure, and savour a taste of history - all in the space of one day.

Burgh Island is an iconic swim just 800 metres off Bigbury-on-Sea in Devon, and measures one mile in circumference. The island itself is also worth a visit post-swim for its Art Deco hotel, walking routes and remarkable ecosystem, and its history as a holiday haunt of crime writer Agatha Christie.

So if you can swim a kilometre or two in the pool, why not sign up for this trip and have a great story to tell your friends - better still, bring them along too.

Because English weather can be temperamental at the best of times, the swim can be more challenging some days due to adverse weather conditions - but our guides and safety boats will be with you every stroke of the way.

What's included

  • Fully guided tour and full safety support
  • Commemorative Swim Cap

What's not included

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Any food or drink required during the day

Tour Highlights

  • Tick off one of Britain’s iconic swims

  • Swim around the spectacular art deco haven of Burgh Island

  • Excellent taster open water swim (but don’t forget weather conditions can make for a more challenging swim)

  • Check out the island’s ecosystem and the variety of seaweed and shoals of fish

Schedule For The Day

The swim is tidal, with a distance of 1 mile and takes roughly 30-45 minutes. It is a swim to be enjoyed and savoured as we have a unique view of the off-shore side of the island, with cormorants and sometimes a friendly local seal.

We meet at the local car park 1 hour before we swim. Once everyone has arrived we have a safety briefing seated at the Venus Cafe in the lower car park. We’ll explain the planned route, what to look out for and the safety escort cover that will be with you for the duration of the swim. An acclimatisation swim will take place prior to swimming around the island.

After the swim and a quick change, there is time for a hot drink from the cafe and a talk about the open water adventure we have just completed. As a guide we should finish the swim and talk around 13:30-14:00. *If you are arranging to meet friends before or after the swim please be aware that phone reception at Bigbury and Burgh Island is poor.

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience but you need to be aware that certain marine life such as jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis please consult the office prior to booking.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swims. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible.

Trip Schedule

Start Point: Lower Car Park at Bigbury-on-Sea, Devon

Start Time: We meet at 09:00 ready to swim for 10:00

18th September only: We meet at 12:00 ready to swim for 13:00

Trip Information

Swimming Distance

The swim is tidal, with a distance of 1 mile and takes roughly 30-45 minutes.

Swimmer Ability

The swim is designed for the swimmer who can swim in a pool for at least 1km and has some open water experience.

Temperatures

Month Water Temp (°C) Air Temp (°C)
July 16 24
August 17 24
September 17 25

These temperatures are indicative only and can change on a daily/weekly basis

Equipment to bring along with you

In addition to “normal” daily clothes, you will need to bring the following:

  • Swimming costume
  • Swimming Googles x 2 - try to bring 1 clear lens and 1 tinted lens for different light conditions
  • Towel
  • Sunhat
  • Waterproof Suncream
  • Sweater/Fleece
  • Waterproof Jacket
  • Woolly hat

Swim Hats, Flippers, Rashvests and Wetsuits and Water Bottles

Please note that SwimTrek will supply swim hats. We will have a limited supply/range of flippers, rashvests and wetsuits available on the trip, but we cannot guarantee sizes for all. If you have your own flippers, rashvest and wetsuit we would recommend you bring these with you in order to maximise your enjoyment of the trip. Please note that SwimTrek will provide water and electrolyte drinks in shared water bottles on your safety boat. If you prefer to use your own drink bottle, please feel free to bring one along.

Group Size

Up to a maximum of 16 people, with one motorised boat rib and two escort paddle boarders.

Getting There

If you are arranging to meet friends before or after the swim please be aware that phone reception at Bigbury and Burgh Island is poor.

By Car

From the A379 between Modbury and Aveton Gifford, turn on to the B3392 to Bigbury. Pass through Bigbury village with its local shops and follow the road to Bigbury-on-Sea where there is a large car park with a café nearby.

Car Park Charges

There is a charge for the car park of £3.50 for 3 hours and £6.50 for the day. It is possible to buy 3 hours plus one or two hours to save buying a full day ticket.

Train & Taxis

The nearest train station to Bigbury-on-Sea is Plymouth Station. For all enquiries try National Rail. Taxis are available at the station to take you to Bigbury-on-Sea. There are no regular bus services.

Practical Information

Accommodation

Should you want to stay in this beautiful area, there are a couple of really good B&Bs we recommend situated in Bigbury-on-Sea.

B&B/Hotel Contact
Summer Winds Tel: 0044(0)1548 810 669
The Royal Oak Tel: 0044(0)1548 810 387

Burgh Island has its own luxury hotel too, to book please visit: www.burghisland.com.

Additional Activities

The coastline in this beautiful part of the country is just stunning. This morning swim can be easily combined with a weekend break away with family or friends. There is lots to do in the area, with many great surf locations where you can try your hand at surfing or stand up paddle-boarding. Or whilst you swim Burgh Island, the family can be entertained for some body-boarding at Bigbury, with the family meeting you from your swim on the beach in front of the island with their surf or body-boards.

Please see the below for surf hire:

Discovery Surf School, www.discoverysurf.com - Tel: 0044(0)7813 639622. The surf school is actually situated within Bigbury car park.

Coastal Walks

There are many lovely walks and villages with character to visit. Try Inner Hope and Hope Cover and take a walk along the coastal path to Bantham where the views are inspiring. For refreshments stop at The Sloop in Bantham (check opening times) before you turn around to come back, or try a shorter walk to South Milton and the Beach House Cafe for the best cakes in town!

Salcombe

This busy picturesque town is well worth a visit and is within easy reach. You can mix with the sailing fraternity and there are many wonderful pubs and restaurants with great food to enjoy.

Passports and Visas

Non EU residents will require a full passport, that should be valid for 6 months beyond the expected length of stay. You should check if you require a visa. Non EU nationalities including US, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand citizens require a visa to enter the UK. Visa regulations do change so please remember to look for the most up-to-date information.

Vaccinations

There are no essential vaccinations required.

Tour Highlights

  • Tick off one of Britain’s iconic swims

  • Swim around the spectacular art deco haven of Burgh Island

  • Excellent taster open water swim (but don’t forget weather conditions can make for a more challenging swim)

  • Check out the island’s ecosystem and the variety of seaweed and shoals of fish

  • Great introduction to open water swimming, thank you. Gave me a real sense of achievement. Looking forward to my next SwimTrek trip.

    Simon G. UK - 2015
  • The Burgh Island swim was the perfect introduction to open water swimming and to Swim Trek. A great swim in beautiful water in a beautiful part of the country.

    Karen E. UK - 2015
  • Burgh Island was my first Open Water swim and felt a great sense of achievement having completed the swim round. Definitely have a taste for more challenges.

    Michelle R. UK - 2015
  • Fantastic trip from start to finish,which left me with a silly smile on my face for days after,safety support was second to none,their support,approachability,knowledge of locality,and experience ensured everything went without a hitch.brilliant,just brilliant.thankyou!

    Nichola. UK - 2014
  • An ideal introduction to OW swimming for fun and a great confidence builder. I loved it.

    Tom J. UK - 2014
  • I thoroughly enjoyed my swim round Burgh island. We had excellent weather, safety conscious life guards, a motivating and friendly guide and a lovely group of people to swim with. What more could you want on a sunny day in Devon. The very best and easy way to see Burgh Island is from the sea. I will definitely do this swim again and will recommend it to others.

    Karen W. UK - 2014
  • Really welcomed the attention that the lifeguards on boards paid. I felt safe, but not pressured to swim faster than I felt comfortable with.

    Joan W, September 2012, UK
  • Our swim guide was an excellent leader and provided some very useful coaching techniques, which I have been practicing as drills in the pool. The lifeguard and support were very professional.

    Seran D, July 2012, UK
  • Nice swimming in a group and not competitively. It gave a great feel to the swim as a collective achievement and not just a personal one. Added to pleasure by reducing pressure.

    Jo E, July 2012, UK

Tour Highlights

  • Tick off one of Britain’s iconic swims

  • Swim around the spectacular art deco haven of Burgh Island

  • Excellent taster open water swim (but don’t forget weather conditions can make for a more challenging swim)

  • Check out the island’s ecosystem and the variety of seaweed and shoals of fish

Enter guest details to see which departures can accommodate your party:

Dates Availability Special Type Price From
16 Jul -
16 Jul, 2016
Trip Finished One Day
17 Jul -
17 Jul, 2016
Trip Finished One Day
30 Jul -
30 Jul, 2016
Trip Full One Day
31 Jul -
31 Jul, 2016
Trip Full One Day
13 Aug -
13 Aug, 2016
Trip Full One Day
14 Aug -
14 Aug, 2016
4 Places Left One Day £65 Book Now
17 Sep -
17 Sep, 2016
Private Trip One Day
18 Sep -
18 Sep, 2016
Trip Full One Day