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Three coasts of cornwall

Coasts of Cornwall Tailor-Made

TRIP OVERVIEW

5 days
Short Escape
4km/day
Moderate

Tour Highlights

  • Explore the unique coastal features of the area

  • Discover the picturesque Lizard Peninsula

  • Experience the iconic St Michael's Mount

  • Enjoy the Cornish Waters at their warmest

Lying to the west of Dartmoor and across the Tamar River, the rugged peninsula of Cornwall is one of the most isolated parts of the British Isles. Its warm climate, long stunning coastline and fabulous scenery, along with an ancient Celtic heritage, make it an exciting destination for the adventurous.

Cornwall benefits from having two main opposing coasts (north & south) and a smaller, though significant, west coast each heavily indented and within easy reach of each other. This close proximity allows a swim whatever the prevailing conditions.

As this is a tailor-made trip, you can choose from a selection of stunning island crossings and challenging coastal swims along Cornwall's three coasts. The length of the trip can be as long as you'd like, from just a day trip to a multi-week expedition, we can work with you to build your ideal experience.

This tailor-made experience is available from just £90 per person, per day. The date of travel and itinerary can be adjusted to suit you, so just contact us on info@swimtrek.com with the dates you'd like and number of people taking part, and we'll be in touch to chat about putting together your dream swimming experience.

Here are a few of the locations where we can arrange swims:

  • North Coast: The Atlantic coast of North Cornwall stretches for over seventy rugged miles from Bude to St. Ives along a wildly beautiful landscape where towns and villages are huddled within dramatic cliffs.

  • South Coast: More sheltered than its northern neighbour, the south coast of Cornwall is full of contrasts and surprises. Like a green carpet laying across the land, the hills roll down to the shoreline, with sandy coves and bays, where the tranquil sea laps at whitewashed fishing villages.

  • West Coast: The west coast was once an island, and a feeling of individuality still remains. Heathland surrounds the weathered granite outcrops and the area is scattered with remnants of an ancient heritage – the 5000 year-old dry-stone walls that form the tiny fields are amongst Europe’s oldest continuously used man-made structures. Rocky gorges predominate and are an interactive playground for adventurous swimmers.

Who is this trip for?

As this is a tailor-made trip, we can match the itinerary and difficulty of the swims based on you and your group's own experience.

This trip is offered as a tailor-made experience, so the date of travel and itinerary can be adjusted to suit your interests and availability. Just contact us on info@swimtrek.com to chat about what's possible.

There are literally hundreds of potential itineraries out there for you, whether you choose anything from a quick day trip to a 15-day ultimate experience. We can help you build the ideal itinerary, or set up a trip based on one of our existing, tried and tested itineraries.

Here's a sample itinerary to give you an idea of what's possible and to whet your appetite.

Cornwall (4 days) - Example Itinerary

Schedule Start Point: Penzance

Start Time: 16:00 on Day 1

Finish Point: Penzance

Finish Time: 16:00 on Day 4

Day 1

Our guides meet you at your accommodation where we hold a pre-trip briefing detailing the plan for the day(s) ahead.

We head towards St. Just and the exposed headland of Cape Cornwall, England’s only Cape and the most westerly point in the country. From here it’s time for our first significant crossing of the trip as we swim to the twin islets of the Brisons, which are located 1½ km out to sea.

The afternoon is given over to staying in the far west and we focus on a coastal swim very close to Land’s End at Sennen. We head out from Sennen Cove towards Gwenver Beach. The swim is both dramatic and rewarding, but if the surf is too big to allow a safe exit at Gwenver we will swim a shorter circuit to the Cowloes Reef and back to the safe harbour at Sennen.

Day 2

Today we base the trip on the north coast in St Ives Bay. The morning is taken over with an island crossing from the mainland at Gwithian to Godrevy Lighthouse which was constructed in 1838 to mark the Stones Reef, a hazard to shipping for centuries. This landmark was the inspiration for Virginia Woolf’s famous experimental novel ‘To The Lighthouse.’ We explore the reef floor and caves under the island, especially near low tide. Also, expect encounters with curious seals as a large colony is based in a secluded cove just 800m to the north.

In the afternoon we travel to the wide golden sands of Hayle beach and swim past Hawk’s Point and Carbis Bay finishing at the artist colony of St Ives where you have an opportunity to look around this picture postcard town.

Day 3

Today we journey down to the remote Lizard Peninsula. Our morning swim sees us depart from the picturesque village of Port Mellion and carry out first a crossing and then a full circumnavigation of the uninhabited island of Mullion which is home to colonies of migratory seabirds.

Later we travel further down the Lizard to Kennack, where we undertake a stunning coastal swim featuring rocky landscapes, isolated beaches and inlets along our route. Passing the old Serpentine quarry at Poltesco, the fishing hamlet of Cadgwith is our destination. We aim to visit the Cadgwith Cove Inn, famous locally for its local shanty singing.

Day 4

Today we experience a real gem as we head to Marazion, Cornwall’s oldest town from where we set off on a circumnavigation of the iconic St. Michael's Mount. It’s a fantastic swim as we journey out, around and back from this remarkable island. 

Following time for lunch, we enter the sea at Battery Rocks in front of the historic Jubilee Pool. From here we start off with a bay swim taking in the sights of Penzance and the fishing town of Newlyn, before we turn south and approach the Gwavas Cliffs on our way into the tiny harbour of Mousehole before returning back to Penzance.

This trip is offered as a tailor-made experience, so the date of travel and itinerary can be adjusted to suit your interests and availability. Just contact us on info@swimtrek.com to chat about what's possible.

Trip Information

Essential Equipment Checklist

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costumes (x2) Thermal Long-Sleeve Top
Swimming Goggles* (x2) Aqua Shoes / Sandals
Towel Small Day Pack (Preferably Waterproof)
Woolly Hat and Gloves Sun Hat and Sun Cream
Walking Shoes / Boots Waterproof Trousers and Jacket
Water Bottle Sweater / Fleece
Wetsuit**

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions. **Due to the variable nature of conditions on these swims, it is advisable to bring a wetsuit along with you to use if required.

Please note that SwimTrek will supply swim hats and provide water and electrolyte drinks. Due to current health requirements, you will need to bring your own drink bottle for drinks during the swims. If you would like to use a wetsuit, rash vest or fins during your swims, please ensure that you bring these with you.

Group Size

This trip has a maximum group size of 10 guests. You will be split into groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by their own safety escort.

Swimming Distances

Swimming distances will vary depending on the itinerary selected, but generally most of our swims will be somewhere between 1-3 km long. As an example, these are the distances of our schedule detailed above:

Swim Distances
Cape Cornwall - The Brisons 3km
Port Mellion - Mullion Island 2½km
Sennen - Gwenver 2km
Kennack - Cadgwith 3km
Gwithian - Godrevy lighthouse 2km
Marazion -St Michael’s Mount 2m
Hayle - St Ives 3km
Penzance - Mousehole 3½km

*Due to the fickle nature of Cornish weather and sea conditions, we have a number of alternate swims for any single day.

Coastline Alternative Swim
North Coast Portreath to Ralph’s Cupboard
Hayle Estuary
St.Ives Man’s Head to Bamaluz Beach
South Coast Praa Sands to Prussia Cove
Porthcurnow to Penberth Cove
Lizard Coverack to Mile Rock
Porthallow to Gillan Beach

Walking Distances

The walking is moderate and we use the South West Coastal Path on some occasions. We would advise either walking sandals or trainers. It will not be possible to avoid some of our walks as there is no road access to some swim locations.

Temperatures

Month Water Temp (°C)* Air Temp (°C)*
July 16 25
September 16 23

*Please note that these temperatures are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Boat Support

To allow us full flexibility to choose on which coast we swim each day, we use motorised inflatable boats and rescue boards to provide safety cover. We travel to the swim routes by minibus and meet our escort boats at the swim start. Due to the launch sites around the coast we will sometimes be required to travel to and from the swim location on board the inflatable ribs.

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.

Group Size

This trip has a maximum group size of 11 people. The group will be split into 3 based on speed. Each group is accompanied by their own safety escort/vessel.

Getting There

Train & Bus

For full details of the trains to Penzance we advise using the www.nationalrail.co.uk website. Both National Express and Megabus run services to Penzance from all major UK cities. They can be long journeys, however they can also be a cheap travelling option. More information can be found at www.nationalexpress.com & www.megabus.com.

Car

For those wishing to drive to Penzance the postcode you will need for SatNav is TR18 4DW.

Practical Information

Meals

All breakfasts and lunches are included, as well as dinner on one evening. This gives you the opportunity to explore and experience a local restaurant of your choice during the remaining evenings.

Extra Expenses

You should bring extra money with you to cover items such as entertainment, dinners, snacks, and souvenirs. The local currency in the UK is British Pound Sterling (£).

Passports and Visas

The UK is part of the European Union. Non-residents of UK require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of all EU member states, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand do not require a visa to enter the UK. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Health Information

For comprehensive health information for people travelling to the UK, including all recommended and required vaccinations, please visit Travel Health Pro. Please note that this information is subject to change and you should re-check this site regularly prior to your trip.

Travel Plugs & Electricity

For a useful source of information on the different electrical outlets, electrical plugs, and electric sockets, please visit worldstandards.eu.

Available for private bookings

We can arrange the Coasts of Cornwall experience as a private trip, on a date that suits you best. Just email info@swimtrek.com and we'll be in touch to make arrangements.

Below is our standard pricing for this trip, subject to change depending on how much you'd like to tailor your experience.

Number of participants Price per person, per day
2 £235
3 £170
4 £140
5 £120
6 £110
7 £105
8 £100
9 £95
10 £90