Open Water Swimming

What is Open Water Swimming?

Open water swimming in the sea or in a lake holds huge appeal to many swimmers; there is more space, the view is better, and the variety of conditions can offer a challenge and sense of achievement that can’t be found in a pool. It is so much more than just exercise, but it is great exercise nonetheless.

Join a guided group swim, book a private group or 1:1 swim, or come along to an open training session, and experience the beauty of the Cornish coastline whilst improving your open water technique. Whether you’re a triathlete in training or you’ve never left the pool, we have options for all abilities.

    Guided Swim Adventure

    Guided Swim Adventure

    Our guided swim adventures are designed to cater for those swimmers wanting to explore beyond the confines of the bays and experience swimming sections of otherwise inaccessible coastline. Sea swimming in North Cornwall is exhilarating, awe inspiring and always an adventure, no two days are the same beneath the cliffs.

    Who is it for?
    Private groups or 1:1. Being completely bespoke, it doesn’t matter whether you are new to open water swimming or an experienced athlete training for an event. Distances and pace can be whatever you desire and we will plan the route to suit your individual needs. They can be purely guided, purely coached, or a mixture of both.

    You will be accompanied by a qualified beach lifeguard and open water swim coach with over a decade of experience in planning and facilitating water based activities along the north Cornwall coastline. The coach will swim or paddle alongside you, providing support, encouragement, navigation and will carry anything you may need during the swim.

    Our base is on Port Gaverne beach but we make use of a number of other stunning venues in the local area such as, Daymer Bay, New Polzeath, Lundy Bay & Port Quin. With the private swims we can book a time and decide on the best venue for the days conditions or, alternatively, if you want to set your own challenge or have a desire to swim a particular section of the nearby coastline then we can plan this with you and wait for the right conditions.

    Pricing For Groups
    Private group bookings of up to 8 people benefit from large discounts. The cost is £50 for the 1st person and £25 for each subsequent member of the group. So there is an added incentive to bringing along a friend or family member.

    IMPORTANT: Due to the Covid-19 outbreak currently (June/July 2020) we must insist that groups of more than 5 are all living in the same household.

    We can run additional swims to those advertised in the calendar so if the time/date doesn’t suit then please get in touch by phone, email or social media (@cornishswimtours) to discuss alternative timings.

    Open Water Training Sessions

    Open Water Training Sessions

    Our weekly evening training swims are great for anybody wanting to swim in nature or train in an environment and make improvements specific to their goals.

    Making improvements in your swimming ability need not be confined to the black line in the pool, and if your aims involve open water swimming then swimming indoors has its limitations; these sessions allow you to swap a pool session for a structured open water training swim. The focus of these sessions is to improve your swim fitness whilst incorporating open water specific skills such as drafting, sighting, navigating buoys and negotiating beach entry/exit to improve technique and develop confidence in the open water.

    The swims take place in the evenings at our HQ on Port Gaverne beach unless weather and tidal conditions force us to relocate. If we are moving a swim away from Port Gaverne we will confirm 24 hours in advance on social media, and by email and phone.

    Who Is It For?
    Swimmers must be able to swim 400m unaided in less than 12 minutes and have some experience of swimming in open water. In addition, all we ask is that you turn up with a willingness to push yourself and develop new skills. We generally set up a looped course with marker buoys to allow swimmers of varied abilities to all take part together.

    Sessions will be led by qualified open water swim coaches and beach lifeguards.

    Additional Information
    The Training sessions cost £8 per person. Booking is essential and can be done online via our website or through email, phone or social media. We have a beachside office at Port Gaverne where you can leave belongings. Bring goggles, a swim hat and wetsuit (if you have one) and don’t forget a towel and warm clothes for afterwards.

    Guided Swim Specials

    Guided Swim Specials

    Swim Specials are designed to cater for those swimmers wanting to explore beyond the confines of the bays and experience swimming sections of otherwise inaccessible coastline with other like-minded swimmers. We seek to provide an opportunity for swimmers to complete point A to point B swims or iconic loops in the North Cornwall area.

    Experience the beauty of the Cornish coastline from the water, swimming between sheltered, secluded, coves and staring up at majestic cliffs.

    The Routes
    We have added a variety of different sea swims to the calendar for the summer of 2020, all between Rock and Tintagel on the north Cornwall coast. All of varying distances with some being tougher than others with most of the swims being between 2-3 km, so a certain level of swimming is required. Depending on the route, the cost of these swims start at £25 per person.

    This is very much a social swim, nobody gets left behind. If conditions allow then stronger swimmers can swim on and double back but there is no pressure on weaker swimmers to keep up. You’ll swim in a small pod of just 5 swimmers and we ask that swimmers continue to practice social distancing when in the water, that means no drafting on the feet!

    All of our guided swims will begin with a discussion about conditions, safety and route options. A short acclimatisation, and then we’ll be on our way. You will be led by a qualified open water coach(es) and lifeguard(s) who will paddle alongside you, providing support, encouragement, navigation and will carry anything you may need during the swim. Wetsuits are compulsory for these swims. We recommend that you can swim 400m front crawl unaided in less than 12 mins, have some experience of swimming in open water (sea preferably) and can walk up to 1 mile on uneven terrain.

    Not For You?
    If this sounds like too much or too little, or perhaps you want to swim supported for a particular distance /time or pace, then perhaps you should consider booking a private/1:1 session with us – see private guided swim adventure for more details.




Up to 2hrs total duration (including briefing) - let us know if you'd like to swim for longer

Completely bespoke and tailored to your needs, they can be purely guided, purely coached or a mixture of the two.




Up to 1hr

Structured sea swimming sessions.




2-3 hrs (Including changing and walking)

Social small group sea swimming events in North Cornwall.

looking up from underwater at a swimmer in the sea open water swimmer training in the sea at port gaverne, cornwall