Five perfect wild swimming spots in North Devon

Check out these great North Devon wild swimming spots this weekend.

Check out these great North Devon wild swimming spots this weekend. - Credit: Archant

With the summer heatwave continuing, here are five perfect wild swimming spots in North Devon.

Broadsands beach near Combe Martin is a lovely North Devon wild swimming spot. Picture: Sarah Howell

Broadsands beach near Combe Martin is a lovely North Devon wild swimming spot. Picture: Sarah Howells - Credit: Archant

Wild swimming is a great way to get out into the fresh air and enjoy some exericise.

And North Devon has plenty of great wild swimming spots whether you’re new to the idea or have been swimming outdoors for years.

Just remember to check the tides, pack your sunscreen, and tell someone where you’re going before you venture out.

Broadsands

River Lyn near Lynmouth Devon on walk to Watersmeet. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

River Lyn near Lynmouth Devon on walk to Watersmeet. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

It might take a clamber down 200-plus steep steps, but Broadsands is the perfect sheltered spot for a crystal clear swim.

The bay, between Combe Martin and Watermouth, is sheltered from tidal currents and during the hot weather the sea will be crystal clear.

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Explore around the bay, rest on the shingled beach and take in the views from your own secret spot.

Watersmeet

The tidal swimming pool in Westward Ho! Picture: Sarah Howells

The tidal swimming pool in Westward Ho! Picture: Sarah Howells - Credit: Archant

Walk down through the wooded Exmoor valley near Lynmouth and you’ll find some lovely plunge pools at Watersmeet.

You can even dry off and then enjoy a cream tea in the National Trust tearooms.

And if you follow the river downstream you will come to the Long Pool, a picturesque spot with a waterfall surrounded by oaks and fern.

Westward Ho! Rock Pool

Woody Bay has a semi-natural tidal pool. Picture: Andy Keeble

Woody Bay has a semi-natural tidal pool. Picture: Andy Keeble - Credit: Archant

It might not be 100 per cent wild, but the tidal rock pool at Westward Ho! is the perfect sheltered spot to enjoy a sea water swim.

At high tide the pool floods, leaving a lovely swimming pool as it recedes.

There’s plenty of parking around Westward Ho! and you could even combine your trip with a walk along the beach.

Woody Bay

Hele Bay, near Ilfracombe in North Devon. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Hele Bay, near Ilfracombe in North Devon. Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Sheltered by dramatic, tree-lined cliffs, the boulder-strewn beach of Woody Bay is a lovely tranquil spot for a swim in the wild.

You can walk down a little cobbled track to find the beach, which has a waterfall and some fantastic rocks to clamber over.

Here you’ll find a semi-natural rock pool which is the perfect spot for a swim.

Hele Bay

The popular Hele Bay is a sheltered beach which has some good rocks and gulleys to explore at low tide.

There’s a large car park at the back of the beach, and it’s close to the seaside town of Ilfracombe.

Just be careful not to venture out too far among the rocks and get stranded.

Staying safe

The RNLI has warned anyone embarking on a wild swimming adventure to remember unseen currents, waves and cold water make outdoor swimming very different to being in a pool.

They urge anyone who gets into difficulty in cold water to float instead of panicking to help them regain control.

They also have issued the following safety advice:

· Swim between the red and yellow flags on a lifeguarded beach

· If you can’t make it to a lifeguarded beach, learn more about your chosen beach before you go and read local hazard signs

· Check weather and tide times before you go

· Never swim alone. If you see someone in trouble, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard

· Consider wearing a wetsuit and bright coloured hat for longer swims

· Always swim parallel to the shore and not straight out. Cold water currents can tire you out quickly and make it harder to return to shore

· Never swim under the influence of alcohol

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