Five perfect wild swimming spots in North Devon
- Credit: Archant
With the summer heatwave continuing, here are five perfect wild swimming spots in North Devon.
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.
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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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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