Wild or sea swimming is ideally suited to the calmer waters of the south coast of Cornwall. While it has been enjoyed for centuries, in the last few years it has really taken off in popularity. All female sea swimming groups have formed and grown, with women sharing pictures, tips and support on social media, and organising regular meet-ups on local beaches, all year around.
Why wild swimming is popular now
What’s the reason for this renewed passion you may ask? No, it’s not all about the physical fitness benefits. What inspires and keeps people hooked is the immense mental benefits sea swimming brings to their overall wellbeing; the sense of calm, affinity with nature, meeting new people, being part of a community, and having a support network, that’s so uplifting.
As you immerse yourself in cold water and get an inevitable adrenalin rush with the change in temperature (try not to whoop too loudly!), and then start to swim, with every stroke your endorphins begin to kick in and you can feel the stresses of the day literally being swept away. What a relief and comfort wild swimming brought to people during and after the stress of lockdown.
What to wear
From bobble hats, wetsuit gloves, boots/neoprene socks, swimming cozzies, summer shorties or full winter suits, and dryrobes, you’ll spot all-female groups happily braving the winter waters for a dip as often as they can in all weathers.
Local wild swimming support group
Local resident and swimming campaigner, Gemma Adams set up a local swim Facebook group – SheSwims Falmouth during lockdown which has grown to over 1500 in numbers. You can join up for free to connect with local swimmers, pick up some tips and plan meet-ups to swim in a supportive and safe way.
Find out more about how the group was formed and what it means to so many women.
Local beaches and wild swimming advice
There are four main beaches in and around Falmouth including Gyllyngvase (Gylly), Castle, Swanpool and Meanporth. While the sea is normally calm here, you’ll still need to be careful about rip currents and strong tides which can be dangerous. Gylly Beach is the only beach that has a dedicated RNLI lifeguard cover in the summer months. If you are on your own or with a group of novice sea swimmers, Gylly is a wise option.
If you are swimming on a less popular beach, do consider a bright swimming cap and a tow float to help you be seen in the water. When you’ve been for your dip, dry yourself off and get changed into warm clothes quickly.
Where to stay on a budget
There are some great options at Glasney Rooms for a summer stay with friends. Book a 7-Bed Self-contained Flat and you’ll have a fully equipped kitchen diner. If there are just the two of you, book a double or twin Glasney Room. You’ll still have access to a communal kitchen with our rooms, and with a well-stocked Shop on-site you’ll be able to eat cheaply in the evenings after an amazing uplifting day of wild swimming.