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wild swimming in devon

It’s fair to say that when it comes to summer weather, England has enjoyed perhaps one its finest periods ever. With stunning blue skies overhead, average temperatures sitting comfortably around 30°C and just about everyone reaching for the ice-creams, attention has turned to how we can keep active whilst keeping cool at the same time.

For many who stay at our Devon holiday cottages, that means grabbing their board and heading out on to the waves, but we know that not everyone has perfected their surfing skills just yet.

Luckily though, Devon is home to a huge number of wild swimming spots where you can enjoy the best nature that the county has to offer whilst keeping cool and active.

So, with wild swimming in Devon on our minds, here are some of our favourite wild swimming spots. We’ve also embedded a useful map of safe wild swimming spots in Devon, compiled by users at that you can use to source your own wild swimming spot. You can find it at the bottom of this post.


For beautiful river swimming, it’s hard to beat Teigngrace. Head to the town, park on Summer Lane and follow the footpath down the river, over the footbridge and back up for around ¾ of a mile. You’ll walk a narrow path which emerges into a triangular field. From there, turn left, through the opening in the trees to find yourself on a pebble and sand beach which sits next to the beautiful water.

Around 6ft deep at its lowest point, the river moves at a reasonable pace making it an excellent swim. Even better, its secluded nature makes it feel truly wild.

Hindu Temples

The Hindu Temples aren’t what their name implies. In fact, they got their name from the author of the Water Babies, Charles Kingsley, who famously used the name to describe these stunning sandstone caves.

Located between Torquay and Paignton, the caves are made up of red rock and look dramatically out of place next to the stunning blue ocean. Strong swimming is recommended if you give the Hindu Temples a go, however, and it’s not recommended you attempt the swim if the waves are too strong.


For ocean swimming, Sidmouth can be a richly rewarding place to explore.

With a gorgeous, largely pebble beach backed by high cliffs of red sand and lots to see and do in and around the town, you can head out into the ocean and look back at the magnificent cliffs, where geodes of calcite and barite crystals can be found.

Water conditions are variable in Sidmouth and unlike other beaches in Devon, there is little natural protection. However, it is safe for most swimmers.

Anstey’s Cove

A long-time favourite of new wild swimmers is Anstey’s Cove thanks to its crystal-clear waters and easy swimming, due to its well-protected nature.

From the carpark, you’ll head down a steep walk down to the concrete promenade at the pack of Anstey’s Cove. Stop off at the café for a refuelling or simply head down the steps to the beach for your swim, the choice is yours!