Insiders guide: Wild swimming

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Insiders guide: Wild swimming

Posted: May 12, 2022

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Jumping into cold water has is not an attractive idea for many, however, recently we’ve noticed an increase in the number of swimmers in our lovely harbour and beach. Many folks now can’t do without their morning dip, no matter the weather.

The benefits of sea swimming have long been known – the ancient Greeks called is ‘thalassotherapy’ which comes from ‘thalassa’, meaning water and ‘therapia’ meaning ‘to cure’. Sea water contains minerals, vitamins, trace elements and micro-organisms that have antibacterial effects. The salt water is a wonderful for your skin. Magnesium in the water is good for supporting your body’s healing mechanisms as it is absorbed into the skin. Regular swimming can improve circulation, boost immunity and just breathing in the sea air helps overall health. Believe it or not, once you have acclimatized to the chilly waters, it is actually very relaxing!

The most enjoyable months are April to October when temperatures are between 10 to 18 degrees. To get you started, here are our favourite local spots for swimming around Porthleven:

Blue Bouy steps

This space is best in the summer months when the lifeguards are in post. The steps are the sea defenses below Cliff Road, along the beach. To get there, follow the road around the Clock Tower and up Cliff road, pass the slip way to the beach and continue along the coast with the beach on the right. You will come to the steps down to the beach.

Porthleven Beach in Summer
Porthleven slipway web

Porthleven Harbour Slipway

At high tide the slipway is a lovely gentle way to enter the water. Watch out for other harbour users! In the summer the harbour is full of activity at high tide with kayakers and standup paddle boarders. The inner harbour is also frequented by the braver few, who like to jump off the harbour walls into the sea.

The Ship Inn slipway

On either side of what locals call ‘high wall’ (the harbour wall closest to The Ship Inn) are steps to the sea. From here you can swim to the Old Lifeboat House or to the pier. Its is wonderful to get catch an alternative view of Porthleven from here.

Why not try some locations outside of Porthleven too? Praa Sands is a fabulous swimming beach or venture down the steep cliff path to the sheltered cove at Rinsey Beach.

Happy swimming!

The Ship Inn, Porthleven
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