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3 Incredible Campsites for Wild Swimming in Cornwall

Our Top Cornish Campsites from where you can (almost) dive right in!

wild tidal pool cornwall
Magic pool made by the moon. © Meg Travis.

Wild Swimming and Camping and Glamping make the perfect match. The very proximity of Cornwall's incredible campsite's gives access to unique open water swimming experiences. Spend your days in temptingly cool turquoise waters, return to your canvas abode rejuvenated, reaping those post swim benefits, before drifting off to sleep under the stars.

We think we’ve found the 3 best campsites, with the most tempting dipping spots close by. From dusk sea dips, bracing sea pool splashes, early morning dunks - at any of these incredible campsites you’ll find tempting wild water not too far from your campsite pitch.

A short walk from the sea-facing camping field, you’ll find yourself at the ocean with FOUR choices of shoreline locations. So if you fancy swimming at the secluded cove below the site, dipping at Stackhouse Cove (a freshwater bath, tunnelled out of the rock by the infamous smuggler John Carter). Or spending a more traditional beach day at Perranuthnoe (good for families)… Beares Den Campsite has it all. Not forgetting Prussia Cove, another stunning swimming location just around the corner on the South West Coast Path. Prussia Cove is one of our favourite coves to swim at. Home to crystal clear waters and a secret smuggling history.

Best Wild Swimming campsites Beare's Den coastal view
Wild Swimming Campsites - View from Beares Den Campsite to Prussia Cove

BBQing at Beare's Den in Cornwall

All of these fantastic Wild Swimming locations are possible to reach from Beare's Den Campsite without ever having to start your car.

Beares Den is situated down a quiet lane, half way between Penzance and Porthleven, with fields around you rolling down to the sea. Gloriously bohemian you won't find anything commercial here, with wooden ‘cabin-style’ facilities. Clad with timber and ‘quirky’ Beare’s Den extras around most corners. It is a family-friendly and safe campsite accepting tents, our glamping hire tents and campervans. Almost all of the pitches have a sea-view. We love this campsite for it's simplicity, with easy access to the coastline, South West Coast Path, shops of Penzance and eateries at Newlyn. There's also a great pub within walking distance (with very good food) called the Vicotria Inn, in the village of Perranuthnoe. I love pink pubs!

Prussia Cove Cornwall - sea swimming
Prussia Cove - a mythical place to wild swim in Cornwall

Further down the road in Penzance, if you're feeling a little less wild, you can try the UK's largest, art deco sea water lido and geothermally heated pool - The Jubilee Pool. With it's clear blue water and seductive curves, it feels like you are swimming somewhere else. The cafe is great too!

Our love affair with Trevedra Farm Campsite goes back four generations. My family have been camping on the farm here since before it was really classified as camping destination. Being located just above Gwenver Beach (and it must be said, a bit of a stunner of a beach. Alright, a lot of a stunner of a beach) is an ideal location for Wild Swimming. If you want secluded, this is it. The steep access and lack of amenities keep the crowds at bay. With about 200 steps down from the campsite you really do earn your BBQ when you get back.

BBQ & sunet at Trevedra Farm Campsite
Trevedra Farm Campsite legendary sunset BBQ

The beach itself is beautifully sandy and the waters are turquoise blue. There are plenty of large granite boulders to dry your swimwear off, or prop yourself up. Taking beach chairs isn't really an option due to the climb back out. Packing light is the key for maximum enjoyment of this amazing Wild Swimming hidden gem.

Gwenver beach  from Trevedra Farm Campsite
The view down to Gwenver Beach from Trevedra Farm Campsite

View of the beach from the water at Gwevnver
Beautiful view of the wild and untouched shoreline at Gwenver Beach

Sea water clarity at Gwenver Beach
Sea water clarity at Gwenver Beach - tantalising for wild swimming

Another amazing spot for Wild Swimming if you're based at Trevedra is Nanjizal, which is reached via the Coast Path (after a short drive from Trevedra campsite). Tricky access and few parking spots means that Nanjizal is still mostly quiet and unspoilt. The water is beautifully clear, making it a magical swimming spot too. Best visited at low tide (at high water it is covered) to enjoy the untamed beauty of the Song of the Sea Cave or Zawn Pyg, an impressive rock formation allowing rays of light through. Creating a heavingly dipping pool and ambience, and of course the perfect holiday insta photo! You can buy a super handy pocket sized Cornwall tide time guide for 2024, which includes tide times for the year, also sunrise and sunset times.

tidal pool at Nanjizal cornwall
Beautiful tidal pool at Nanjizal for Wild Swimming. © Tonic of the Sea

Our preferred way of reaching Nanjizal from Trevedra Campsite is from the off-road parking parking near the Public Byway entrance and then it’s an easy 25 minute walk on a farmer’s track to Nanjizal Beach. The postcode is TR19 6JJ. Here is a Google Pin to help you find the parking at the side of the road for Nanjizal. This is the least steep way to the beach.

If you're staying at Trevedra Farm campsite you'll be able to enjoy a great little campsite cafe on-site, offering food for breakfast and dinner, along with a very well stocked shop with everything from toothbrushes to bread and tent peg or two. Nearly all of the pitches here have a sea-view, and what a view! The panaorama's out to Longships lighthouse and the Scillies are stunning. As are the sunsets out to sea. There is also outside showers to rinse your wetsuits, if wetsuits are your vibe. The campsite is still family run, and you'll receive a warm welcome. The facilities are extremely clean and well-looked after. The campsite is close to Sennen where there's a great boozer, which overlooks one of the finest stretches of sandy coastline in Cornwall, Sennen Beach / Whitesand Bay (also great for swimming). You can safely walk to the Old Success Inn from the headland on the South West Coast Path from Gwenver beach. Or there are regular buses.

Gwenver Beach - blue sea
Sennen Beach swim spot near Trevedra Campsite

Path to Nanjizal Beach
The walk to Nanjizal Beach from the Public Byway entrance

Arriving at Nanjizal Beach for swimming
Arriving at Nanjizal Beach for a swim

Spread over two large fields, surrounded by countryside and complete with a footpath to the beach, Mount Pleasant Eco Park Campsite is a paradise for Wild Swimming enthusiasts. Not only can you walk from the campsite to the local beach (Porthtowan Beach), there is also an epic man-made 20th century tidal pool, within easy reach of the headland on the eastern side of said beach. This is great to use when the sea cuts up a bit rough, which can occasionally happen in the summer season. How to access Porthtowan sea pool

Porthtowan Tidal Pool, Cornwall
Porthtowan Tidal Pool, right of Porthtowan Beach

View of the North Cornwall Coast swimming at Porthtowan
View of the rugged North Cornwall Coast swimming at Porthtowan

Further swim adventures can be found at the magical beach of Chapel Porth, which is a short walk over the headland on the South West Coast Path, or a walk across Porthtowan Beach at low tide, or drive from the campsite. Rich in heritage and legend, this beach has a huge expanse of sand and access to several little caves and rock pools to swim / paddle / dip in at low tide. Make sure you check tide times, the beach completely disappears at high tide and that can make getting in difficult. From the sea you can see the iconic Wheal Coates mine. It really is a special place to swim. There is also Chapel Porth National Trust beach cafe, where you can embrace the deliciousness of the 'Hedgehog'. An ice-cream cone, absolutely packed with with premium Cornish ice-cream, smothered with a thick layer of golden Cornish clotted cream, and then rolled in honey-roasted nuts. If you're looking to warm up after a swim, rather than cool down, we recommend a local tea grower (based in St Agnes), who are using native plants to create tea's suitable for wild activities, like cold swimming. Try Wild Cornish Tea's Glow blend for post-swim restoration.

Directions to Chapel Porth Beach by road, foot, train, bus and bike.

Wheal Coates mine sea swimming at Chapel Porth
Amazing view of Wheal Coates mine sea swimming at Chapel Porth

Mount Pleasant Eco Park Campsite is natural and quirky, with campfires permitted. Enjoy plant based Breakfast, lunches, & evening meals in the on-site Cafe cooked by resident chefs Canteen Cornwall. Also evening bar drinks and artsy music and folk events. There is a shower & toilet block with flushing toilets, washroom with sinks and electric for hairdryers. Nearly all the pitches have a sea-view, or a lovely view over to St Agnes and the Beacon with a traditional Cornish mine in the middle distance.

Ysella Bell Tents Mount Pleasant Eco Park Campsite
Ysella Bell Tents at Mount Pleasant Eco Park Campsite

mount pleasant eco park campsite palm trees
Camping holiday complete with up-cycled tyre Palm Trees

If you're looking for a hassle free glamping / camping experience in Cornwall, let us pitch a luxury Bell Tent for you. Arrive to any of the above campsites to a ready-tent, enabling you to go wild swimming straight away. Find out more about our practical Holiday Bell Tent service. Ideal for short breaks, and for time limited folk wanting to escape the city to wash the old-smoke out of the hair.

Always be aware of the dangers and difficulty of open water swimming. Check the RNIL guide for safe swimming.


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