Best wild swimming in Devon + map [2024]

Looking for the best wild swimming in Devon? Look no further!!!

The county of Devon has got to be one of the best areas in the UK for wild swimming! Not only does it have a wide variety of coastline spots but more inland there is plenty of swimming locations around Dartmoor and Exmoor National Park! So, today I wanted to share eight of my favourite wild swimming in Devon!

Photo credit: Visit Scotland

A few notes on swimming in Devon: Wild swimming has grown hugely in popularity the last few years but it’s important you stay safe and remember to check for dangers before you take a dip! Always ensure you tell someone of your location and expected timings before you leave, be wary of potential hazards and cold water shock. Several of the spots on or around Dartmoor national park are unmanned and you could go several miles without crossing paths with anyone else; the phone service here is also patchy so be sure to take precautions.


8 of the best wild swimming in Devon

1. Exmouth Beach, Exmouth

How to get there: Closest parking is the East Devon car park, EX8 2AZ

Exmouth beach may be one of Devon’s best wild sea swimming spots! It is surrounded by beautiful soft sand and with parking right next to the beach it is super easy to get warm again after your dip! This is the perfect beach for a sunrise swim, with beautiful views and plenty of space for everyone. 


2. Woody Bay tidal pool, Exmoor

How to get there: Closest parking is the National Trust carpark, 

At first glance this beautiful little tidal pool may look like a great little fluke of nature, but actually it was helpfully built by a Victorian gentlemen who intended to turn the area into a holiday resort unfortunately this never became a reality but luckily, he’d already built the pool! This tidal pool is a bit small for a proper swim, but the scenery is well worth it for just a quick dip!


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3. Crazy well Pool, Dartmoor

How to get there: Park in the Norsworthy car park before walking to the pool.

Steeped in mystery and intrigue this is one of the larger wild swimming on Dartmoor. The pool itself is thought to be a flooded mine shaft rather than a natural pond and it is surprisingly large, measuring bigger than an Olympic swimming pool. It is the perfect spot for those wanting a longer swimming. Another of my favourite spots to go wild swimming in Devon.


4. Haytor Quarry

How to get there: Park in the Haytor upper carpark and head towards Haytor Rock before taking a right down to the quarry.

Haytor Quarry is a beautiful spot for a quick dip! Shielded from the wind the quarry has several pools to choose from and is easily accessible with a quick walk from the car park, which also takes you past the famous Haytor Rocks! 

wild swimming in london

5. Long Pool, River Lyn Exmoor

How to get there: Closest parking is in Watersmeet- walk along the river footpath.

The River Lyn on Exmoor may offer some of the best wild swimming in Devon! There are plenty of spots here deep enough for a swim along the footpath, but if you want something really special keep following the path until you reach an area known as the Long Pool. This secret spot, tucked away amongst the trees boasts a great stretch of river (as the name suggests) perfect for a longer wild swim!


6. The Hindu Temples, Torquay, and Paignton

How to get there: Start at the Institute beach close to the Livermead Cliff Hotel

The Hindu Temple’s swimming spot may not quite live up to its rather exotic name, however, it’s still an exciting spot for a wild swim. The name actually comes from local author Charles Kingsley who described the sandstone caves here as being like Hindu Temples- I’ll leave the judgement up to you on how true this is. The beauty of this swim spot is you can swim as little or as far as you like but be sure to know your limits and stay safe in rougher conditions. Another of my favourite spots to go wild swimming in Devon.


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7. Saunton Sands, North Devon

How to get there: Park in the car park next to the beach- although best to arrive early in the summer season

Saunton Sands has got to be one of the most picturesque beaches in Devon. This beautiful sandy beach has everything you could want for a wild swim in summer. There is plenty of space to enjoy a bit of sunbathing or walk on the beach after your dip and if you aren’t sure about braving the cold, you can even hirer a wetsuit from the onsite surf shop.

wild swimming cornwall

8. Hope Cove, Salcombe

How to get there: Park in the car park next to the beach- although best to arrive early in the summer season

Hope cove is actually two beaches in one- Inner Hope and Outer Hope! Either one of these spots provides a beautiful backdrop for a wild swim with clear blue sea and gorgeous views of the coastline! The area here has seasonal lifeguards, and the water quality is rated as high (which if you’re a seasoned wild swimmer you’ll know is rare!).


Which of these wild swimming in Devon is your favourite? Or which is your favourite swimming pool in Devon? Let me know!



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