7 Best Spots for Sea Swimming in the UK

The beautiful sandy beach and clear turquoise sea with clear blue sky and rolling rugged hills in the background

Sea swimming in the UK has become increasingly popular, offering a unique way to enjoy the country’s stunning coastlines while engaging in a refreshing and invigorating activity. From crystal-clear waters to picturesque beaches, the UK has numerous spots perfect for sea swimming. Here are seven of the best spots where you can dive into the waves and embrace the natural beauty of the sea.


1. Porthcurno Beach, Cornwall

Porthcurno Beach is renowned for its stunning white sand and turquoise waters. Nestled between dramatic cliffs, this beach provides a sheltered spot for sea swimmers, making it ideal for a serene swim. The crystal-clear waters are not only inviting but also relatively pollution-free, ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.


2. Rhossili Bay, Wales

Rhossili Bay is often cited as one of the best beaches in the world, and for good reason. Its expansive stretch of golden sand and clean waters attract swimmers from all over. The bay is part of the Gower Peninsula, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, ensuring the waters remain unpolluted and pristine.


3. Durdle Door, Dorset

Durdle Door is iconic for its natural limestone arch and stunning coastal views. The beach here offers a unique swimming experience with its clear waters and fascinating underwater rock formations. Swimmers can enjoy the unspoiled waters, thanks to efforts in maintaining the area’s natural beauty and reducing pollution.


4. Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris, Scotland

Luskentyre Beach is famous for its breathtaking scenery and turquoise waters that rival those of the Caribbean. Located on the Isle of Harris in Scotland, this beach is perfect for those seeking a remote and tranquil swimming spot. The water quality here is excellent, largely untouched by pollution due to its remote location.

Scottish Beach

5. Sandwood Bay, Scotland

Sandwood Bay is one of the most remote and unspoiled beaches in the UK, located in the far northwest of Scotland. The beach is known for its rugged beauty and clean waters. Accessing the beach requires a four-mile walk, ensuring that it remains a peaceful and pristine location for sea swimmers.

Welsh Beach

6. Barafundle Bay, Wales

Barafundle Bay, often referred to as a hidden gem, is a secluded beach accessible only by a half-mile walk from the nearest car park. The effort to reach this beach is rewarded with its golden sands and clear, blue waters. The bay’s isolation helps maintain its pollution-free status, making it a perfect spot for a refreshing swim.

Devon beach

7. Studland Bay, Dorset

Studland Bay offers a long stretch of sandy beach with calm and clear waters, ideal for swimming. The bay is part of the Jurassic Coast, a World Heritage Site, and is managed by the National Trust, ensuring high standards of cleanliness and minimal pollution.

Pollution-Free Waters: The Challenges

Swimming in clean, unpolluted waters is crucial for both health and environmental reasons. Pollution can pose significant risks to swimmers, including skin irritations and more severe health problems from toxic substances. In the UK, several measures are in place to maintain high water quality standards:


Monitoring and Testing: Regular water quality testing is conducted to monitor pollution levels. Beaches with consistently high standards are awarded Blue Flag status, an internationally recognised mark of excellence.


Pollution Control: Efforts to control and reduce pollution include managing agricultural runoff, improving sewage treatment facilities, and implementing stricter regulations on industrial waste.


Public Awareness: Educating the public on the importance of reducing litter and preventing pollution is vital. Community clean-up events and environmental campaigns help keep beaches clean and waters safe for swimming.


Conservation Efforts: Protecting coastal ecosystems through conservation projects helps maintain the natural beauty and cleanliness of swimming spots. This includes preserving marine habitats and reducing human impact on sensitive areas.


Sea swimming in the UK offers an incredible way to connect with nature and enjoy the country’s beautiful coastlines. By choosing spots known for their clean and clear waters, swimmers can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience while also contributing to the preservation of these natural treasures.

The Best Fish in Hammersmith

Faber Restaurant Hammersmith serves high-quality fish, caught and cooked daily. Book a table today using the form below, or give us a call on 0208 161 9800 if you have any special requirements

Book NowMenu