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A Guide to Falmouth’s Local Outdoor Swim Spots.

Kate standing next to the iconic fallen tree at Grebe Beach
Kate swimming in an unamed cove off Pendennis point
Kate dipping in her wetsuit on the coast ofCarrick Roads in Falmouth

Open Water Swimming


Off Shore > 15mph


Please enjoy this comprehensive collection of swimming locations local to the Falmouth area. As a general rule of thumb open water has a good chance of being calm in “off‑shore winds that are below 15mph”.

This took me a long time to write, but the only thing I ask in return is that no‑one parks like a bell‑end and everyone leaves no trace. Respect your fellow locals and respect the water.

**Disclaimer ‑ you are each responsible for your own safety in open water and as much as I’ve peppered water safety info throughout this guide ‑ it is not comprehensive. The sea and rivers are ever shifting, wild and uncompromising so never ever take any risks.

1. Point Quay, Penpol Creek

🩱 What to expect: A quaint, small local quay with slipway, ladder to water and an open grassy area. Quite an exposed area but gorgeous views up Restronguet Creek. Lots of benches. Grade 2 listed.

🌊 Tide: High/Slack.

🚗 Parking: Space for 4/5 cars just off the quay ‑ if there are no spaces, go elsewhere or plan to walk/cycle from Devoran car park!

2. Weir Beach, Restronguet Passage.

🩱 What to expect: Sandy/shingle beach. Plan this dip very carefully and pair with a walk and even cheeky bevy/lunch at Pandora Inn. Privately owned, there is no safety equipment at this beach.

🌊 Tide: High/slack ‑ not recommended at other stages of the tide due to shallow water and strong tidal currents.

🚗 Parking: Mylor Bridge and walk the coast or lay‑by parking on the road going down ‑ only 4 cars will fit. I’d argue you would be taking the mick parking at Pandora Inn car park ‑ even if you are to eat because the walk is a good 15/20 mins to this beach!

3. Lower Quay, Port Navas Creek

🩱 What to expect: A medium‑sized grassy quay. Perfect for a lunch/post hot drink natter spot. Magnificent views up the creek. Water looks clear on a sunny, calm day. Beware of boat traffic all year round.

🌊 Tide: High, slack.

🚗Parking: There a 3/4 spaces up the road. It is luck of the draw! Or park nearby on the road and cycle/walk.

4. Pennance Point, Falmouth Bay

🩱 What to expect: A special cove tucked in the corner of this headland. Beautiful waters. Entry via rocks or white shingle beach depending on tide. Mid‑morning get the full sun!

🌊 Tide: Any ‑ High tide is special though.

🚗 Parking: Swanpool Beach Car Park ‑ keep left along coast path and turn left downhill when you see wooden gate. Very muddy. Turn left again when you hit the shore.

5. Helford Passage Beach, Helford River

🩱 What to expect: The most popular beach on the Helford in season ‑ ft. The Ferry Boat Inn ‑ they do insane food. Busy marine traffic, however you will find the beach to yourself during the colder months. Great sunset location.

🌊 Tide: Mid‑High.

🚗 Parking: Large car park just up from Ferry Boat Inn. If this is full roadside parking at the top of the hill ‑ do not obstruct and make sure a emergency services can pass.

6. Greatwood Quay, Mylor Creek

🩱 What to expect: A tiny quay that juts out giving vast incredible views of the river. Entry via rocks or a jump! Definitely more of a rustic spot! Walk short distance up Mylor Creek from footpath starting in Mylor Bridge. A very busy boat area so keep close to quay with a colourful floatie.

🌊 Tide: Slack/high tide. Again, be mind full of water traffic. More of a ‘dip’ area.

🚗 Parking: Mylor Bridge. Quay Location ‑ ///signature.martini.whistle.

7. Castle Beach, Falmouth Bay

🩱 What to expect: A rocky reef paradise with a raised concrete platform. Small shingle beach stretch. Rock pools galore. Snorkelling/diving practice. Learning and getting used to underwater gardens (seaweed). Toilets here too!

🌊 Tide: Any ‑ just bring booties for walking across reefs!

🚗 Parking: Cliff Road.

8. Crab Quay, Pendennis Point

🩱 What to expect: Part of an old fort host to gunnery. Decent to water by the rocks (shoes advised). A beautifully sheltered sandy cove that fills at high tide. Sand eels in abundance here from spring. Old rusty metal slipway!

🌊 Tide: Mid‑High tide. Stay within the walls of the cove for safety ‑ current can be rapid.

🚗 Parking: Pendennis Point.

9. Flushing Beach, Flushing

🩱 What to expect: A charming, small beach with a long quay and golden sands. Great views of Falmouth’s urban sprawl, marine presence and a different perspective of the Carrick Roads.

🌊 Tide: Mid‑high. Be mindful of strong currents here.

🚗 Parking: Trefusis Road ‑ a VERY popular spot for beach goers and walkers, so be prepared to go elsewhere if you can’t find a space.

10. Loe Beach, Feock

🩱 What to expect: Small river beach with lots of buoys. Amazing views of the mouth of Fal river. Very busy with boats and general water sports in season so be alert ‑ however they do have a signalled ‘Swim Area’.

🌊 Tide: Probably nicer swim high, but can swim at low too.

🚗 Parking: Pop you car in the village car park and walk down! Loe Water Sports Centre parking reserved for boat owners! There has been an issue with swimmers flocking this parking area leaving no space resulting in the potential closure of the boat yard to cars.

11. Greenbank, Falmouth Town

🩱 What to expect: Iconic quay with white letters. Multiple entry points via stone steps with handrails for assistance. Nice long space to swim and be safe. Summer boat / water traffic!

🌊 Tide: High‑medium tide, best on a southerly wind.

🚗 Parking: Stratton Terrace/Place or Quarry Car Park for a little walk.

12. Devoran Quay, Carnon River

🩱 What to expect: Long, charming quay with small boats moored up. Ladder entry to the water. Water won’t look crystal. Good sized grassy area for spotters! Shallow near the quay.

🌊 Tide: High/Slack.

🚗 Parking: Park at Devoran car park and don’t park at the quay entrance, locals use it for residential parking!

13. Grebe Beach, Helford River

🩱 What to expect: The classic fallen tree trunk! A long descending slope to shingle beach. Feels like the med on a sunny calm day. A firm favourite at sunset.

🌊 Tide: Any ‑ high spring, you have to improvise getting down as the slipway gets blocked. The lower the tide, the more exposed you will be.

🚗 Parking: Bosveal NT ‑ DO NOT PARK IN LAYBY OPPOSITE (please). This is a pet peeve of mine ‑ the lay‑by is for emergency vehicles only. Don’t be a lazy sod and pop your vehicle in the car park.

14. Maenporth Beach, Maenporth

🩱 What to expect: Sandy Beach with a gentle slope. Shipwreck on the left (be careful explorers). Sheltered and gentle, great for swimming lengths.

🌊 Tide: Low and High ‑ Be careful of the rip tides ‑ water travels very fast and far between tides!!

🚗 Parking: Maenporth Beach Car Park

15. Bream Cove, Meudon

🩱 What to expect: A charming tucked away private beach with no restricted access to the public. Shingles and rocks at high tide, low tide exposed large sandy beach and rocky outcrops.

🌊 Tide: Any ‑ just bring booties for walking across reefs at low tide.

🚗 Parking: Maenporth Road ‑ roadside parking for 20 cars approx ‑ can be VERY busy ‑ do not obstruct the road as busses take this route. Or Park at Maenporth and walk over!

16. Gyllynvase Beach, Falmouth Bay

🩱 What to expect: Superb sunrise location. A popular sandy beach in the heart of Falmouth. Accessible access. Large open space. Bakery, snack bar and restaurant. Framed by rocky reefs. Toilets!

🌊 Tide: Any! There can be a sneaky sand shelf you need to be mindful of.

🚗 Parking: Gyllyngvase Beach Coach Park (free Nov ‑ Mar)

17. Durgan, Helford River

🩱 What to expect: A wee hamlet with built up stone walls. The slipway and steps lead to the sandy, sediment beach. Calming views down river. Nice setting for post swim lunch and for your spotter!

🌊 Tide: Any!

🚗 Parking: Bosveal NT ‑ Same message about the lay‑by plus the hamlet parking is for residents only. Again, please park in the designated car park. No parking for non-residents in the hamlet.

18. Swanpool Beach, Falmouth Bay

🩱 What to expect: Gylly’s smaller sister ‑ great for sunrises, fairly sheltered, buoys to swim to. Sandy with big squarish boulders to get changed on. Cafe for hot drinks and snacks. Toilets!

🌊 Tide: Any, but particularly nice at mid/high.

🚗 Parking: Swanpool Beach Car Park

19. Arthur’s Cove, SWCP

🩱 What to expect: Get naked, it’s an official nudist sanctuary! Shingle beach ‑ can be difficult decent to cove ‑ rope to assist. Really interesting, rock formations to explore. 

🌊 Tide: Any ‑ really fun to duck and dive these rock formations at high tide.

🚗 Parking: Swanpool Beach ‑ walk coastal path towards Maenporth ‑ several pathways heading down to the shore ‑ pick one and you should end up at Arthur’s!

20. Porth Saxon, Helford River

🩱 What to expect: A small shingle beach on the Helford footpath. Part of the protected Eel Grass area. Similarly to it’s sisters Grebe, Durgan and Helford Passage ‑ this charming area has a slither of beach at high tide but opens into a lovely open space.

🌊 Tide: Any, however, mid‑high advised.

🚗 Parking: St Mawnan Church or Bosveal NT ‑ Both equidistant and a 10 min walk away.

21. Roundwood Quay, River Fal

🩱 What to expect: 15/20 min walk and dip. Stonewalled Quay with steps and ramps to river. Water won’t look crystal clear. Be aware of passing boats anytime of year. Keep close to the quay. You can jump in. There are a few BBQ pits provided for longer stays. Grade 2 listed.

🌊 Tide: High/Slack. Always check the speed of current before entry.

🚗 Parking using what three words app: // Lay‑by parking. 8 cars max ‑ Footpath takes you through Namphillows Wood ‑ take right. Cross the bridge on Lamouth Creek and walk up river till you reach Roundwood Quay. 15/20 min walk.

⚠️ Please avoid parking in the tiny plot of land on the quay ‑ the road down will damage your car if you don’t have a 4×4 ‑ trust me I forked out hundreds fixing mine. Basically, if you can’t be arsed to walk ‑ this swim spot isn’t for you!

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