I am currently writing a mini series on wild swimming in the local area for the Cornish Seal Sanctuary. This blog was first posted on The CSS Blog  17/07/17.


The last time I swam at Coverack, I had an interesting experience with a marine animal. I was here with my two dogs who were retrieving balls as I floated about in the ocean. After a while, a small round head kept popping up behind where the dogs had been swimming.

A very young seal was following the dogs and sneaking up behind them. I don’t think it was dangerous, probably just playful, curious about these creatures that it may have never encountered before. Whilst we weren’t worried, we did ensure there was always a distance between the animals as a precaution.

This time, I visited alone. Whilst dogs are allowed on Coverack beach all year round, between July and August they have to be kept on leads – not ideal when I am attempting to swim.

I reached the sleepy village early in the morning and found it very quiet. The area will soon be busy; tourists will flock here due to the stretch of golden sand and picturesque chocolate box village, but at the moment, I see very few people meandering about the streets and there is the distinct smell of bacon in the air. I descend down a large set of steps to beach and find it deserted, except for a lone kayaker on the horizon and a group of herring gulls and black backed gulls snoozing lazily on the rocks.

Coverack 1

The tide is in so the only beach available is made up of smooth, round grey stones. Through the clear water, I can see where these give way to bigger rocks and then eventually sand. The sea is flat; tiny waves are gently lapping the shore and it looks so inviting, that I have to stop myself from just leaping in – an action I am grateful for as when I do begin to wade in, the cold catches my chest and gives me brain fuddle. This only lasts a few moments though and as I start to cut through the calm water, I acclimatise quickly and the temperature begins to feel pleasant. I have my snorkel and mask on the shore and retrieve it after completing a few lengths. The water is quiet and whilst there are no pinniped visits this time, I do see small fish near the sea bed and a crystal jelly skirts its way around the rocks towards the shore.

jelly me

After I exit the water, I decide to walk up through the village. After debating with myself if it is too early for ice cream, I give in and enjoy a cone whilst watching the fishermen haul in their latest catches by the old lifeboat station in the sun.


Distance covered = 1 mile = 2000 steps

Access:                  There is a set of steps down to the water. Not suitable for       wheelchairs or pushchairs. Small car park.
Facilities:              Cafes, bins and public toilets. Look out for the cottage which sells home made pasties!
Lifeguard:            None.
Dogs:                    Allowed all year round but must be on a lead July and August.
Notes:                  You can hire watersports equipment from the windsurfing centre

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