Cornwall beaches named among best for wild swimming in UK and Ireland – Cornwall Live

Bathing quality data and Google ratings and reviews combined to find the best locations for swimming
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A number of Cornish spots have been named among the Top 20 best and cleanest locations in the UK and Ireland for wild swimming, with one being lauded as the best hidden gem for swimming.
Green reusable water bottle company Ocean Bottle scraped the latest year of water samples from over 800 waterways across the UK, sourced from “bathing water quality” governmental sites, then looked at the average water quality across each corresponding year, including the E.coli and intestinal Enterococci count, to determine how safe it is to swim.
It then cross-referenced each location's Google ratings and reviews to rank the best places for wild swimming based on visitor experience. Any location with less than 100 reviews was removed from the final ranking. The end results see four Cornish beaches in the Top 20 for wild swimming locations in the UK and Ireland, with Keem Beach at Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland, taking the top spot.
Read more: Enjoy the best wild swimming spots Cornwall has to offer
Upton Towans, near Hayle, took the fifth spot with Porthcurno Beach at No 7, Holywell Bay at No 15 and Church Cove Beach at Gunwalloe at No 18.
If you want somewhere a little quieter where you can swim in peace without the fear of coming across a lot of people (please steer clear of the above-mentioned Porthcurno at this time of year as it gets hellish), Ocean Bottle also found where the Top 20 least visited clean wild swimming locations were. These hidden gems all scored a 20 on the water cleanliness score and at least a 4-star rating from its visitors.
The best hidden gem spot was Aillebrack/Silverhill Beach in Galway, Ireland, earning itself a 5-star rating thanks to its unspoilt white sandy beach and impeccably clean waters, which was awarded a Blue Flag. Other spots that achieved a rating of 5 from visitors include Pembrey Beach in Carmarthenshire, Wales, Golden Strand in Achill Island, Ireland and Elly Bay in Co. Mayo, Ireland. In England, the best hidden gem spot for swimming is Polstreath beach, near Mevagissey, in Cornwall with a rating of 4 stars.
Will Pearson, co-founder at Ocean Bottle, said: “Our work involves the rivers and waterways further afield where plastic pollution is worst but it’s our belief that everyone deserves the right to a clean planet. Being a British company we’re passionate about providing the UK with this data, wild swimming is not only great for exercise and mental health, it helps us to connect with the planet, something we all need to do as much as we can.” For more details about the Ocean Bottle analysis, click here.
More than 400 people accidentally drown in the UK and Ireland EVERY YEAR and many more have non-fatal experiences, sometimes suffering life-changing injuries.
The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) works tirelessly to educate people to enjoy water safely, to keep their families and friends safe and to know what to do in an emergency. You can find their guide to swimming safely here.
Cornwall is unique – there's no place like it on the planet. With its stunning beaches, glorious countryside, ancient traditions and fierce sense of identity, it's no wonder millions of people visit the county every year.
With this in mind, Discover Cornwall has been launched to highlight everything that makes Cornwall special, from the quirky to the fascinating and the historical to the downright weird and wonderful. Discover Cornwall will help you find out about the county regardless of whether you're a local or a visitor. From the best fish and chip shops and pasty sellers to insightful reads into the more isolated parts of Cornwall, Discover Cornwall will help open your eyes to everything this special county has to offer.
To Discover Cornwall, click here.
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