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Spring Swim Retreat with The Wild Swimming Co.

Updated: Mar 26


"There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met." - William Butler Yeats


Have you ever tried an adventure retreat? I recently tried an amazing swim opportunity in Cornwall with The Wild Swimming Co. I went on my own and came away with 11 new friends. Here is my blog post about it.


The Spring Swim Retreat


The Spring Swim Retreat in March 2024 promised a sea view and a private beach in Bude. I was looking forward to swimming in Cornish seas with home made meals and sunset dining included! Once I had signed up to the weekend I filled in the booking form with medical and dietary needs which was super easy. The retreat is suitable for all those who can swim 200m continuously.


A zoom call was arranged a few days before the trip to meet other people online. As a 'skins' swimmer I was interested to know how long the swims would be as I don't have a wetsuit. In the end I took a wetsuit jacket and swam in that when we did the Bossiney Cove swim as that was the longest swim. A whatsapp group was also set up to introduce ourselves and ask which wine we would prefer or the first night; red, white or rose!


Day 1 - Friday


We stayed at the OA Surf Club in Bude. This is a lovely huge house on a stunning cliff side location overlooking the beautiful beaches of Widemouth Bay. This all-inclusive retreat ran from 1pm Friday to 1pm Sunday in an exclusive-use 16 bedroom sea view lodge, with private access to sandy beaches. I had a gorgeous room with a sea view.



After meeting together for a cup of tea and cake, we went on our first swim to Bude Sea Pool. This is a semi-natural tidal pool and is a safe haven for wild swimming on the edges of the Atlantic Ocean.


Before the swim, we met with staff from the charity, Friends of Bude Sea Pool (FoBSP). They ran through the history of the pool and how Bude Sea Pool is preserved and enhanced, as well as kept safe and free by this charity.  For the benefit of the community and visitors to the town, but it costs £100,000 a year to keep it open and free. This semi-natural amenity that has provided a haven for free and safe bathing and other water-based activities since the 1930s. Donations are welcomed by the charity to keep this amenity open so have a look at their website.




We had a wonderful swim in the sea pool. The sun came out and we had a whale of a time swimming about. Some of us asked for help with swim strokes and others just wanted to bob around a bit and enjoy the sunshine!


Bude


This area has a huge amount of gorgeous, award-winning sandy beaches to explore. Summerleaze is the main town beach, with the sea pool providing a gentler swim when the waves might be a bit too rough for some. Next door, the Blue Flag awarded Crooklets is a big favourite with the surfers, but fine for families as well, with loads of sand and rockpools at low tide.


Photo: Matt Jessop, Visit Cornwall


Day 2


Saturday was a 5.45am sunrise swim. There wasn’t enough water to cover the reef at our private beach so we went back to Bude. The water was lovely and still, such a contrast to the crashing, spilling waves in the sea behind us. The lovely Mel from The Wild Swimming Co brought warm pain au chocs to the beach for us to enjoy after our dip! Amazing.


Back to our accommodation for a rest and then breakfast at 8.30. Home made granola, toast and breakfast baps with bacon, egg and avocado.


Then we were out around 10am to head to Bossiney Cove. For this swim I wore my wetsuit jacket (I don’t swim in a wetsuit usually) but wanted to add a little extra warmth. Tow floats and brightly coloured swim caps were needed for this wild swim. It’s a bit of a scramble so I wore wellies for the walk.



It was a precarious hike down to the bottom of the cliff but we spotted each other and went very slowly. Each part of the walk was risk assessed and we felt very safe. In the water there was rocks on the ground we had to maneouvre in like crabs! The water was choppy but amazing and so green. We swam together and some of us swam through little caves. It was tricky getting out of it again, I had to time it with the waves pushing me forward and just tread water whilst it pulled me back! The climb back up was a lot easier and we were greeted with home made millionaire's shortbread by Mel to enjoy with hot tea or coffee. I loved this swim and it was one of the best ones I've ever done!


Back home we had a warming lunch of pumpkin and carrot soup. In the afternoon there was a hike with a visit to the pub. I skipped the walk but went to the pub for a pint of Rattler cider! In the evening was a sunset swim in the sea. Having a rest in my lovely room with unlimited cups of tea I felt at absolute peace for the first time in ages. Dinner was home made pizzas followed by yummy home made crumble. What a perfect day!



Day 3


The following morning was breakfast of crepes, granola and tea. Then we packed up and went off for the final swim at St Nectars Glen waterfall. Such an amazing end to a great weekend.


I met lots of ladies who were Bluetits and everyone had different experiences of where they swim. Which is what I love about adventure holidays like this, you can come on your own or with friends and be surrounded by like-minded people.


Several women had been on these retreats before, the ones in Studland are a particular favourite. One lady was recovering from pneumonia and in doctors orders not to swim but she and her daughter came anyway to convalesce in the wonderful Cornish air. Plus be cooked for!



Photo: Adam Gibbard, Visit Cornwall


The Wild Swimming Co


The Wild Swimming Co offers incredible swimming holidays and events at iconic locations around the UK. They offer fabulous food, wonderful wines and accommodation come as standard alongside inclusive, breath taking swims and kind humans.

These unique holidays focus on bringing new people to the best secret and most iconic swim spots from Cornwall, Devon & Dorset to North Wales and the Lake District, in exclusive, simple yet stunning accommodation with every detail taken care of.

✔ STA Open Water Swim Coaches

✔ Iconic Locations

✔ Swim Safe Seminars

✔ Surf Lifeguard led


Ad|gifted, Ambassador. For more information about swimming retreats for a swim group, corporate get together or birthday treat, be sure to follow The Wild Swimming Co on Instagram or Facebook.


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