Wild Swimming in Guernsey
With proclaimed health benefits such as lowered stress levels and a boosted immune system, cold water swimming is a growing wellness trend across the world that has long been a daily activity for islanders.
We are very fortunate to have a variety of outdoor swimming options across The Islands of Guernsey. There are many pretty little coves, ideal for a touch of wild swimming in fresh clean water. It may also be worth noting that we are Channel Islands and so that water is the English Channel, which can be chilly especially during the winter months. Having said that, many islanders and tourists alike enjoy a daily dip in the sea.
Here are just a few wild swimming options in the islands of Guernsey:
Since 1865, La Vallette bathing pools have offered a safe and contained area for salt water swimming, suitable for the whole family. In its earlier years, the pools were often visited by many people of great significance, including legendary “Les Misérables” writer Victor Hugo and famous Renaissance painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
The water in the pool comes directly from the sea at high tide and then the height of the pool walls allows a certain amount of water to remain in the pool as the tide lowers. These walls also stop an excess of seaweed or sea creatures finding their way into the pools, making it a pleasant and safe area for salt water swimming, suitable for the whole family.
The pools and surrounding area have slowly been renovated over the last few years and are now in great condition with changing rooms, a terrace with seating and a kiosk serving drinks, food and ice creams.
Cobo Bay is one of Guernsey’s treasures. It is one of the island’s most popular beaches, hosting not only beautiful white sands and crystal clear waters, but also a handful of amenities just across the road.
The bay attracts people from all different age groups for all the right reasons. The beach is easily accessible for people with a slipway at each end of the beach and a couple of stairways leading down to the beach dotted along the sea wall. It is a great place to go to take a dip in the inviting waters, or if you’re there at the right time, go and explore the rock pools that are unveiled at low tide. This is also where the traditional Christmas & New Year dips take place each year.
Fermain Valley holds one of the most beautiful tucked-away beaches and cafes on Guernsey. The pebbly bay is hidden on the rugged east coast and is a delightful walk from St Peter Port along the cliff path. The inviting crystal clear waters beyond the beach are delightful to swim in, and the Fermain Beach Cafe is a fabulous place to sit and relax with your friends whilst enjoying a jug of Pimms in the sun or a bite to eat.
Moulin Huet Bay is located in the depths of St. Martin, with shallow waters as turquoise as the Caribbean and breathtaking views of the cliffs. Legendary renaissance painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir fell in love with the secluded cove while visiting Guernsey in September 1883 and painted 15 famous pieces of Moulin Huet during his stay. Enjoy the stunning views of the cliffs and see what inspired him so much in what is now nicknamed ‘Renoir’s Bay’. You can also enjoy refreshments at Moulin Huet Tea Rooms, well known for their excellent homemade cakes and delicious crab sandwiches.
Venus Pool, Lihou
Venus Pool is a natural pool that forms at low tide, where the brave like to take a dip. It is deep enough to jump into and is a really special, secluded spot to enjoy a little wild swimming.
Lihou offers a real Famous Five adventure. The island is accessed by a winding, cobbled causeway from Guernsey at low tides throughout the year and is free of charge. Check the tides, pack your sandwiches, pop on your most sensible shoes and trek across the causeway, whilst exploring the interesting wildlife, both above the water and below.
Wherever you are in the Islands of Guernsey, you will always find a special place for a little wild swimming. From Belvoir Bay in Herm to Venus Pool on Sark, our smaller islands also offer a variety of unique spots to take a dip in. Saye and Corblets with their crystal clear blue waters and shallow rock pools are ideal places for outdoor swimming on Alderney.
Wherever you choose to swim in Guernsey, please stay safe and enjoy the waters of the Islands of Guernsey.