Brave Swimming At Whitsand Bay

I’m currently sitting in my living room – cup of tea on the coffee table, laptop on my lap, rain tapping against the glass. Rain? On the 1st of August? I hear you cry. Yes, the beginning of our summer month is grey, wet and miserable. Even my cats can’t believe the weather: Frodo and Arwen are curled up on top of the tumble dryer for warmth!

I do often find it difficult to motivate myself on days like these; it’s just too tempting to snuggle in bed watching Netflix! I must confess, I did read in bed for a while earlier because I really wanted to finish my book – but I tell myself that reading is an important part of expanding my vocabulary and ideas, so then I don’t feel guilty!

Today is a stark contrast from yesterday. I spent the afternoon with Rémi and our friend Zenia at Whitsand Bay enjoying the gorgeous sunshine. Looking out of the window now, it could easily have been several months ago, not yesterday.

I’d never been to Whitsand Bay before, despite it being a 20 minute drive from me, largely because when mum and I went there last year, we couldn’t find an easy route down!

This beautiful bay is nestled between the villages of Millbrook and Crafthole and is part of the stunning Rame Penninsula; the little tail of South East Cornwall that I barely knew existed when I was younger, close to where the ferry goes from Cremyl over to Plymouth.


One problem with visiting Whitsand, particularly during the summer, is the lack of parking. There is no car park, you simply have to find a spot in a lay-by or on the side of the road. My tip for anyone planning to go there would be to get there as early as possible so you can find a space as close to the beach as possible.

Once we had parked up, we walked down the road, stopping every now and again to take in the views of the sun-dappled turquoise water. Zenia brought her dog, Morty, with her, who was extremely excited to be out and about – it was also to be his first time at the beach!

After a few minutes of walking we began to descend the winding steps which lead down to this popular beach. It seemed to take a long while to reach our destination and I was already thinking about how difficult the climb back up would be (I wasn’t wrong)!

But it was worth the trek. Whitsand Bay is very close to Kingsand and Cawsand, which I blogged about recently, but they are pebbled beaches whereas Whitsand has actual sand! So, being a Cornish beach snob, I was in paradise.

We had a little picnic on the beach and all the while Morty was uncontrollably rolling in the sand, as if confused about this new place we had taken him to. We spent the afternoon chatting, relaxing and enjoying the sun, whilst occasionally telling the large groups of clouds to hurry up and move!

I went for several paddles in the sea before plucking up the courage to go for a swim. That the sea was ice cold is no exaggeration. I’m sure it was warmer when I went to Perranporth last week! That was the north coast and Whitsand is on the south coast, so that must have something to do with it.


I waded out until I was waist deep, shivering and looking back at Rémi, who was reluctantly following me in, and Zenia and Morty over on the sand, watching in amusement.

Finally, I took the plunge and turned my tentative walk into a swim…

As my shoulders were submerged in water I let out a little shriek; yes, there were some other nutcases wearing only a swimsuit or a bikini like me, but most normal people had wetsuits on. I must have only lasted about two minutes before moving back towards Rémi  (who had been too chicken to swim properly), giggling and shaking like a loon.

When he pointed out a jelly fish close behind me, I couldn’t get out of the sea quick enough!

The thing about going in the sea in Cornwall is that it might feel like you are about to torture yourself with the shock of the cold, but you always regret it if you don’t go in! So, pleased with myself, I sat and dried off in the sun.

The tide was quickly coming in and soon there would be no beach left, so we decided to call it a day. We walked back up the steps, which seemed even longer than they had on the way down, pausing to take photos and admire the view (as well as secretly trying to catch my breath) before finally reaching the top and heading back towards the car.

Although it is quite a mission to get to and from this beach, I will definitely be going back. I plan to get a copy of the tide times before planning my next visit and I think it would be the ideal spot for a BBQ, a fire pit and a few cyders.

Do you have any great memories of Whitsand Bay?

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