Wild Swimming Spot Check: London Bridge Arch Torquay

Wild Swimming Spot Check: London Bridge Arch Torquay

Wild Swimming in Devon

One of my most memorable swims ever was when I got the opportunity for a sunrise swim out to London Bridge Arch in Devon.  

The impressive limestone arch pokes out of the coast just around the corner from Torquay harbour.   I found the easiest entry point was at Peaked Tor Cove from which, at close to high tide, meant an approximately 600-800m swim around to the Arch.

When to get in the Water for a Sunrise Swim

Depending on the distance, when jumping in for a sunrise swim I will normally try and hit the water just before Civil Dawn, when the sun is 6 degrees below the horizon.  This means you get a bit of light during your swim out to your chosen sunrise vantage point.   I would always ensure you use a swim light just in case.  

Epic Open Water Swim

The Sea Conditions at London Bridge Arch

 I would highly recommend this swim, but its definitely one for strong swimmers.   Although when I went there was only what looked like a slight chop, as soon as I left the safety of the sheltered cove it got a lot bumpier.   

London Bridge Arch Torquay

Its from this point that you get your first glimpse of the arch in the distance towering out from the sea. As I made my way along tracking the coast, I couldn't help but switch from Freestyle to head up Breastroke so that I could soak in the view.   

 Sea Swim Spot

I timed it just right arriving at the arch right as the sun peeped its glorious head above the horizon.  Be aware that if you do dare to venture under the arch, the water starts to swirl, throwing you around a fair bit.  Looking up was a majestic sight.  I just paused listened to the sea lapping up against the rocks and thought of the thousands of years of erosion that had come before that very moment to create this heart shaped gap in the Devon coastline. On the way back the current was definitely against me, so it was head down and a fairly rapid freestyle stroke rate.  Before I disappeared back into to the calm waters of the cove, I turned to have one last look, smile on face and a buzz running through my veins.  


Back to blog