Best place for sea swimming?

(on the south coast)

1 to 20 of 36 messages
20/08/2012 at 11:00

I know Bognor reasonably well but fancied somewhere a bit quieter.  Any ideas?


20/08/2012 at 11:04

how long is that piece of string you have???

there are loads of good places for sea swimming available along the South Coast. the usual problems come down to tides, currents and weather, but other than that just pick your spot!


20/08/2012 at 11:05

ok, so stupid question.  Is there a place you can look that lays out tide tables and stuff the layman can understand?

Is google my friend?

20/08/2012 at 11:16

google is always your friend but to save you a bit of time -

what that doesn't tell you of course is what the conditions are like and for that you need to check out wind and weather sites - a good wind one is - it's mainly for surfers etc but it has a list of spots around the coast that you can pick from, or close to if not exact.  the data can be a little confusing but take a look.

also is a good overview of what the weather's doing as it has good wind data.

as for conditions such as currents, that often comes down to local knowledge and knowing which way the beach is oriented so you then know what effect the wind may have on waves etc.   for example, a northernly wind in GWR will mean a flatter sea; a SW wind will be kicking up waves.

Edited: 20/08/2012 at 11:17
Dustboy    pirate
20/08/2012 at 11:33

I like natural harbour of Weymouth. Clear, lifeguard on duty in summer, safe beach, sand, as warm as it gets, loads of tea shops & loos, just watch out for weever fish.

20/08/2012 at 11:54

Thank you

20/08/2012 at 16:43

Park at mine HC. The beach is 100 yards away and I make a decent coffee.
The current is not too bad where I am, just a slight drift.
We've had a fair bit of weed this past week due to some rough spring tides but generally the water quality is good. 

20/08/2012 at 17:23

Hayling Island is safe.  The currents follow the shore so you won't get washed out to sea and there is a dedicated swim area with buoys marking out a route of about 1 mile with a pub right next door.  The water is shallow so you can easily put your feet down if you are finding it too much.

Portsmouth is nice too, especially up the east end of the sea front where there are less people.  There is also a designated swim area here, but the currents tend to be a lot stronger.  Again, they run parallel with the shore but sometimes they ccan be very hard to swim against.  There is a fantastic cafe that does the best fry ups and cake ever, called the 10th hole.

If you want somewhere scenic then there is the Hamble at Manor Farm Country Park, just off the M27 near Botley.  It's tidal so you get the experience of salt water but it tends to be more sheltered from the wind.  Check out the tides first though as there is no water at low tide.  You are best sticking to an hour either side of high tide.

You can also swim at Calshot, but again this is best around high tide as the current is very strong at other times.  Best to avoid this one on the weekends when the weather is good as it is very popular and you will find it hard to park.

I also know people who swim at Milford-on-Sea and Bournemouth / Boscome.  These have sandy beaches so are easier on your feet when getting in and out of the water but I do find that they are more exposed to the wind than the other spots so the water can be very choppy.


20/08/2012 at 17:31

Thank you both Limper I'll be in touch, it would be great to catch up. x

20/08/2012 at 17:37

I can rave on about Boscombe/Bournemouth/Southbourne HC.  I go there and swim with the Seabrook Seals most Sunday mornings. Lovely people - sort of piratey really. Say no more. Super Caz told me about them.   Don't know if it's a bit too far for you though? You'd be very welcome to join in. Most swim non-wettie because some are  training for Channel stuff but no one cares either way. Max swim time 2 hours, but we swim along the the coast, then people turn back in pairs or small groups as and when they need to so you swim at your own pace for as long as you want.

Super Caz is right that the water can be very lively if it's windy but they still go in.  In fact it's almost fun...


20/08/2012 at 17:50

Well I guess the 'It might be windy on race day' mantra applied to swimming as well as everything else Hen.

The distance is not a problem but the Sunday mornings are.  Don't have many left this year.  Will have a look and see if I can fit one in.  i take it they're nutty enough to go in even if it's a tad chilly?

20/08/2012 at 17:50

HC, you might like this thread.

20/08/2012 at 17:54

AH, What do you do with things like car keys? Is there always a Sherpa on hand to guard valuables?

Edited: 20/08/2012 at 17:55
20/08/2012 at 19:05

HC - if you want to use my place you don't have to confine yourself to weekends. I'm in from the madhouse that is fondly known as work around 17:30 but you can use the 'facilities' here all day!
Just yell if you want to come down. 

Dustboy    pirate
20/08/2012 at 19:13

Caz, is there a bit more detail somewhere on the Hayling/Portsmouth bit, and where is the cafe?


20/08/2012 at 19:46

Tenth hole is this, there is a beach hut near here that Portsmouth Triathletes swim from on a Saturday morning and a Tuesday evening. I do the odd swim from near here, but unless its smooth then sea swimming is a waste of training time IMO. Havnt even got my wettie out yet this year, I'm doing the New Forest Middle distance in Sept which is a lake Swim and sea swimming at Southsea is nothing like lake swimming.

20/08/2012 at 20:03

Hayling island is the stretch just to the right (as you head towards it) of the fun fair, you can see the yellow buoys fo the swimming area quite easily. There is a suitable pub for parking, food and hot drinks and the sea is pretty good. It's one of my favourite places to swim.

TR I'd say sea swimming isn't bad for lake swimming practice, the lake is easier.  I certainly wouldn't dismiss it if I had the sea on my doorstep for OW swimming. 

20/08/2012 at 21:01

In the Blue - if you can guarantee a calm sea, I've wasted too many swims just trying not get beached, but agreed that swimming inot the current off Southsea is a tough workout. I think that swimming in the Eastney lake area, behind the marina could be a good bet at high tide.

20/08/2012 at 21:39

There's lots of us down here isn't there? Hello everyone 

21/08/2012 at 09:35

bos - get yourself a small waterproof bag (like ziploc but better - just google them) and stick the key in that and put the bag under the wettie in the small of the back as you won't notice it so much there.  otherwise, have a sherpa handy.

seems to be a lot of you further west of me - not many in Zuzzex or Kent though

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