Open water swimming in West Dorset


 I'm lucky enough to live in beautiful West Dorset, and would like to get out & do some open water swimming.

Obviously there is the sea, but the nearest option - Chesil Beach is a bit steep & exposed, so is dangerous if there's much of a swell at all.

Can anyone recommend any more sheltered options, or possibly some inland places?


  • Try googling Wild Swimming and Dorset ?
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    errm - off Weymouth Beach in the main town?? it's pretty sheltered in there compared to Chesil Beach and they have Weymouth Tri in there (last weekend)
  • Yeah, Weymouth would be a possibility. I've not tried to swim properly there, as it always seemed you'd have to go a very long way out to be deep enough. I suppose it must be okay though, because they do have triathlons there, and an open water race along the beach. I'll give it a go.

    The advantage of Chesil is that if it is calm you can go in, and within about 2 or 3 paces you can it's perfectly deep enough. Of course the flip side is that it's dangerous if it's rough! 

  • You shouldnt go OW swimming by yourself anyway - what about asking the local Tri clubs where they go to ?
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    Chesil also has quite a lateral current I believe - runs parallel with the beach - which means swimming in one direction is fine, but very hard against the current!

    I've done the Weymouth tri and even at lowish tide it's deep enough to swim in although you may need to wade a little way out to get decent depth - and no current that I recall. the water's also surprisingly cold so use your wetsuit!
  • GertieGertie ✭✭✭

    Weymouth Beach is the only one I can think off.  You could look at Portland harbour though. You should be able to get access at Sandsfoot castle or even at Wyke Regis at the top of the beach road.

    Have a look at West Bay as well. It was considered as the venue of this IMUK at one stage.

  • Thanks for that.

    Yes, when i've been talking about Chesil I've basically been meaning West Bay as it's closest. It is lovely when it's calm. I wouldn't go into the water if I didn't have someone with me (though basically I think they'll most often be on the shore).

  • Weymouth beach deffo, it has a lifeguard in hi season. Avoid Chesil like the plague, it has a nasty rip I am told and has claimed casualties in the past. On the fleet on the other side however, you can pick excellent cockles and fresh samphire and cook them up for dinner for nothing!

    Lodmoor to the clock and back provides an excellent workout away frotm the jetskis and pedalos though I have yet to make it without throwing up!

  • SeelaSeela ✭✭✭
    Swanage is OK, and so is the beach at the West end of Studland beach
  • Hi not sure old this thread is? I am going to be staying in Swanage from 4th May until I leave on 8th may and would like to swim in open water but obviously not alone. Are there any groups or clubs that swim in Swanage that I could join in with?
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