One woman's wild swimming adventures in the west country

Stormy December Hoe

I thought it would be simple to get into the stormy Sound at low tide, however the rocky shore scuppered our easy entry and my bare feet were protesting seriously at the battering they were taking. The water temperature had dropped to 10.9°c since our swim last week, a small but noticeable difference.

Murky, slatey-green sea slapped our faces, bodies rocked randomly in the ragged waves.  Our view of the Hoe was misted by spray. We swam around the point, striking out a little way to avoid being dashed onto rocks. After 45 minutes I was chilled to the core.

I stood on the wet concrete under the arches and stripped while the wind stole the last of the warmth from my body. My feet had no feeling and my hands fumbled with my clothes.

Clutching my hot cappuccino later, I was tempted to pour it into my boots.

I’d forgotten my camera, but JJ had his – thanks to him for the photos.

Fellow Stormy Swimmers

JJ, Alice, Allan, Pauline, Joh, Rosie, Geoffrey.

Solo Japanese Tourist



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4 thoughts on “Stormy December Hoe

  1. Can you tell me how you got into the sea? I’m visiting Plymouth and want to swim off the Hoe but don’t know the access points?

    • Hi Phil. There are several ways in, but the little beach is one of the easiest particularly at low tide or in rough seas. You can get in from the big steps most of the way along the main Hoe, but be careful because some of the steps have crumbled quite badly. To get to the beach, go to the Hoe mini-roundabout Where the road from the Barbican meets Citadel Rd and the Hoe, and go down the steps past the Terrace Cafe. If you’re facing the sea, you need to go to the right of the cafe, and you’ll see the steps and the little recess under the walkway. The beach is below that. Hope you enjoy your swim!

      • Hi. Thanks for your last msg. I followed your instructions and made it into the sea, however it was my first attempt and as I was on my own I only made about 20m. Great fun (if cold) and I’ll be back. Phil

      • Glad you got in Phil, it certainly can be a bit nippy. Give us a shout next time, there are lots of wild swimmers around who’ll join you without too much encouragement!

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