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KHM Plymouth / Using the port for recreation


Swimming from the beaches and shoreline of Plymouth Sound and the Tamar Estuaries is a popular activity.

Swimming Areas, Regulations and Guidelines

There are designated bathing areas off the Hoe and main beaches. Elsewhere there are Regulations and guidelines to allow the safe enjoyment of all water users. 
Lots of people, wearing red swim caps, participate in a swim race in the sea

Swimming areas & regulations

Five areas in Plymouth Sound have been designated by their respective Local Authorities as Bathing Areas.These Bathing Areas are in Bovisand Bay, Crownhill Bay, Cawsand Bay, Firestone Bay and Tinside East.  Bathing areas are shown on current Admiralty charts and marked with seasonal marker buoys.Further details are in Plymouth PLNTM 020/23 BATHING AREAS DIRECTION .

Elsewhere swimming is allowed in most areas. However, a person must not swim without permission in the Dockyard Port within –

  • 100 metres of the Naval Base or any Crown Establishment
  • 150 metres of HM Ships and Auxiliaries, foreign warships or Auxiliaries
  • 125 metres either side of the recommended tracks shown as shown on Admiralty charts
  • The fairways of the port

Any area in which anchorage is prohibited (as shown on Admiralty charts) 


  • Avoid swimming alone
  • Always wear a brightly coloured swim cap and use a tow float
  • Consider wearing a wetsuit
  • Beware strong tidal streams
  • Always swim within your capabilities

Useful advice is available at the links below:

Devon and Cornwall Wild Swimming -


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