Does the thought of plunging into crystal-clear waters surrounded by nature stir up a sense of wild adventure within you? If so, wild swimming at Goldiggins Quarry in Cornwall might just be the perfect escapade!
Please note: Due to a spate of recent accidents, a new sign has been erected which effectively prohibits wild swimming and bathing at the quarry. If you choose to swim, you do so at your own risk.
Located on the breathtaking Bodmin Moor, this spring-fed quarry lake is surrounded by rocks, offering a tranquil and serene escape from everyday life. Plunging into its clear waters, you'll certainly feel invigorated, as you take in the unique atmosphere of the quarry, which is steeped in history.
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Goldiggins Quarry Location
Goldiggins Quarry, a stunning and idyllic spot, is situated in the heart of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall.
To get to Goldiggins Quarry, you need to start your journey from the village of Minions, a charming village nestled on the moor amidst the beautiful Cornish countryside.
From Minions, there are various paths and walking trails that lead you towards the quarry. I usually park in the free car park near the Hurlers Stone Circles, a prehistoric site that you'll walk past on the way to the quarry.
After about a mile of walking (20-25 minutes), you'll descend into a secluded dip in the moor where Goldiggins Quarry lies, like a secret waiting to be discovered. While the route is not strenuous, it is uneven in places and can be muddy after rain, so suitable footwear is recommended.
Make sure to keep an eye out for the wild ponies and cattle as you trek through the moorland, and behave responsibly around them.
Wild Swimming at Goldiggins
Dipping into the clear water is like jumping into a different world. Goldiggins Quarry's depths can go down to over ten metres in places, but don't worry - there are plenty of shallower spots to paddle about in, too. Whether you're floating lazily or slicing through the water, you'll feel a sense of peace that only nature can give.
And while you're bobbing about, keep an eye out for the incredible wildlife around you. The cliffs and rocks are home to all sorts of birds, from peregrine falcons to kestrels and ravens. You'll also find beautiful dragonflies dancing above the water around the smaller shallower pools, and small fish and newts swimming beneath you.
Health Benefits of Wild Swimming
By immersing yourself in cold water surrounded by nature, you can tap into both physical and mental well-being.
Firstly, wild swimming is an excellent form of cardiovascular exercise, helping you work your heart and lungs while also engaging several muscle groups. As you swim, your body will burn calories, improving weight management and muscle strength. Furthermore, the colder the water, the more calories burned as your body works to maintain core body temperature.
Being surrounded by the breathtaking landscape at Goldiggins Quarry, you'll find that wild swimming serves as an effective stress reliever. The adrenaline rush provided by open-air swimming has been widely recognised as a spiritual balm for mental health. Many wild swimmers report a clearer mind and a sense of calm after their swim.
Cold water also provides several physiological benefits. As you swim, your body experiences cold water shock, which can stimulate blood circulation, boost the immune system, and act as an anti-inflammatory. Moreover, colder water can help your body produce endorphins - natural pain relief hormones - reducing muscle aches and pains.
In the past few years, there have been several accidents at the quarry, leading to the installation of a new sign that effectively prohibits wild swimming. Despite this, it seems that people are still using the quarry for bathing. During our visit last weekend (June 24th 2023), I observed over 20 individuals using the quarry for swimming or diving in the three hours we were present.
If you do decide to swim, it's important to say that the swimming conditions at Goldiggins Quarry are generally calm and safe, but taking precautions and being aware of your surroundings is essential.
Before diving or jumping, be sure to check for underwater hazards such as rocks, tree branches, or other debris. The water at Goldiggins Quarry is known for its deep blue hue, but it's not always easy to see beneath the surface. For your safety, avoid diving headfirst.
Always test the water temperature before getting in, and remember that spring-fed pools like Goldiggins Quarry can be colder than sea and beach locations. Cold water can take your breath away, so slow and careful entry is advisable, allowing your body time to adjust.
A wetsuit may give you extra protection from the cold.
Facilities and Amenities
Goldiggings Quarry offers idyllic spots for picnics. With the serene surroundings and stunning natural landscapes, it's a perfect setting to relax and enjoy some delicious food. Moreover, if sunbathing is your preference, there are grass-clad rocks along the water's edge, allowing you to catch some rays while you listen to the soothing sounds of the water.
Although Goldiggins Quarry is a rather remote spot, don't fret about the lack of modern facilities. In the village of Minions, you'll find essential amenities such as a local shop, toilets, tea rooms, and a public house.
Nearby Landmarks and Attractions
While visiting Goldiggins Quarry for a wild swimming experience, you may want to explore some nearby landmarks and attractions to make the most of your trip to the area
Just a short distance away from Goldiggins Quarry, you can find the Hurlers, a unique and well-preserved stone circle located on Bodmin Moor. This historical site dates back to the Bronze Age and offers a glimpse into the past.
For those who love the serene sound of water, the nearby Golitha Falls is another must-visit. This enchanting waterfall, nestled in the heart of an ancient woodland, offers a different take on water-related activities. A walk here would make a relaxing complement to your wild swimming adventure at Goldiggins Quarry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Goldiggins Quarry is located on Bodmin Moor in East Cornwall, near the village of Minions.
While wild swimming was once a popular activity at Goldiggins Quarry, it is no longer recommended due to recent accidents and the year-round freezing cold waters. If you still choose to swim there, please exercise caution and be aware of the risks.
No facilities are mentioned at Goldiggins Quarry which means it's likely there are no toilets or changing rooms available on-site. When visiting, be prepared by bringing essential supplies such as food, freshwater, and appropriate clothing for weather conditions.
If you decide to swim at Goldiggins Quarry, keep in mind the risks and take necessary precautions. Be cautious of the water's depth and underwater features, always swim with a buddy for added safety, and closely supervise children at all times. If you're not a confident swimmer, consider wearing a flotation device, and be aware of the cold water temperature, which can cause cold shock.
No, overnight camping is not permitted.
No, it's free to enter.
Yes, dogs are allowed but must be kept under control due to wildlife.
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