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Swimming Activities >> Swimming and Hiking >>

Swim Hiking / Swim Walking Tours

Pembrokeshire is a walkers paradise! If you want to get closer to nature and learn more about the local marine life of the Welsh coast and get fit at the same time, then what better way than to  swim and hike?  You can't be much more immersed in nature than walking and swimming around the stunning coastline of Pembrokeshire!

If this sounds interesting then why not join one of our swim walking tours?

What is 'SwimHiking' / 'SwimWalking'?

'SwimHiking' or 'swim walking' is literally:

Hike/walk for a bit, then swim, get out and hike/walk some more... Swim... repeat... until you get to where you're going!

It's also known as swim trekking or cross country swimming and you carry your kit with you, on land and in water.

Usually we start at point A and go to point B along the coast and/or inland. We can also do circular routes so we start and finish at the same location.

Distances depend on how far you want to go and range from just a few km combined walking and swimming, to full day trips of 20+km.

SwimHiking with rucksack and camping gear in open water Pembrokeshire
SwimHiking involves hiking and swimming and repeating, along the coast, to your destination.

SwimHike Format

Options include walking and swimming from point A to point B or circular style routes to start and end at the same location.

Distances depend on your requirements: timeframe, physical fitness, terrain, what you'd like to see.  Pembrokeshire SwimHike routes can range from a couple of hours duration of about 5km, to full day trips of 20+km.

After a brief chat to find out what sort of stuff you will see and after an assessment of your swimming level, we will suggest some sites and take you out on a nature trail with a difference!

Not only will you be able to see the stunning coastline from a unique perspective, you will get fit doing it and will get to see the wildlife that lives there up close and personal!

Typically you'd walk and swim in your wetsuit. Extra kit can be carried in a drybag. We recommend only using the triathlon style swimming suits and we also recommend wearing a pair of running shorts over the top to reduce friction on the legs when walking.

It's easiest to walk and swim in your trainers, coasteering style, but it is possible to carry your trainers in the swim tow/dry bag combo, or a standard drybag, which can be easily towed behind you in the water.

What Kit Will I Need?

  • Swimming costume
  • Triathlon swimming style wetsuit or swimrun suit.
  • Lightweight running style shorts to go over wetsuit (this will mean you can leave it on and the legs will not rub).
  • Trainers that are comfy for walking, they should have a good grip and be as light as possible.
  • Socks, calf length or ankle length are fine.
  • Specialised swim tow, such as a RuckRaft, to carry your gear in the water and keep it dry.
  • High calorie treats: gels, chocolate etc.
  • Water bottle and water.

Light refreshments are optional. On the longer routes we will stop for a brew up, but we recommend you bring some light snacks.

Check out our equipment page for ideas on drybag/swim tow combinations.

We also do reviews of various bits of kit our blog: kit reviews.

What are the SwimHiking Routes?

The walking routes vary depending on time, tide, swimming ability and weather. There are so many options available in Pembrokeshire. Let us know what you are looking for and we can put something together just for you, based on what terrain you would like to see and also on the 'extremity' of the swim!  Needless to say the routes are all spectacular and scenic routes and take in the full beauty of the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path.

Swim walking involves swimming and walking around the Pembrokeshire coast path
Getting ready to enter the water at sunrise at Stackpole Quay on route to Barafundle Bay.

How Do I Carry my Gear?

We use special kit to carry gear overland then across sections of open sea, the excellent 'Ruckraft'.

We can assist with carrying some of your gear but the key is to travel light!

It is also possible to use rubberised drybags.

Tip: Travel light, swim in your trainers and all you really need to stow are snacks and some dry clothes.

Swim and walk around the Pembrokeshire coastal path
Setting off on a morning SwimHike in Pembrokeshire
Swim walking tours involve open water swimming and coastal walking
View of Skrinkle Haven on the start of a swim and hike trip.
Swim walking can take you to some secluded beaches in Pembrokshire
Beautiful scenery all the way - get to swim in secluded bays like this
Swim and trekking with a ruckraft in Pembrokeshire
We use a RuckRaft to carry gear on the SwimHikes. Available to rent or purchase.
Swim and hike in the beautiful county of Pembrokeshire in Wales
Stopping for a quick brew on one of the longer SwimHikes is a great way to relax.

What Kind of Wildlife Might I See?

Expect to see anything from starfish to small sharks known as dogfish. You may get to see a seal when they're around (normally late August to October), you may even see a dolphin.  Spider crabs are abundant in May/June. And there are always the obligatory barrel jellyfish, once you get used to them they are actually amazing creatures. You will also get to see a lot of sea birds as you will be walking and swimming the whole way. For example, gulls, cormorants, gannets, razorbills. It's not uncommon to see adders on the coast path in the summer. Obviously we cannot guarantee that animals will be in a certain place at a certain time but we will stop and point out wildlife when we see it.

Tours Tailored for You

Of course, we have a pretty good idea of the best places to see certain wildlife and coastal scenery but if you have a specific preference in mind then we will tailor our tours to your needs and swimming ability.



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