Wide, shallow, moderately warm oxbow lakes cut off from the main Cuckmere stream. Grass banks and chalky beds. Non tidal and no current. Safe and deep enough for swimming in some places. Stunning setting with option of sea swimming too.
Place Categories: River Swims and Wild Swim.Place Tags: paddle, swim and wildswimming.
Swam there on Saturday. Lovely and warm. You don’t have to mind swimming in weeds though! We took our inflatable kayak down to the far end and swam there. It was gorgeous!
Had a wonderful swim here on saturday, safe and warm enough for kids too. My boys aged 11 and 8 loved it, and being able to swim with the current down to the sea is ideal for younger swimmers.
Aside from the banks of the Cuckmere Meanders, another good entry point is from the canoe club’s jetty. Walk through the car park and round the corner. Great swim up and down the meanders from there. Also, well worth the walk along the Beach Path (by the side of the meanders) to the sea at Cuckmere Haven. I tucked in a river AND sea swim in 1 day! Parking postcode for Satnav: BN25 4AD,
Thank you Mandy, you made it look so attractive. I’ll be there…
If you prefer a more challenging swim, aim for the fast flowing river Cuckmere. I had the most beautiful and thrilling swim today. One of the highest tides of the year took me over 2 k upstream in tidal sea water, then a harder swim downstream until the tide turned. In all a wonderful swim, not to be undertaken by weak swimmers. Entry to the river can be gained down some wooden steps on the east side of the river opposite the Cuckmere Inn, swim under the A259 road bridge and the Cuckmere valley is yours !!
The river is wider than i thought and clear of weeds and debris. Your swim can start and finish in the pub car park which is great for warming up afterwards. I had a friend walk the river bank, which given the fast flow is a wise precaution, but overall this was one of the best open water swims i have done. I would suggest 30 minutes before high tide as a start time and then your get the slack water followed by the return tide some 40-50 minutes later. A great swim can’t wait to go back : )
We are going to try this out………: )
So, Raj and I finally made it down to Cuckmere Meanders.
We spent about 2 hours, intermittently in and out of the water – nb, there are two rivers – straight and meander.
Starting at the same car park as Dave (pay £3.50 from when you arrive until 11:59pm) we headed south to the sea via the meander. The meander itself is very weedy and salty, although the water was clear. The water got very shallow at points, so that I had to modify my front crawl arm to be bent in the water. We walked some of the way down as the water became stagnated in places.
At the seafront, we took the straight river north. This was very shallow in places again, and had chalky white water. Not much to see under the water, and the shores to walk on were very sinky into black silt. A quick walk accross a cheep field took us back to the meander river and the original car park.
Great day out, infinite thanks to Raj for the lift and the incentive (!) to go – would I go again? Maybe. I’d probably like to try somewhere else first. Should you go? Yes, you should, but make a day of it with food, as the swimming might not need to be the main focus.
I had a beautiful, long swim here today in amongst the wild life. Great to be able to explore such a long way without turning round. It’s really warm compared to the sea because it’s so shallow and also felt like a very safe place to swim on my own. You have to pay £2.50 to park for 2 hours but it was then very easy to park at the far end and access the water from the canoe club slip.
I’ve only given it 4 stars because there was a lot of weed in the first very shallow stretch which some people might not like. I got used to it though as it’s very soft and just broke up as I swam through it.
I think the best stretch was round the first corner. It got deeper for a while and there is a long straight without weed. Once past the ‘No boats past this point’ sign it got very shallow again and there was more weed so I turned around.
Shallow (4-5 ft deep in the middle) so quite quick to warm up in the spring. Quite salty water but pleasant, non-tidal oxbow lakes separate to main river. Pleasant to swim in. Nearest loos and parking at national trust downland centre.
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Wonderful sea swim away from busy Brighton. Stony beach, amazing views. Sea bed is stony too
wallers haven between bexhill and pevensey
Wallers Haven is a slow flowing river in East Sussex that can be around 15 feet deep in places
Barcombe Mills, Ouse
Fantastic 5km stretch of swimming on river Ouse. No current but clean, deep water. Boat hire.
Address : Lewes
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