OneOcean Limited offer a pilotage service for swimmers who wish to swim across the Bristol Channel. Contact OneOcean about any of these routes and advice. We are in constant communication with swimmers who have successfully completed these swims and can offer invaluable advice and other information.
Our calendar lists each neap period of approximately 4-5 days. Swimmers who have paid a deposit will have the option of the best slot, which is offered on a fist-come-first-served basis.
Contact OneOcean now to book your 2023 swim slot.
There are four main routes:
Penarth – Clevedon – approx 12 miles – 6/7 hours
Penarth – Weston Super Mare – 9 miles in a straight line – approx 6 hours
Porthcawl – Glenthorne – approx 16 miles – 12 hours
Swansea – Ilfracombe – approx 25 miles – 14 hours
Pilotage for training swims are also offered at a rate of £200 for the first hour and £100 per hour thereafter. – Build your confidence in swimming at sea alongside a vessel. Prepare for your cross channel swim with a training swim.
Penarth to Clevedon
Price : £900.00
Penarth to Clevedon is a 12 mile swim on the Eastern edge of the Bristol Channel. Do not be fooled by its distance, this end of the channel has tides of nearly 14 metres and very fast moving water!
First swum in 1927 by Kathleen Thomas, this route is becoming very popular with swimmers.
Penarth to Weston Super Mare
At approximately 9 miles in a straight line, this is the shortest recognised route but by no means the easiest! The shape of the Bristol Channel funnels the water, increasing its speed and the height of the tide to over 14 metres at this point. The slightest bit of wind and the water becomes very aggressive with short sharp chop! This swim also sits on two bends in the channel and with two islands in the middle, the currents are very strong and very unpredictable, this is by no means an easy swim!
Porthcawl to Glenthorne
Price : £1950
Glenthorne to Porthcawl was first swum in the 1970’s by channel swimming legend, Kevin Murphy and is the second longest route at 16 miles. Glenthorne was chosen because it was just inside Devon on the English side; we aren’t sure why Porthcawl was chosen but its a very difficult place to hit due to the shape of the Welsh Coast and the speed and strength of the tides!
To hit Porthcawl, you aren’t actually swimming the minimum distance, that is some 12 miles to Nash Point. Kevin’s original swim however was to BLDSA rules which means his swim needed to start and finish within 800m of the named points. Starting in Glenthorne that meant the swim must finish NORTH of the river Ogmore which puts the landing point in Bridgend county, this also defines the boundary for an Original Triple Crown swim.
The map below is a guide to the landing point noted in our list!
Many swimmers opt for the south bound passage from Porthcawl to Glenthorne and offer this as an additional option.
Swansea to Ilfracombe
Price : £2200
Swansea to Ilfracombe is the longest route swum between Wales and England, with a distance of over 25 miles!! It was first swum by Gethin Jones in 2009. In 2016, Sian Clement became the second person and first female to swim the route knocking an incredible 7 hours off Gethin’s time!
In 2021 a non ratified swim (wetsuit solo) made it across and in early 2022, a relay team made it from Ilfracombe to Lighthouse Island, just off the Mumbles. This route really really needs some more names adding to it; will you be next?!
This swim takes some organising and therefore potential swimmers should allow good time in order to plan and execute this passage.
The following Channel Legends have successfully transited the Bristol Channel. A massive congratulations to you on your heroic efforts!
2023 Channel Legends
16th June 2023 – Tom Chapman – Minehead to Sully
Swim Time : 9hrs 10 minutes 39 seconds
25th July 2023 – Cynthia Aguilar
Penarth to Clevedon 25/7/2023
Swim time: 5hrs 9minutes 51seconds
Start: Penarth Slipway
Finish: Clevedon Slipway
Observer: Tom Chapman
Swim Crew: Marcela Varela
Pilot: Meuryn Hughes
Ratified by the BCSA. COURSE RECORD and first Mexican to swim the Bristol Channel!
9th August 2023 – Dina Levacic – Glenthorne to Porthcawl
Swim Time : 9hrs 51 minutes 42 seconds (subject to ratification)
2022 Channel Legends
July 2022 – Tom Chapman – Penarth to Clevedon – 07/07/2022 – Swim time: 7hrs 4 minutes 12 seconds – https://www.bcswimmers.com/tomchapman
July 2022 – Ros Edmonds – Penarth to Clevedon – 11/07/2022 – Swim time: 6hours 49 mins 10 seconds – https://www.bcswimmers.com/ros-edmonds
August 2022 – Tom Chapman – Porthcawl to Glenthorne – 06/08/2022 – Swim time: 12hrs 7 minutes 31 seconds – https://www.bcswimmers.com/tomchapman
September 2022 – Henley Mermaids – Laura Reineke, Susan Barry, Fiona Print, Joan Fennelly – Porthcawl to Glenthorne 17/09/2022 – Swim time: 12hrs 18minutes 9 seconds – https://www.bcswimmers.com/henley-mermaids