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Five Cornish Sea Pools

June 21, 2021

There’s nothing like a swim in the wild Cornish ocean- fresh saltwater kisses your skin, seaweed-tinged coastal air fills your nostrils and endless blue fills your vision. Yet the sea’s unpredictable nature means some days see a raging swell and visceral currents, making even the most sheltered beach non-swimmable. So, we have compiled a list of five Cornish sea pools, some hidden behind rocky shorelines or existing only at low tide, which provide the perfect spot for a dip, sheltered from the Atlantic surges.

Chapel Rock Pool, Perranporth

Nestled amongst the rockpools on the far side of Chapel Rock, this small tidal pool is easily missed unless you know where to find it. Replenished by the sea twice a day, this pool fills with water which is often warmed by the sun and is the perfect spot for children to frolic, safe from the swirling pull of Perranporth’s main waters.

Children’s Pool, Priest’s Cove

In this rugged, rocky cove in Cape Cornwall, a small pool has been carved out, the perfect spot for dipping your feet and splashing about amongst the shingle-dotted shoreline. This pool was built in the 1950s and is only accessible at low tide. The surrounding currents of Cape Cornwall can be strong, so this pool offers provides solace for younger ones to safely play.

Porthtowan Tidal Pool

Tucked away between cliff faces and secret caves to the north of the main beach, this swimming spot can only be reached at low tide. During powerful swells, waves will crash into the pool, but on a calm day as the tide drops this pool transforms into a haven to bob about in, taking pleasure in the largely undisturbed environment. Previously, there was a set of ‘secret’ steps leading down from the coast path, but these have eroded away over the years. This means that there is a chance of getting cut off at high tide so do take care when visiting and always check the tide times.

Bude Sea Pool, Summerleaze beach

At the base of the cliffs of Summerleaze beach you’ll find a large, unique tidal swimming pool. Built for bathing out of the waves, this pool is especially spectacular on stormy days where you can gaze out to the raging swells from the serenity of your protected spot. This pool is popular all year round yet its generous size allows for plenty of space to breathe in the fresh sea air and listen to the gulls as you swim uninterrupted.

Jubilee Lido, Penzance

Proudly sitting on the sea front of Penzance, you will find the Jubilee Lido, an art deco sea water lido. As the UK’s largest and most celebrated sea water pool, it is famous for its contemporary design and seaside location. Head here for a sunbathe on the sun-trap poolside before enjoying the calm of the natural sea water, generally two degrees warmer than the water of Mount’s Bay just beyond the walls.

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