Aside from the azure waters of the sea, Cornwall is home to some of the best spots in the UK for swimming outdoors. From Art Deco lidos and a spectacular collection of unique tidal pools, to hidden waterfalls and secluded quarries – there are plenty of places to take the plunge. Here are just some of our favourites.
Jubilee Pool at Penzance
Recently re-opened after the storms of 2014, Jubilee Pool is the largest seawater lido in the country and offers spectacular views across Mounts Bay. Art Deco in style, swimmers of all ages will enjoy this spot with a small children’s bathing pool and plenty of space for sunbathers and spectators - make sure to visit the licensed poolside café too!
Located in the rugged landscape of Bodmin Moor this spring-fed hidden gem is home to crystal-clear swimming waters. Nestled in a grassy amphitheatre surrounded by wild flowers, this disused quarry is extremely deep; the nearest car park is about a mile from the pool and the path takes you past Cornish landmarks including the Hurlers and the Cheesewring. Offering plenty of flat ledges for jumping off and grassy areas for picnics, it’s a great day out exploring the wilder side of Cornwall.
Bude Sea Pool
This unique sea-facing pool which is part natural, part man-made can be found nestled into the cliffs at Summerleaze Beach on the north Cornish coast. Measuring 88-metres by 50-metres, the pool is topped up twice a day by the waves of the Atlantic, providing a calm haven for seaside bathing without the danger of currents in the bay – perfect for families.
This large tidal pool is hidden in the rocks at Treyarnon Bay, just a short trek from Constantine Bay on the north coast. A wall of concrete has been built to maintain the water level and the deep plunge pool found just below the tidal pool is an exciting jump spot for the daring.
Lady Basset's Baths at Portreath
To the west of Portreath Beach you’ll find Lady Basset’s Baths - six pools hewn from the rocks at different levels to catch the rising tide. Created in the 1800s the pools still provide hours of fun for all the family – make sure to venture into the surrounding caves and find the hidden bath, reached by a metal ladder.
Remember, many of the tidal pools and quarries are not life guarded and therefore extra care should be taken when exploring. Please ensure you always explore in a group with a good ratio of adults to children, or strong swimmers to weaker swimmers - and don't venture too far from the edge. The water will be an bit chillier than that of a indoor pool, so make sure that you are well prepared with wetsuits and towels for warming up afterwards!