Embracing Nostalgia at Jubilee Pool: Penzance's Timeless Seawater Lido

Does anyone else feel a sense of nostalgia when they see a seaside lido? 

We’re so lucky to have these around the country. My mum learnt to swim in the one in Ramsgate but unfortunately it’s no more having been turned into a car park! I so wish it was still there, I’d be in it every day! 

The second leg of my Cornwall adventures, as a guest of the Massey Partnership, took me to Penzance. 

And top of my places to visit in this Cornish town - the most westerly major town in Cornwall - was the historic Jubilee Pool. 

Penzance tidal pool

Jubilee pool has always been somewhere I wanted to swim, I think it’s the nostalgia of seaside town lidos I find utterly charming.  And this one didn’t disappoint. 

Nestled along the rugged coastline of Penzance, a town which was much bigger than I expected, lies Jubilee Pool,  the UK's largest, most celebrated art deco seawater lido. 

Penzance lido - Jubilee Pool

Built in the 1930s, it has weathered the decades with grace and elegance and exudes an air of timeless charm.The salty breeze carries echoes of days gone by. Stepping into it felt like stepping back in time, evoking a sense of nostalgia that washed over me like the gentle tide.

One of the most enchanting things about Jubilee Pool is it is a saltwater pool, which is gently replenished by the ebb and flow of the Celtic Sea. The brisk dip was absolutely wonderful and I bought tickets to soak in the geothermal pool and warmed up afterwards too! 

Chapel House: Your Perfect Base for Unwinding in Penzance's Coastal Beauty

While in Penzance, I stayed as a guest at Chapel House, a historic townhouse perched on the hill opposite the working harbour. Blending Georgian style and architecture with contemporary comfort, it was the perfect base to unwind and explore the beauty of the town and surrounding coastline and it also served up the best hotel breakfast I think I’ve ever had.  

Chapel House, Penzance

Our room had the most stunning bathroom, with a window to the stars above the bath, such a beautiful spot for a soak! We were only in town for a night and I would certainly recommend at least a 2 night stay so you have time to relax in the jacuzzi and sauna - check out the wellness here! It is such a beautiful hotel, set in such a beautiful town and I can’t wait to go back one day! 

I arrived in Penzance just as Storm Agnus was gathering pace. Arriving half an hour before high tides, the waves were epic. We were mesmerised by them as they came up and over. I love the sound as the wave thumps before it washes away.  

The thing that really surprised me about this trip was Cornwall’s wildness and spaciousness especially along the coast.   

I expected it to be beautiful but If I’m honest I was a bit blown away.

Maybe it was visiting out of season but it didn’t feel touristy or crowded. You could easily explore hidden beaches, tidal pools and I felt insanely connected to nature. In a wild, unexpected way that does something to my soul.

Rinsey Tidal Pool: A Wild Swimming Experience Amidst Cornwall's Natural Splendor

After we checked out, we met up with Emily from Mor Swimmy and jumped in her van for a twenty minute drive from Penzance to Rinsey, a remote tidal pool, hidden below the cliffs between Rinsey Head and Trewavas Head. On reading up about it I was slightly concerned about the descriptions of a rough and dangerous scramble down a cliff face, especially carrying all of my camera equipment, but with the promise of a wild swim worth the descent, we decided to give it a go, ditching our hiking book to scramble barefoot down the cliff. 

With Storm Agnes having whipped up the sea, the tidal pool was full of sea foam. The wild women I adventured with love it, the seaweed decaying at this time of year making the seafoam all the more abundant! It felt really seasonally aligned. 

While Penzance is almost as far from home as I can travel west, I loved exploring this part of Cornwall and will definitely be returning so I can enjoy another of those breakfasts.  

The details 

STAY: Rooms at Chapel House Hotel - I totally recommend the bed and breakfast basis

For more information about Chapel House Hotel click here

EAT: We had an incredible three course meal at The Godolphin.

EXPLORE: Jubilee Pool and Rinsey for nostalgic and wild swimming experiences.  

KIT: Hiking boots, swimsuit, camera and waterproofs!  

For more Cornish adventures, read my blog about Polzeath here...

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