Cornwall

Jubilee Pool, Penzance

Penzance’s Jubilee Pool, a restored Art Deco lido, is the largest seawater pool in the UK. Home to the UK’s first geothermal pool, a huge swimming pool and a beginner’s pool all topped up with fresh seawater every day, it rewards visitors with one of the most unique bathing opportunities in Europe.

For a large part of the 1900’s, lidos played an important role in many coastal towns. In fact, there were once as many as 169 lidos dotted across the UK, providing a safe place for children and adults to swim under blue skies. Real havens, they were a true asset for many communities and united water-babies of all ages. That said, while they were all popular, perhaps the most special were the salt-kissed sea lidos that peppered the coast, constantly refreshed by the turning tides.

With the passage of time and the demands of constant upkeep and repairs – not to mention the sea and storm damage suffered by coastal pools – many of the country’s lidos were left to succumb to the elements and were lost to time. But not all. One coastal lido that has surpassed the odds and retained its place at the centre of the community is Penzance’s Jubilee Pool. Designed by Captain F Latham and opened in May 1935, it has been a magnet for locals and visitors alike for decades.

Sporting an intriguing design, Jubilee Pool is nestled within the rocks at Battery Rocks not far from the harbour in Penzance, West Cornwall. Designed in such a way that it could cope with the full force of Cornish seas and storms, it has a triangular shape with curved corners. The largest of its kind in the country, it contains 5 million litres of seawater which is regularly washed clean by the tides – perfect for sheltered bathing under brilliant blue skies.

Having undergone numerous restoration works over the years, the Jubilee Pool’s most exciting chapter came in the form of its new geothermal pool, opened in 2020. The first of its kind in the UK, the project naturally heated a section of the lido to a balmy 30-35 degrees via a 410m deep geothermal well – the same height as one and a half Eiffel Towers. Thanks to geothermal energy and sustainable heat pumps, it has created a completely unique sea pool experience that is simply unmissable. 

At up to 98m long and 56m wide, there is a huge amount of space for bathers of all ages at Jubilee Pool. It can comfortably hold up to 600 swimmers, with space for up to 50 people in the geothermal pool. Depending on the tide, the main pool ranges from around 0.9m to 2.25m deep too, giving you the chance to enjoy a really authentic sea experience within the safe, life-guarded confines of the pool. Ideal for those earning their flippers, the learner pool is just over half a meter deep. 

As well as the pool, the geothermal project saw the development of upgraded changing facilities and showers, a new café and a multi-purpose community space which hosts all kinds of events. The café, which uses fresh, seasonal ingredients from local suppliers, serves food inside and outside and also has a takeaway hatch so that you can enjoy an alfresco picnic by the pool. What’s more, if you feel like really treating yourself, the café is also licensed so you can treat yourself to something a little more exciting…

Towel, anyone?

Feeling inspired? Take a look at our luxury cottages in West Cornwall here.

Jubilee Pool, Battery Road, Penzance TR18 4FF | 01736 369224 | https://jubileepool.co.uk

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