Wildswim: Sea pool, 100m x 73m on its longest axis. Includes a 'baby pool' within the main pool for kids. The 'Poolside caf�' next door serves coffee, lunch and suppers.
Tel: 01736 369224
Kate Rew: From my book, Wild Swim (Guardian Books, 2008):
We arrive at Jubilee Pool on Penzance promenade at the end of a hot summer day. Men with handsome chests and strong jaws are playing water polo in old-fashioned polo bonnets, bows under chins. It’s a scene straight out of the 1930s, their pastel coloured hats and tans set against a pale pink and blue sunset and the sweeping white lines of one of the countries finest art deco lido’s.
The pool, triangular but with gentle curves, was built on a traditional bathing spot on the Penzance coastline, providing a sheltered swimming and sunbathing spot just metres away from ferocious Cornish seas (it’s still possible to buy sunbathing-only tickets). Jubilee is massive (100 x 73 metres on it’s longest axis) with an unpainted creamy base - they were going to paint it until they realised how many litres of paint that would take (when emptied mid-season it takes 2-3 days to refill with sea water).
It’s home to a lively group of impromptu sea swimmers – we bump into the polo players later at the Yacht Inn opposite, and they have a ‘swim for every occasion’, celebrating birthdays with night swims, and getting dropped off at rocks ‘in one hell of a sea’ to swim back to shore. That’s days ‘Cornishman’ newspaper is on the bar heralding their latest achievement: a Newlyn to Penzance charity swim completed by 237 swimmers and Bilbo the dog, who beat 100 people back to shore. (Bilbo is the nation’s only canine lifeguard, patrolling the beach at nearby Sennen Cove).
Jubilee Pool, The Promenade, Penzance (01736 369224). Open May to September. www.jubileepool.co.uk. Includes a ‘baby pool’ within the main pool for kids. The ‘Poolside café’ next door serves for coffee, lunch and suppers.