I still can’t believe this was my first timer ever visiting the Jubilee Pool in Penzance!
I’ve always wanted to visit this stunning art deco lido, based on Penzance promenade, but for some reason never got around to it. Opened in 1935 and refurbished in 2017 after some severe storm damage a few years prior, the Jubilee Pool is the UK’s largest sea water lido, and a must-visit on any trip to the south of Cornwall.
My friend Sam and I headed down for a swim the other week and had the best time!
Where to park to visit the Jubilee Pool
The Jubilee Pool is easily accessible as it’s just off the main road in Penzance. There’s plenty of free road parking along the promenade, or you can park in one of the nearby car parks too. We parked in St. Anthony’s long stay car park which is right opposite the lido entrance, or you could also park and walk from the main Wharfside car park by the train station too – it’s about a 5-10 minute walk.
Do I need a ticket for Jubilee Pool?
Yes, at the moment due to government restrictions you need to pre-book tickets online at least an hour before your session (sessions are an hour long, with cleaning times in between, so for example there is an hour slot at 10am, and another hour slot after that at 11.30am, which is when we went). Tickets for adults in the main pool are currently £4.25, but they offer discounts for Cornish locals and further discounts for Penzance locals too!
When we arrived (about 10 mins before our time slot), we just showed our ticket to the lady at the ticket office, and she showed us down some steps to the changing area, which is the terrace above the pool entrance. The pool entrance area is lifeguarded, and once the session begins and you’re allowed in the water, the lifeguard blows a whistle to signal the start of the time slot.
What are the facilities at Jubilee Pool?
There are changing rooms at Jubilee pool on the middle terrace; some are open and some have doors, and currently due to lockdown restrictions, only the open ones are in use, so I’d recommend coming with your swim stuff under your clothes already. Sam and I both have dryrobes** (honestly the best investment, would highly recommend!) so it didn’t matter too much to us!
The pool also has lockers but again these aren’t in use at the moment, so you are leaving your things at your own risk. I just took my valuables down to the poolside with me (there’s plenty of seating around) so that I could keep an eye on it, so it wasn’t a problem.
There are toilets here too and they are open!
How warm / cold is the Jubilee Pool? Is it heated?
I was nervous that, it being April, it would be too cold for me to stay in for long, especially as it was really windy that day, but I was so surprised at how sheltered it was once we got down to the pool level! The high walls around the lido protecting it from storms also protect you pretty well from the wind too, which is great.
Because it’s April (probably the coldest time of year sea temperature-wise!) and the pool is an outdoor sea water pool, Sam and I both wore our wetsuits, and everyone else there did too. We could have gone in swimsuits but we wouldn’t have been able to stay in for long!
The main pool is not heated, but apparently (I assume because the water is still and warmed a little by the sun) it’s around 1 – 2 temperatures above sea temperature, which doesn’t sound like much, but I find you do tend to notice differences in degrees in water.
In wetsuits, it was refreshing and easy to get used to as we swam around. I think we ended up staying in a full 40 minutes!
With the refurbishments, Jubilee Pool added an awesome Geothermal heated pool area to the complex, which you can see as the lighter blue area in these photos. I’ve included more details about this below.
The Jubilee Pool Cafe
After our swim, we got changed and headed upstairs to grab a hot drink and a bite to eat from the Jubilee Pool Cafe. Situated on the top terrace of the lido, there is outdoor seating up here with fantastic views over the pools and across the bay to St. Michael’s Mount.
We grabbed a couple of chairs and ordered tea and coffee to warm ourselves up, along with a delicious salad box each too.
The cafe offers a range of hot and cold drinks, along with breakfast until 11:30, and sandwiches, soups, salads and fries until 5pm on most days except Saturday (when it closes at 4pm), and Monday (when the cafe is closed all day). Plus a selection of delicious looking cakes and sweet treats too!
I chose a mackerel salad while Sam went with halloumi; the perfect refreshing post-swim lunch!
The Geothermal Pool
The temperature in the Geothermal pool area is apparently like a bath; 30 – 35 degrees celcius. And it’s quite amazing how it works! There’s a pump that goes 410m deep into the ground to extract hot water and heat this pool area, similar to the Roman Baths.
Tickets for this are separate and sadly are completely sold out for the next few months! It’s a very popular attraction at the moment as it’s still quite new. I can’t wait to come back and try it, maybe next year.
Visit the Jubilee Pool website for more info and to book your tickets!
* This was a press trip so our swim and lunch was complimentary, but all opinions are my own.
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