jubilee pool penzance cornwall

The 1930s deco lido in Penzance is a great source of inspiration to local photographers and artists – the cool curves, cubist steps, and triangular shapes pointing out into the sea are a pretty extraordinary sight.

To celebrate my first ever swim in the Jubilee Pool – so overdue, it was getting quite embarrassing – I thought I’d post my humble interpretation of this iconic monument. This was the view from my towel as I lay sunbathing at the weekend (before, that is, I was told to stop photographing the architecture due to ‘child protection’).

I lay there for at least an hour thinking that if I could just absorb enough rays, it would defend me against the famously cold temperature of the water. I noted with some concern that over half the people in the pool had some sort of expensive-looking swimming protection, including swimming caps made of wetsuit material.

But I have to say the water really was lovely – fresh but manageable, and considerably warmer than the sea proper (I know this because I swam off Battery Rocks on Friday evening sans suit and it was… challenging). The feeling of swimming in a pool of that size (100 metres long at its longest point!) was invigorating – and the unconventional triangular shape liberates you from boring old up-and-down lengths, and makes it feel more like a wild swim.

This year is the 75th anniversary of Jubilee Pool, and there are celebratory flags flying (below) and historic photos on display. This Saturday there is ART75 event – ‘a day of art and celebration for the 75th birthday of the lido’. The 90 cubicles are to become personal galleries, and there will be animation, sculpture, live jazz, fashion, speeches and synchronised swimming from 3pm, followed by an evening party.

Jubilee Pool, www.jubileepool.co.uk. Local resident day admission £3.40 (£2 after 3.30pm and £1.40 if you just want to sunbathe – bargain). Deck chairs free with £1 deposit – nice touch.

More pics:

jubilee pool penzance cornwall jubilee pool penzance cornwall flags