Swimming in Cornwall's Secret Tidal Pools

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Cold, clear, and brimming with life, Cornwall’s secretive tidal pools have an appeal unlike any other body of water. It’s partly the adventure aspect: hiking across the coast path, exploring beaches, and clambering down rock faces to reach them. But it’s also the reward at the end: a basin of deep blue water; crystalline edges dotted with seaweeds; the mirror like surface just waiting for that first dive. Or wade. Or jump.

Many tidal pools in Cornwall are well known and well loved by generations of visitors and locals alike. For example the small yet serene pool nestled in to the far corner of Porthtowan beach, easily reached by a short scramble over the rocks. Or Bude’s famous pool, built in the 1930’s and the largest sea pool in Cornwall. All sorts hunt out these pools - those looking to get their lengths in and floaty wielding children alike.

However, away from Cornwall’s busy beaches, there are other lesser known pools. Often shrouded in secrecy, the location of these pools is closely guarded by those in the know and passed on through word of mouth. Finding them is part of the fun: asking the locals; scouring google maps; rambling along the cliffsides. And when you do finally discover one of these pools, it’s not unusual to have the entire pool to yourself, undisturbed by the usual summer hordes. Stay and swim, stretch out on sun warmed rocks, and then finally, once the ocean has finished its retreat, watch as the ocean swallows it up once more, a secret waiting all over to be discovered.

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