Porthtowan Tidal Pool

Our evening saunter to the pool showed a good deal of promise with sunshine breaking through down the coast and slowly the rent in the clouds widened, a wedge of blue sky being driven up the coast towards us until finally it swept the beach and the pool below.  Or to be more precise, where the pool would be but for the fact that it was swamped by roaring waves that shouted their voice up the angle of the cliff, blasting from the depths until it was snatched away by the wind across the heathland.


Wild Swimming

We returned the following morning picking our way cautiously down the worn and broken concrete steps from 100 feet up the cliff.  Some of the steps were missing altogether and all were covered in loose gravel and detritus washed down by the overnight downpour.  20 feet above the pool the steps ended, completely washed away.  It was a tricky climb down, traversing the rock face to keep to the natural cracks and handholds, not a climb for anyone who has not spent a lot of time doing such things.  Only once down was it evident that the tide had receded sufficiently that it would be possible to reach the pool from the beach across the rocks so Lucy set off  back over the hill and around the beach route.

The pool was enveloped in shade, frustrating as the beach was  in full sun and we could feel the brightness creeping towards us with glacial slowness.

The pool is not big nor anywhere more than 5 feet deep, but based on the evidence of concrete fragments still clutching the rocks it had once been both bigger and deeper.  It was nevertheless our secluded and solitary sanctuary in which we swam, dived and lazily floated for 20 minutes, pausing now and then to lean on the wall and check on the slow progress of the sunshine in our direction and the equally slow progress of the tide in the opposite direction.


Wild Swimming

We neither of us wanted to leave the water as from here we were homeward bound at the end of an extremely happy few days.  Even out of the water and wrapped in our towels there was no rush to dry and dress, instead eeking out the very last moment before finally bowing to the inevitable.  Let’s not leave it so long next time.



My 100 Swims South-West Google map.


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