Jubilee Pool

DSC_1643.JPGOpening this summer, after a £3 million upgrade (following damaging storms in 2014 which nearly caused its closure) Jubilee Pool should be on everyones to do list this year.

I am not a big sea swimmer in fact you can probably count on one hand the number of times I have swum in English waters over the past 15 years, so taking a dip an unheated pool isn’t necessarily the first thing I think of doing on a sunny day in Cornwall. However, when I saw some stunning photos of the refurbishment by Adam Gibbard, I was determined to make a visit this summer.

As it turns out I didn’t have to wait long as the opening bank holiday weekend in late May offered perfect weather and finding ourselves without anything planned we packed our wetsuits and headed west to Penzance.

So, my only moan – there’s no dedicated parking and arriving after lunch meant we had to park a good 10 minute walk away.

Although it was a little windy, the shape of the art deco complex means that you can find yourselves a sheltered spot no matter what direction the wind is blowing. There are seats and tables located around the pool and we managed to bagsy a bench.

And the water…… Well it wasn’t as cold as I was expecting! Apparently it was 19 degrees – warmed by a couple of days of sun preceeding our visit. I borrowed a shorty wetsuit and that helped with the chill, but I almost think I could have gone in without one (or maybe not!).

The kiddies pool is great for toddlers and those learning to swim. The shallow end of the main pool is 1m but it drops away quite fast and our kids got out of their depth really quickly so preferred the smaller (and slightly warmer) pool.

In between swims we walked around the pool and at the far end you can catch glimpses of arguably West Cornwalls most famous landmark –  St Michaels Mount.

A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 children was £13.40 for locals but unlike other pools where you can get thrown out when it gets busy you can stay there all day so offers good value for money. Spectators only pay £2, so even if you don’t fancy a swim it is still somewhere you can enjoy a sunny day and on Tuesdays they are open till 8pm.

There is a café onsite selling hot drinks and chips which is great to warm yourselves up after a dip.

I would recommend a visit to everyone of all ages. There was a lovely atmosphere with people really enjoying this revitalised attraction and I will definitely be making a return visit!




Kennall Vale

kennel vale.jpg

I love Facebook. I love how I can keep in touch with people who I don’t get to see. And I love discovering new places recommended by friends. Cornwall is the most beautiful part of the country and there are so many hidden gems, but despite being less than 15 minutes from home I had never visited Kennall Vale before. The woods made my bucket list because I had seen so many pictures of my Facebook friends enjoying walks and the stunning setting.

After an abandoned attempt to tick this off my list in the Easter Holidays (as part of my Things to Do – March 2016 post) because the weather was sooooo bad, we had a near perfect set of conditions for my first visit. Although sunny and dry on the day, it had absolutely tipped it down the day before and the run off from the rain meant the rivers and man made waterfalls were fast flowing.

The reserve managed by the Wildlife Trust is the site of  the old Kennel Vale gunpowder factory which closed in the first decade of the last century. The ruins provide stunning interest points and places for children (and adults) to explore. There are bridges over the streams to play pooh sticks and plenty of places to get close to nature.

We will definitely go back. The first bluebells were starting to show and I can only imagine how beautiful they must be in full bloom.

There isn’t a car park and you have to park in the nearby residential lanes – but at least that means no car park charges!

When I got home I posted some photos of my visit on my own Facebook page and guess what …….. A friend commented that it looked so amazing she was going to visit – I love Facebook!






Tuff Enuff – Urban Survivor

Tuff Enuff

Having completed two Tuff Enuff events in 2015 I was excited to hear of a new event in my home town – even the thought of having a dip in the sea in the middle of February sounded “fun”!!! However, it didn’t quite match the experience of the other two and felt more like a run with a couple of obstacles thrown in (sorry!). Both Jacobs Ladder (111 steps!) and the pillow jump off the ramp were good additions to the standard Tuff Enuff arsenal but it seems like there was a lost opportunity to add a lot more activity  around Pendennis and the Hornworks. I was surprised that the first cargo net was at Gyllyngvase Beach in the final activity zone – rumours were that a number of obstacles were removed due to lack of marshals but it would have been easy to locate nets or hay bales near directional stewards in the moat. By the time we came through the sea element of the event had been cancelled (quite rightly as the currents were extremely strong) however, I had been under the impression that there was going to be an alternative water obstacle for those competitors that didn’t want to swim or if conditions were not suitable so I did feel robbed of the chance to get absolutely freezing cold (sounds mad I know). Being the first year I am sure the organisers have learnt a lot of lessons – it has such potential to be a really great race.

I would still recommend Tuff Enuff on their home courses at St Buryan  to anyone who would like an active challenge but for me to do another urban race I would need a few more guarantees that the promised obstacles and challenge would materialise.