An Art Deco lido in Penzance will soon boast bath-temperature waters thanks to new technology that uses heat tapped from within the Earth. Julie Harding reports.

Penzance’s Art Deco Jubilee Pool, one of the last saltwater lidos remaining in Europe, will soon become the first in Britain to be heated by geothermal energy.

The drilling of a 0.8-mile-deep geothermal well began in March and, upon its completion in September, a large, semi-circular section of the pool will boast bathing waters as warm as 35˚C. It’s scheduled to open to the public in spring 2019.

The sun shines above the Jubilee Pool lido in Penzance in Cornwall, England.

The sun shines above the Jubilee Pool lido in Penzance in Cornwall, England.

Work on the ground-breaking £1.4 million project has been made possible by advances in geothermal technology, with a company called Geothermal Engineering Ltd doing the work.

‘We hope our facility will resemble a smaller version of [Iceland’s] Blue Lagoon,’ said Martin Nixon, director of Jubilee Pool Penzance.

‘Our pool already has the wow factor and with this new year-round attraction, it will be remarkable.’

The sun shines above the Jubilee Pool lido in Penzance in Cornwall, England.

The sun shines above the Jubilee Pool lido in Penzance in Cornwall, England.

 

Three more open-air pools in the West Country to dive into this summer

Tinside Lido, Plymouth
A dip here feels like swimming in a gigantic fountain. Right at the tip of Plymouth Hoe, Tinside’s once-derelict semi-circular lido was brought back to life in 2015. Open from late May until mid September (01752 261915)

Chagford Pool, Dartmoor
Solar-heated, minimally chlorinated and fed by the River Teign, Chagford really sparkles. After your swim, pick up a lemonade from the tea shed and dry off on the grass. Open from late May until mid September (www.chagfordpool.co.uk; 01647 432929)

Bude Sea Pool, Cornwall
The closest you can get to swimming in the sea without actually being in it. Bude’s magnificent tidal pool is carved out of the rocks on Summerleaze Beach and topped up by the Atlantic. It’s open and free to use 24 hours a day, all year round, although bathers are strongly encouraged to get their laps in at low tide (www.budeseapool.org)