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  • Writer's picturePolly at Candid Cornwall

Godrevy's Mysterious Tidal Pools | Wild Swimming

I’m not sure Cornish wild swim spots get much better than this one, with two deep pools sunken into the rocky reef overlooked by Godrevy lighthouse.

A large tidal pool overlooked by Godrevy lighthouse
The larger pool at Godrevy Point

About the Pools

These two pools sit amongst glistening chasms and canyons off Godrevy Point. The larger pool is clearly visible to the left from the top of the cliff before you descend down. The smaller pool however is slightly harder to find, but I’ve included the exact location for you to make things easier. Both of the pools are deep enough for diving and jumping, and there are a number of other gullies and rock pools nearby for paddling and observing sea life.

I personally can’t wait to come here when the weather gets a bit warmer for a day sunning myself like a cat on the rocks, plunging in and out of the pools.

There’s not much information available about these pools, so they’re a bit of a mystery!

Because we don’t know much about them, it’s thought that these pools are natural formations in the rocks. I love the idea that Mother Nature carved out these wondrous, crystal-clear bowls of ocean for us to bob about in - however, once you scratch the surface you begin to learn that (like most of Cornwall) Godrevy and neighbouring Gwithian actually have a rich mining history.

Where the Rockpool Café is at Godrevy, there is an abandoned mine called North Cliff Mine that operated in the early 1800s. The mine was associated with Lady Basset of Tehidy, and that name might be familiar to you if you know about Lady Basset’s baths in Portreath - a series of small, hand-cut baths overlooking the sea created for Lady Basset. So, although these pools have a very natural look to them, I think there’s a possibility that they were created by miners for swimming using explosives, much like other tidal pools further west. But that’s just my opinion!

Note: Whether you go before or after your swim, make sure you head over the headland to Mutton Cove to do some seal spotting!

Location: Larger Pool - Google Maps / what3words | Smaller Pool - Google Maps / what3words

Difficulty - Intermediate: This pool is a bit of a scramble up and down the cliff – I wouldn’t recommend visiting in wet weather as it might be slippery. Dogs and older children are probably alright here, but bring them at your own discretion.

Accessibilty: There’s no pushchair or wheelchair access down to the pools.

When to visit: Two hours either side of low tide – check Godrevy tide times here

Popularity: The larger pool is popular in the summer months, but the smaller pool is less so. Outside of school holidays, though, you’ll often be the only people here.

Where to park: The closest car park is the National Trust car park at Godrevy, though you can also walk over from council car park Gwithian – bear in mind these car parks get busy in summer.

How to access the pools

Head over to Godrevy point, keeping to the path closest to the sea. You’ll come to a sort of viewpoint where there is a clear path that starts to lead down the cliff. From this point (pinned on the map above), you can look across to the lighthouse, and over to the left is the larger pool. Straight in front of you to the right, you might be able to catch a glimpse of the smaller pool peeking out from behind a rock.

Make your way down – the first half of this descent isn’t too bad. When you get to where the dirt path ends and the rock begins, head right down the rock, keeping to the flattest areas. I find it easier to stay low and even shimmy down on my butt here!

Once you’re down to the rocks, you can either head to the left to the larger pool, or straight ahead and slightly right to the smaller pool. Have fun exploring this gorgeous place, stay safe, and keep an eye out for seals out at sea!

A small but deep, crystal clear tidal pool overlooked by Godrevy Lighthouse in Cornwall
The smaller pool at Godrevy point

Godrevy Tidal Pools on Instagram

[North Cliff Mine information found here:]


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