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  • Writer's picturePolly at Candid Cornwall

Porthtowan's Magical Tidal Pool | Wild Swimming

A beautiful man-made tidal pool on the North Coast of Cornwall, perfect for a salty swim!


About the pool

This is a 20th Century, man-made rock pool hidden in the cliffs on the eastern side of the beach at Porthtowan. It's one of my most visited tidal pools, and its proximity to my house might have something to do with that but it’s also an incredibly beautiful spot. The pool is approximately 12m x 5m from memory, and the deepest point can vary from about 5ft to 6ft depending on the sand build-up in the bottom.


  • Location: Google Maps / what3words

  • Difficulty - Beginner Friendly: This pool is accessed and used by adults, dogs and children alike, so relatively easy to access.

  • Accessibility: There’s no wheelchair or push chair access to the pool though, and I wouldn’t recommend carrying anyone over the rocks.

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

  • Popularity: This pool is popular in the summer months, but I often have the whole place to myself in the winter.

  • Where to park: Porthtowan Council car park is the nearest car park and is free from 1st October to 1st April, however, it gets very busy in the summer so you may want to look at alternative parking and walking into Porthtowan if you're visiting then.



How to access the pool

The pool can be access via two routes – but not via the cliffs. There are steps that lead down from the cliffs but they fell away in a land slide some years ago, and it’s not safe to access the pool from this route now.


Route one: If you don’t mind scrambling over boulders, you can access the pool by heading east on the beach and climbing over the sea of boulders until you reach the pool. It's a bit of fun but I wouldn't recommend this if you have lots of stuff in your hands as you're likely to need them to balance!


Route two: My preferred route. Walk around the edge of the boulders on the sand until you see the concrete wall of the pool, and then climb up on the right side of the wall . Although, it’s worth noting that sometimes this route can be a little wet when the tides are higher!


Porthtowan Tidal Pool on Instagram


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