Britain’s first geothermal lido opens in Cornwall, where natural saltwater is warmed to a toasty 35C
- The new geothermal lido is a feature of the Art Deco Jubilee Pool, which is located in Penzance
- The pool, part of a £1.8million upgrade, has a capacity of 50 – although it’s currently capped at 15
- It is hoped that the new geothermal pool will ‘act as a showcase for geothermal, low carbon heat supply’
Experiencing Iceland’s amazing geothermal lagoons is a real hassle for Britons at the moment, as they have to quarantine for up to 14 days upon arrival in the country.
Luckily, they can now enjoy a similar experience right here in the UK, because the country’s first geothermal lido has opened in Cornwall.
It is a new feature of the open-air Jubilee Pool in Penzance and contains natural saltwater heated to a toasty 35C.
The new geothermal lido, left, at the Jubilee Pool in Penzance, where natural saltwater is heated to a toasty 35C
The pool, pictured, is the first of its kind in the UK. Its normal capacity will be 50 – although it is currently capped at a social-distancing-friendly 15
The geothermal pool, which opened to the public last week, is part of a £1.8million investment programme
The pool, in the foreground, is heated by extracting warm water from a geothermal well that is 1,345ft (410m) deep
The geothermal pool, which opened to the public last week, is part of a £1.8million upgrade for the Art Deco Jubilee Pool, which is divided into three sections – the geothermal pool, a much larger non-heated main pool and a smaller learner pool for children.
Some of the money was raised via a public share offering, with 1,400 shareholders, of which 970 are local to Penzance, stumping up £540,000.
The idea of introducing a geothermal section was first mooted 10 years ago by Charlie Nixon – the brother of former Jubilee Pool director Martin Nixon – who experienced bathing in geothermal pools in New Zealand and told Cornwall Council how people often struggled in the Cornish pool’s chilly temperatures.
It is hoped that the new geothermal pool can remain open all year round and its normal capacity will be 50 – although it is currently 15 due to Covid-19 restrictions.
The Jubilee Pool’s website explains how the pool is heated using a geothermal well that is 1,345ft (410m) deep.
It says: ‘The system operates by extracting warm water from one geothermal well, taking the heat out of that water using heat pumps and distributing it to the pool via a heat exchanger, before re-injecting the cooler water back into the ground.
A local family, with a long history of using the Jubilee Pool, were the first people to experience using the new geothermal pool
The geothermal pool is open Tuesday to Saturdays with hour-long sessions available. Adult tickets cost £11.75
A young swimmer tries out the new geothermal pool. It is hoped it will ‘act as a showcase for geothermal, low carbon heat supply’
‘The initial pool heating results suggest that it’s about 80 per cent geothermal, but ultimately all the energy is coming from our geothermal well. We are using the heat pumps to concentrate that energy to the exact temperature required for the pool.
‘This combined system means that the temperature of the pool can be sustained with a very low carbon footprint.
‘The system is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom and will act as a showcase for geothermal, low carbon heat supply.’
However, the website does point out that although it is the first geothermal lido, it is not the first geothermal bath in the UK: ‘The Romans beat us to it by 2,000 years in Bath!’
As well as the geothermal pool, the £1.8million investment also paid for upgraded changing facilities and showers, a new cafe with double the seating capacity and a new multi-purpose community space.
The geothermal pool is open Tuesday to Saturdays with hour-long sessions available. Adult tickets cost £11.75.