Tuesday 14th September 2021
The helicopter ran smoothly this time, if a little late, and as the first helicopter of the day rose . . .
. . . we left blue seas surrounding Tresco and clear skies overhead.
However, we were soon flying above the cloud cover and when we landed back on the mainland . . .
. . . the skies were becoming more overcast.
Following a tasty breakfast on the front in Penzance we walked along to the Art Deco Jubilee Pool. Matilda remarks on this every time she flies over: when seen from above the deep turquoise of the pool situated right by the sea is more vibrant than this photo reflects and it looks so very inviting.
The Jubilee Pool is described as one of the best pre-war lido’s in the world. It originally opened in May 1935 and is a rare survivor from this hardier bygone age of open air swimming. It was damaged by storms in February 2014 but following major structural works reopened in May 2016. The large triangular seawater pool is usually a few degrees warmer than the sea and the water in it is replaced by tidal movements. In 2020 a new geothermal pool was opened – unsurprisingly this is the more popular one in the foreground. This is the first pool in the UK to offer bathers the chance to swim in natural salt water heated to 35 degrees by a hot water well. We are hoping to make Penzance one of our stopovers one year so that we can try out the geothermal pool for ourselves.
Another reason for our stopover here was to be able to visit St Michael’s Mount the following morning and looking back from the Jubilee Pool, there are views across the bay towards the island.
Although in the opposite direction from home, we had booked a night at The Land’s End Hotel, just for the experience and to ensure that, even with travel delays, we would not miss a timed entry to St Michael’s Mount. Matilda suggested taking a quick look at the Minack Theatre on our way past but as we approached we realised that, even without watching a performance, we would need to have pre-booked tickets. We therefore re-routed to the hotel, with another addition to our list of places to visit on future trips.
The public car park was quite full when we arrived but as a hotel resident you are waved through to the parking area by the hotel where we managed to find a bit of space with a view for our vehicle.
The hotel is originally Victorian and inside there are several fascinating maps showing the various routes people have taken to travel the 874 miles [according to the signpost] between Land’s End and John O’Groats. The shortest time by skateboard was 21 days, whilst US Navy Pilot Rick Ryan accomplished the journey in a wheelchair in just eight days, 10 hours and nine minutes. Brothers John and Robert Naylor undertook the first end to end walk in 1871 and the map celebrating this fact describes their path as “the scenic route”. It is also possible, whilst undertaking the journey, to take in the four extreme edges of the UK -the Four Points Route – at Lizard Point, Lowestoft Ness, Ardnamurchan Point and Dunnet Head in the south, east, west and north respectively.
We are unlikely to walk the distance but will try and schedule a stay at John O’Groats in the future.
We took a short walk around the site to take in the views which . . .
. . . Matilda felt she needed to recorded.
We had been hoping to have a snifter at The First and Last Inn but it transpires that the building right on the very end of Cornwall is no longer a bar and the public this name is actually a few miles inland in Sennen. So instead, we sat in the hotel terrace/garden.
As you can see, not much greenery but the views out to Longships Lighthouse made up for it.
As the sun sank in the sky, it was truly atmospheric. We had expected that at sundown it would be even more colourful but as the clouds developed the last fragment of sun disappeared behind them some way above the horizon and the show was over and we could focus on our meal [see Dish of the day].