Tag Archives: lido

Our Shoalstone summer


Yesterday marked the end of the season at Shoalstone Pool. It seems to have come round far too quickly, especially with this gloriously warm September. But it has been a fabulous few months, and I think we can safely say we made the most of the incredible facility we have on our doorstep.

It feels like a very long time ago that we were doubting whether the pool would even open this year at all: when there were still wranglings with Torbay council over funding and the fallout from their ill-omened deal with a local dive company.

Luckily Brixham town council came to its rescue and it opened for the season at the end of May: we took our first dip of the summer a couple of weeks later.

Since then we’ve been there as often as we can. Arthur’s swimming has come on in leaps and bounds: back in June he was still holding on to us as we took those first dips in the then icy water.


But then came his float suit, and with it a whole new lease of life. He loves the independence it has given him, and confidently navigates himself around the pool as we hover nearby.



It’s been fantastic to see the pool so busy over the summer holidays – kids learning to swim or splashing about under the watchful eyes of the lifeguards, adults doing lengths with a look of bliss on their faces, locals and tourists alike enjoying the safety of the enclosed pool whilst still getting the invigorating benefits of the seawater.

I reckon we’ve toughened up quite a lot over the summer. The water has actually been pretty warm at points – well, for the UK anyway – but even recently, when our miserable August weather cooled it back down, it’s actually started to feel quite amazing. I certainly don’t flinch so much when I’m walking in with Arthur…

And of course the location is all but impossible to beat. When he’s not in the pool itself Arthur has loved gazing over the wall to the sea, watching boats or fishermen and even catching the odd glimpse of our local friendly seal.


With a summer like this, it was apt that our final swim of the year should be particularly special. We were determined to get down there yesterday but as so often the day ran away with us and it was almost five o’clock by the time we were walking out of the door. As we approached the pool it became clear that it was an especially high tide: the sea was lapping over the wall by the deep end, and even the shallow end was not particularly shallow.

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Although it was a gorgeous afternoon the water was rougher than usual, and we did wonder the wisdom for a moment of taking a toddler in for a dip. We needn’t have worried though: Arthur of course took it in his stride, loving the novelty and the sense of occasion and happily swimming along beside his daddy.



He ventured out on to the ‘poolside’ too, splashing through the water to take a peek over the sea wall.


As the sun began to set and the tide continued to rise, it was almost as if the sea was reclaiming the pool for another year. As the summer fades and autumn turns into winter those sea walls will be battered by storms, and we will marvel that we ever swam in sunshine there. Shoalstone Pool is such a very precious place, and I cannot wait for it to be reborn again next year.


 To find out more about the pool and how you can help support it go to www.shoalstoneseawaterpool.co.uk

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Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Hello summer!

It’s been coming for a while, in the gloriously light evenings and the no need to take a jacket when we leave the house, but today summer finally arrived. In scorching sunshine we finally made our way to Shoalstone Pool for the first dip of the season.

Arthur was so excited: we barely had time to get him into his swimmers before he was running towards the water. He definitely found it cold at first, but each time we lifted him out he was desperate to get back in again.


Before long we had both got used to the cold – after the initial shock it really wasn’t that bad, and now that I’ve broken the ice (so to speak) I’m determined to fit some regular swims into our routine.



Arthur being Arthur there was quite a lot of splashing – hence the somewhat blurry photos where I forgot to wipe the lens… But it was brilliant to see him having so much fun!


I think he would happily have stayed in the water for hours, but we figured we’d better not let him get too cold. He protested a bit at first but then was happy to entertain himself with my hat for a while.


We went for a wander to get some ice-creams (it’s summer right?) which gave us a chance to look back at the pool in all it’s glory. It was so great to see so many people enjoying the water and the spectacular setting – unbelievable to think it almost didn’t open at all this year!


It wasn’t long before Arthur was desperate to get back in again, this time splashing around in the shallow end with the kids who’d started piling in at the end of their day at school.


Eventually though he did begin to shiver, and was grateful to be wrapped up warm with raisins and take a moment to relax out of the sun in his little ‘house’.


Which gave Leigh and I a chance to look out over the bay and take in the view. And what a view it was.


It’s lovely to see you summer! Very much looking forward to getting acquainted again over the next couple of months.



Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Shoalstone Pool

Some of you might remember a couple of months back I wrote about Brixham’s amazing seawater lido. It’s a stone’s throw from our house, and I’ve been looking forward to spending summer days there with Arthur splashing in the water and looking out over the bay. And now it’s open! And looking even more beautiful than ever before.


We were there for the official opening last weekend when the pool was decked out with bunting and stripy deckchairs and the committee who have worked tirelessly to get the pool ready for the season were celebrating with local residents and our local MP Sarah Woollaston who cut the ribbon to declare it officially open.


It looked fantastic, and it was so lovely to see the local community coming together – a community without whom it’s likely the pool wouldn’t have opened at all. It was a shame that the weather wasn’t quite as glorious as it had been the week before, though the looming clouds made for a very dramatic scene and there were still a handful of people who braved the chill to welcome in the pool’s new season with a dip in the turquoise water.


I have to admit we haven’t yet made it in. I’ve been telling myself it’s because it would be irresponsible to take Arthur into the cold water without at least some sunshine to warm him up, but to be honest he’d be in there like a flash if I let him! In fact it’s been all we can do to hold him back…


So I don’t think it’ll be long before we take the plunge: I know full well that once the initial shock of the cold has passed the pure exhilaration of swimming in such an iconic pool and glorious location will soon take over. For now though we’re just admiring it from dry land, full of gratitude for the people who’ve worked so hard to restore it for another year and full of anticipation for that all important first swim of the summer!


To find out more about the pool and how you can help support it go to www.shoalstonepool.com.