Following a family recommendation, we arrive in Bude full of eager anticipation (on behalf of at least one of us) for a swim in the beachside, seawater pool.
As a semi-natural amenity, Bude Sea Pool was conceived, built and opened in the 1930’s. Created under the natural curve of beachside cliffs, its outer wall protects users from the ferocity of the Atlantic Ocean yet allows the contained water to be refreshed at high-tides to provide a naturally-refreshed year-round sheltered sea water pool.
Although the day of our visit was grey and overcast and hardly conducive to open air bathing, there were plenty of half-term holidaymakers enjoying the experience. With car-parks some distance from the pool, the CNO bravely donned her newly-acquired wetsuit in the confined comfort of the Knumptywagen and we flip-flopped our way across a grassy coastal embankment to access the pool from a busy beach.
With water and air temperatures both of similar degree, your bystanding author – again clutching footwear, towel and juggling a phone camera – is informed that the water doesn’t feel cold at all (or at least not once you’re in, which is the perennial cry from anyone crazed enough to consider open water swimming to be an enjoyable pastime.)
With a throng of variously-sized and -aged wet-suited bathers all bobbing seal-like in the placid waters, and a backdrop of coloured bathing huts, the whole scene appeared as if in a slow-motion, sepia-tinted film, reminiscent of an era when the pool was still only a local attraction.
Sated, (salted maybe?) we return to the Knumptywagen and finding not a lot else of interest to detain us in the immediate vicinity, we upsticks and head north towards the next waypoint on our spontaneously unplanned journey homewards.