Ilfracombe’s Bathing Tunnels

On the way home from West Country weekend, we stopped in at Ilfracombe – which until then I’d only heard of in passing as a seaside pit-stop on an oldie road trip.  It’s a pretty, typically Victorian seaside town with painted buildings and doors.  We didn’t have time to properly explore or do it justice really, but what we saw we liked; the furthest we got from our pay and display car park were the Victorian Bathing Tunnels and tidal pools 🙂

The tunnels were hand carved into the rocks in the 1820s, and lead to tidal pools that were used for swimming by the Victorians.  Of course back when bare ankles could make one blush (ooh-err!), they separated the pools; one for ladies and another for gents.

At the end of the tunnel we reached the ladies pool; and it’s clear why they thought it perfect for private bathing – it’s so secluded and quiet, surrounded by jagged rocks and cliffs.


The water was clean and clear (and cold!), and full of teeny jellyfish.
Whilst the tide was out, we explored the rock pools…


…and stole a few flat stones to stack in our garden.  🙂

 

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