News 1 July 2022

New Facilities Open at La Vallette Bathing Pools

Guernsey's tidal bathing pools at La Vallette have undergone many renovations since their creation in 1865. Recent community projects adding new modern facilities to one of the Island's most beloved site completed in June 2022, turning the pools into a thriving hub for visitors and locals alike. 

Just a 10-minute walk from the centre of St Peter Port the tidal pools are available for everyone, free of charge. There are four pools to choose from; the Gentlemen's Pool, the Horseshoe Pool, the Ladies' Pool and the Children's Pool - all are welcome to swim in any of the pools. The Children's Pool is a great choice for those looking for shallower swims, and each of the other's offer greater depth as well as different views out over Castle Cornet and the Islands of Herm and Sark. 

A new building with modern changing rooms, a café and rooftop benches has been created for visitors to enjoy, providing a great base to explore the neighbouring cliff paths and Castle Cornet from. 

Greater Accessibility 

Community initiatives have focused on making the bathing pools accessible to all. You'll find ramps, more handrails and an adapted wheelchair for water access, as well as lifts for accessing the changing facilities and café. There are also dedicated spaces in the cafe and outdoor seating for wheelchairs and pushchairs, ensuring that everyone feels accommodated. 

New Facilities

The Bathing Pools are home to a new café, open 7am - 4pm every day. The café serves sandwiches, pastries, cakes and drinks - perfect for helping you warm up after a dip in the sea. With a panoramic view out over the water, it's a great place to relax whether you are keen to swim or just take in the peaceful atmosphere. In summer you can also unwind on the outdoor picnic benches and take in the view with a sea-breeze.

Upgraded changing facilities are now available for all swimmers, as well as outdoor cool showers to rinse off the salt water. Hot showers, which are card operated, are also on hand to help you warm up year-round. 

Preserving the Pools for the Future

All refurbishment work has been undertaken with the future in mind, preserving the history of La Vallette whilst investing in sustainable initiatives. The landscaping has been planted to support bees and other pollinators to support local biodiversity, and the new building has been created with emphasis on durability and sustainability with recycled materials used throughout.

The Bathing Pools have been a key part of Guernsey's history with visitors including Victor Hugo and Renoir, and you can discover the legacy of the space on the history wall of the café. The wall features photos of swimming galas, diving contests and community gatherings over the years, and is a lovely way to get to know this treasured part of the Island's culture.

Sea Swimming

Wild swimming is a key part of life on the Islands of Guernsey, with many locals braving the sea year round. With lots of anecdotal benefits, sea swimming is definitely worth trying on your visit to Guernsey and the Bathing Pools are a great way to have a go in a familiar environment without contending with changing tides and currents. 

You can learn more about wild swimming on the Islands of Guernsey here.

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