Dunbar Outdoor Pool Remains – Dunbar, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

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Dunbar Outdoor Pool Remains

This Scottish bay still reveals evidence of its days as a seaside swimming pool. 


This site housed a pool from the late 19th century and remained open until the late 1980s. Initially there was just a pavilion for changing to allow use of a semi-natural pool filled by incoming tides but later developments enclosed the bay with concrete walls. On land extra facilities were installed including a ballroom and the pools were provided with slides and fountains. In 1928, a boating pond was added to the complex.

After the pool was fully developed, a large rock in the middle of the bay called Doo Rock formed an integral part of the pool’s perimeter. Doo Rock can be clearly seen from the cliffs and if you go down to the bay you can see occasional evidence of the old pool structure. Also present is the ramp from the cliff top down to the site and the former boundary fence.

When the sea was rough, waves crashing against the pool’s seaward perimeter would often throw wildlife such as crabs into the pool, much to the delight of local children. The pool was also the site of a very popular annual beauty pageant.

The population of Dunbar used to double during the summer season, but once relatively cheap package tours to southern Europe became widely available the annual influx dwindled and the pool’s days were numbered. At the time that it closed, the pool was the largest outdoor pool in Scotland. Although an indoor pool was built nearby to replace the facility, standing at the cliff top admiring the site seems to invite passing locals to reminisce about the glory days of Dunbar Pool.

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