As the UK looks forward to a forthcoming heatwave to greet the start of the summer holidays, Better outdoor swimming facilities will be allowing swimmers to get active, whilst basking in the sunshine.
With many outdoor pools offering sunbathing terraces and continental style cafes, British lidos have enjoyed a resurgence in recent years. Following their heyday during the 1920s a number of art deco buildings have been restored and re-opened to the public, enabling another generation to enjoy the pleasures of open air swimming in a safe, enjoyable environment.
Better, the UK’s largest public swimming provider, operates nine outdoor pools across the UK, with unique locations in London, Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire, including:
A 50 metre, outdoor heated pool Charlton Lido reopened in 2013 following a massive £2 million refurbishment and recently celebrated the 80th anniversary of its original opening. Also featured on site are a gym and exercise studio, café alongside seating and sunbathing areas.
Situated on Jesus Green in Cambridge, it first opened in 1923. Unusually, the pool is significantly longer than it is wide and was designed to mimic swimming in the nearby river Cam. It is one of the longest outdoor swimming pools in Europe.
A popular community facility, Woodstock Lido consists of a main 25m swimming pool with diving board and a toddlers’ paddling pool. The pools are heated to a very comfortable 29C. There are indoor changing rooms and hot showers. Also on site is a café and a large grassed picnic area.
One of London’s best kept and best hidden secrets the Oasis heated outdoor pool nestles in the middle of office blocks in the heart of the Capital’s theatre land. A 27.5m expanse of blue the pool has an unrivalled history. It was first recorded as a bathing destination in the form of a Turkish Bath in 1728
London Fields Lido is a 50m Olympic size, heated outdoor swimming pool open all year round. The swimming pool has lane swimming available at all day, swimming lessons for children and adults. Facilities also include a café as well as a large sundeck and sunbathing area.
Although it’s one of the smaller pools at only 20 metres it is undoubtedly one of the most picturesque lidos around, being situated on a river bank, on the Crowmarsh Gifford side of Wallingford. In addition to the swimming pool there is a free paddling pool, a kiosk selling ice creams and drinks, a large car park and for those who want to stay longer a campsite.
Finchley Lido is part of a larger leisure complex that includes a leisure centre, cinema, several food restaurants and bowling facilities.
The Abbey Meadow Lido is a heated 40m outdoor pool is situated in scenic surrounds on the bank of the river Thames, accessible by boat if you happen to have one, with moorings adjacent. There is also tennis, mini golf and a children’s playground on site.
A lido but not as you know it. West Reservoir is a vast expanse of manmade lake in the heart of Stoke Newington. It’s also London’s foremost Open Water Swimming venue. While wetsuits are compulsory, there is a stunning waterside café situated in what was once a pumping house – the ideal location to soak up the sun’s rays.
Mark Sesnan, Managing Director at GLL, said: “Better lidos offer some of the most unique locations for outdoor swimming in the UK, and are a great way for people to get active, whilst keeping cool and enjoying the sunshine!
“This year, our staff teams are going the extra mile, to get as many people into our lidos as possible, and some outdoor pools will be increasing opening hours this week, to maximise our customers’ time in the water.
So, whether you’re wanting to enjoy the weather by taking your exercise outside, splashing around with the kids, or simply relaxing on one of our sun terraces, people of all ages can safely enjoy the hottest temperatures of the year at their local Better lido.”
Better also operates over 100 indoor swimming pools across the UK, so even if you don’t have a lido on your doorstep, you can visit your nearest pool, as a safe place to cool off in the water this summer. Find your nearest pool and check the latest opening hours here.