I’m not quite sure how my fascination with Lido’s started. It’s definitely quite a recent thing with me. Maybe it’s their association with vintage seaside fun or in some cases, the glamour of their 1930’s art deco style. Maybe it’s the fact they were often built with pleasing views in mind ,or is it that they seem a safe and only slightly warmer alternative to outdoor lake and sea swimming …. The silly thing is I’m not even a keen swimmer ! And I’ve never even been to a lido. Maybe I can remedy at least one of those things in 2017.
Lido season is well on it’s way, so I thought I would list a few of the iconic UK outdoor pools that adorn my pinterest board. 🙂
The Jubilee Pool ~ Penzance, Cornwall. A beautiful art deco seawater lido , designed in the 1930’s. The pool is a gently curving triangular shape and is surrounded by high streamlined sea walls, which are terraced upwards in the interior. Bare in mind the water temperatures can be quite bracing ! But I’m sure the stunning Cornish Coastal views are worth it. There is a smaller children’s pool on site too and a cafe. This years season starts at the end of May. www.jubileepool.co.uk
Tooting Bec Lido ~ South London. One of Britain’s oldest lidos, Tooting Bec was opened in 1906 and at that time was known as Tooting bec Lake. It’s an unheated fresh water lido and the pool is apparently quite enomas and lined with changing rooms, featuring brightly coloured doors. It is surrounded by parkland and trees and also boasts a small cafe and kids pool. Opens from May 1st. www.visitlondon.com
Reopening this May after extensive restorations , Saltdean harks back to it’s art deco hey day in the thirties. It is the only grade ll listed Coastal Lido in the country and unlike the above two beauties, it will actually feature a heated pool. 🙂 Phase two of the restoration will bring back the iconic curved buildings to their former glory and include a heritage cafe. The pool will open on the 27th of May. www.saltdeanlido.co.uk
Thermae Bath Spa ~ Bath. The only naturally hot (and rich in minerals) waters in the UK , can be found in the ancient city of Bath. The Thermae Bath Spa’s Welcome package includes, use of the Indoor Minerva Pool, Multi-Sensory Wellness Suite and use of the Roof- Top Pool , with its stunning views of the city and hills beyond. Prices from £35 per person. www.thermaebathspa.com
Pontypridd Lido ~ South Wales. Lido Ponty in South Wales looks like the perfect place to soak up the sun ! There are three heated swimming pools, a Heritage Visitor Centre, Cafe and children’s Adventure Play area. The Grade II listed Lido retains newly restored features , including the 1920’s turnstiles and wooden changing cubicles. Whilst it was a free attraction, 2017 sees a new £1 charge per adult. Swimming commences at the end of May. 🙂 Check out this website Here.
Ilkley Lido ~ Yorkshire. There are Lido’s up North too ! 1935 saw King George V celebrate his Silver Jubilee and many Lido’s were opened at this time, to commemorate the occasion. Ilkley is one of those and has an unusual shape, like that of a mushroom sliced in half. With the picturesque Ilkley Moors as a scenic backdrop , this unheated fresh water pool benefits from a cafe, picnic benches and bowling green. There is even an indoor baths for inclement weather. The 2017 season starts on the 28th of May. www.bradford.gov.uk
Stonehaven Heated Open Air Pool ~ Aberdeen, Scotland. The Uk’s Northernmost Art Deco Lido has an Olympic Sized (and heated) Sea Water Pool. There are large sun terraces with free recliners and a cafe on site. Midnight Swims under the stars are apparently very popular at Stonehaven. 🙂 There is also a heated indoor pool and leisure centre next door. The Lido reopens for the Summer at the end of May. www.stonehavenopenairpool.co.uk
Bude Sea Pool ~ Cornwall. This semi natural Sea Pool was built in the 1930s to provide safe sea swimming in a sheltered bay at Summerleaze Beach. The pool is a popular base for learning various activities including surfing and sea kayaking. Swimming here is free. There are colourful beach huts to hire nearby and a cafe. I must admit I have actually seen this idylic attraction, bustling with holidaymakers on a warm August day. I should have ventured in ! www.budeseapool.org
Tinside Lido ~ Plymouth. Yet another beautiful example of thirties art deco splendor, Tinside overlooks the sea at the tip of Plymouth Hoe. The Lido is a sea water pool with three fountains and do I spy a lighthouse in the background?? On site is a coffee shop selling snacks and Icecream, but visitors can bring picnics too. There is also a Swim Shop and sun loungers for hire. The splashing commences on Sat 27th May. 🙂 www.everyoneactivecentre.com
There are plenty more lovely Lido’s and pool’s that I could include, so why not look up your nearest outdoor pool ? London and the South of England seem to have the highest concentration of original Lido’s still in use, while the further North you go, the fewer of these iconic beauties remain.
Lido’s need our support to stay afloat !
Which Lido could tempt you to dip a toe in?