Edited by Oliver Merrington,
Waterbeach, Cambridge, UK
- with assistance from members of the Lidos History Society.
Go to the www.lidos.org.uk homepage
This webpage lists open-air pools in the UK more recently built than those included on my other webpages:
References and links
See also my A-Z index to all lidos and open-air pools still open.
Abingdon: Abbey Meadows Outdoor Pool [Reopened 2006]
Abbey Meadow, Abbey Close, Abingdon OX14 3JD
Tel: 01235 530678
40m heated pool and learner pool on the bank of the River Thames. There is also tennis, mini golf and a childrens' playground adjacent. It may also be reached by boat, as there are moorings on the Thames.
This pool closed in 2004, but reopened in 2006. BBC News reported a petition to save the pool, in April 2005. On the reopening see this message to the Pooling Resources Yahoo Group. More than 12,000 people visited the pool in 2006 according to operator Soll Leisure.
Or via Vale of White Horse District Council
Arundel Open Air Pool
Arundel, West Sussex
Tel: 01903 884772
Heated open air pool of approximately 25m by 10m, with a paddling pool. The pool was reduced in depth in 2004 from 2.4 metres to 1.5 metres. This was to cut back on the amount of water needed to fill it and thereby running costs. There are no diving/spring boards.
It was originally built in 1960, following a generous donation of land from the 16th Duke of Norfolk [to celebrate the 21st birthday of his eldest daughter, Lady Anne] with the stipulation that it should be used for a swimming pool.
Arun District Council made the decision to close the Pool in 1999 to save money.
Arundel & Downland Community Leisure Trust took responsibility for the site in 2001, with the main objective to reopen and refurbish the site. The first phase of the refurbishment was to the children's paddling pool in 2003 and it reopened the site during the summer school holidays.
2004: Main pool re-opened following fundraising by local residents.
Janet Smith writes:
"The opening ceremony was performed on 27 June 2004 by Lady Mary Mumford, sister of Lady Anne. The Arundel and Downland Community Leisure Trust have had grants totalling approximately £212,000 from Arun District Council and Arundel Town Council, but will not be getting any subsidies. They have a 125-year lease on the site, which includes a large car park - allowing them to take the revenue from that too (as happens at Sandford Parks Lido in Cheltenham). The aim is to attract families and children rather than serious swimmers, and there are now plans under discussion for a retractable roof for those rainy days of summer. Fundraising so far has topped £40,000 but obviously more will be needed!"
For more details, see Janet Smith's book, p.164
or via Arundel Town Council website.
Ashburton: Open Air Swimming Pool
Love Lane, Ashburton, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ13 7FJ
Tel. 01364 652828
Heated outdoor 21m pool, run by Teignbridge District Council.
Andy Hoines writes:
This pool was built in 1924 as part of the Golden Lion Hotel. The pool was later taken over by the council as a public pool. The size of the pool today is 21 x 9m - originally it may have been 70 ft long, but being a hotel pool, it may not ever have been a standard length. The current depth is 0.7 - 2.2m. The pool is heated to 27-29C and has a pleasant lawned sunbathing area. The 2005 season is end May - 2nd w/e in September. The hotel is now flats, however investment is continuing in the pool, for example hot showers were fitted in 2004.
[There is also a bathing lake at River Dart Adventures at nearby Holne Park (and an outdoor pool for residents only), where the admission charge may include use of the lake.]
Website: via Teignbridge District Council
Ashby de la Zouch: Hood Park Outdoor Pool
Hood Park Leisure Centre, North Street, Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire LE65 1HU
Tel: 01530 412181
1960s 30m x 13.5m outdoor heated swimming pool, is open May to September.
Tiny photo. Adjoining the indoor pool complex.
Website: via North West Leicestershire District Council
Askham Swimming Pool
Askham, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 2PN
Tel. 01931 712499 (community centre)
Heated swimming pool 20m x 8m built in 1972, plus a kiddies pool. Run by Askham Swimming Pool Management Committee, based in the Community Centre. Also a kiosk selling tasty ice creams and snacks.
Bob and Dave visited this pool on 24 July 2008:
When we arrived, a very friendly young supervisor greeted us. I had rung ahead the previous week, so we were expected. It was now 12 o'clock so the pool was filling up. A lane was quickly put in for us, which was a real luxury. Again a nice swim in a real locally-led pool clearly valued by the villagers. There was a real sense of community here.
In 1982, John Cantor installed two community swimming pool heat pump systems in Cumbria - one at Lazonby and the other at Greystoke. A year later he installed one at Askham.
Website: Askham Outdoor Swimming Pool
Aylesbury: Aqua Vale Swimming and Fitness Centre
Vale Park, Park Street, Aylesbury, Bucks HP20 1DS
Entry moved to new page.
Beccles Lido [reopened in August 2010]
Puddingmoor, Beccles, Suffolk NR34 9PL
Tel: 01502 713297
Beccles Lido on Wikipedia
This 33m x 16m heated outdoor swimming pool built in 1959 was previously run by Waveney District Council. It is now leased to
Beccles Lido Ltd, set up by the Friends of Beccles Open Air Pool.
See this view of the pool from the church tower (on Flickr).
Maureen Saunders wrote:
There has been swimming in the river since 1800 - I learnt to swim in a fenced off part of the river in 1952.
In 2005 Waveney District Council identified four potential sites in Beccles for a new leisure development "designed to replace the ageing outdoor pool at Puddingmoor."
2009: Beccles Outdoor Swimming Pool was closed by Waveney District Council, but
In May 2009 Waveney District Council agreed to lease the open air pool to Beccles Lido Limited, the business group born out of The Friends of Beccles Open Air Pool.
In 2010 Beccles Lido won £140,000 of funding for a new heating system for the pool (and for energy saving measures in 20 homes within the local community). It was one of 14 shortlisted projects in the Green Streets competition organised by British Gas.
See also the Messages sent to the Lidos Yahoo Group, or to Pooling Resources on the Beccles Lido Campaign.
2010: Beccles Lido reopened on 7 August 2010.
Bedford: Oasis Beach - Outdoor Rapids
Cardington Road, Bedford MK42 0BZ
Outdoor rapids for children, connected to the indoor pool.
Andy Hoines write: "It is open this summer, but the outdoor pool is more a fun pool with rapids for kids than a serious swimming pool."
Website: via Oasis Beach Pool (Bedford Borough Council)
Billinghay Community Swimming Pool
Fen Road, Billinghay, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN4 4HU
Tel: 01526 861470
The pool was built by local people in 1972, and is run by a committee of volunteers. It provides a facility for local schools during the summer term, and for the local community throughout the summer holidays. The pool is 25m x 10m , heated (82F - 85F), open-air, and even has a small slide! With the aid of 50% funding from the Sports Council, the pool has been fully tiled out.
Billinghay Community Swimming Pool, or via Lincolnshire County Council.
Bovey Tracey Swimming Pool
Newton Road, Bovey Tracey, Devon
Tel. 01626 832828
25m x 12m outdoor heated pool was built in 1973, and run by Bovey Tracey Swimming Pool Association.
For location, see Map (pdf) - Devon County Council
Website, with photographs:
Brynamman Swimming Pool, Dyfed, Wales
off Station Rd, Brynamman, Ammanford Dyfed SA18 1SF
Entry moved to new webpage.
Burgess Hill: Aztec Lido
Olympos, Triangle Leisure Centre, Triangle Way, Burgess Hill, West Sussex RH15 8GA
Tel: 01444 876000
Part of an indoor and outdoor pools complex. The freeform heated Aztec Lido outdoor pool (edited publicity photograph) is open in the summer. There are also outdoor rapids.
This complex replaced the Burgess Hill Lido built in 1936, in St John's Park, which closed in 1998 and has now been filled in.
via Mid Sussex District Council
Castle Donington Community College Outdoor Pool
Mount Pleasant, Donnington, Derbyshire DE74 2LN
Tel: 01332 810428
Small outdoor heated pool.
Castle Donington CC
Chelmsford: Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre
Victoria Road, Chelmsford, Essex CM1 1FG
Tel. 01245 615050
Free form heated open air pool, 20m diameter, situated in "an enclosed grassed area with sunbathing terraces, an ideal setting for a family outing on a sunny day. For those who prefer to sit in comfort around the pool, there are garden tables and chairs and a refreshment kiosk serving cool drinks and ice cream." Also main 33.3m indoor pool and learner pool in Leisure Centre, which opened in 1987.
Andy wrote in 2004:
"I really enjoyed a visit to this freeform outdoor pool and the visit. I found the pool to be sparkling clean, the 1.8m deep end can still be dived into and the temperature was a pleasant 66F (it is apprently heated though!). There are also a couple of 25m swimming lanes and plenty of patio space, plus a small lawn for sunbathing. It is open from early May to mid Sept."
The original outdoor pool on this site opened in 1906. It was 150 ft x 100 ft, and designed by Cuthbert Brown, the Borough engineer.
via Chelmsford City Council
Chesham Moor Gym & Swim (outdoor heated pool)
Moor Road, Chesham, Bucks HP5 1SE
Tel: 01494 776975 (pool and gym)
This 26m by 10m heated pool, with a shallow end of 3 ft and deep end of 6 ft, was built in 1964, and is open from May to the end of September. It has a poolside café and adjoins a gym & fitness club, tennis, and football (open all year). The pool was extensively refurbished in 1988-89, and further improvements were made in the 1990s. Now owned and managed by Chesham Town Council, the pool is available for hire.
A.H.J. Baines has written a short history of Chesham Open Air Swimming Pool on the Moor.
There are some photographs of this pool on my Flickr site.
Thanks to Kathryn Graves, from Chesham Town Council, for supplying these to me.
Website: Chesham Moor Gym & Swim,
or via Chesham Town Council.
The Lido at Chipping Norton
Fox Close, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 5BZ
Tel: 01608 643188
Open-air heated swimming pool, built in 1970. Open from end of April to end of school summer holidays. Open from 4pm to 6.30pm weekdays and noon to 7.30pm weekends, with extra sessions for adults. The pool was one of three built in west Oxfordshire in the early 1970s, the other two are at Carterton and Woodstock.
West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) took over the running of the pool in the 1970s and later sub-contracted management of the pool to Wycombe Leisure. In July 2002, the town’s new leisure centre (with a heated indoor swimming pool) was opened and WODC announced that the outdoor pool was to close.
2003 saw the creation of KOPO (Keep Our Pool Open) a campaigning group united by their love of the facility. They mounted a spirited “Use it or Lose It” campaign collecting 3,000 names on a petition. KOPO garnered tremendous publicity and organised many special events that saw numbers and income rise. Together with the support of the Town Council they lobbied WODC who agreed a one-year reprieve.
Late in 2004 WODC announced the withdrawal of their subsidy and the KOPO committee formed a company to manage The Lido and began immediate negotiations in order to take over the running of the pool. The company – Chipping Norton Lido Limited - signed a new lease to run the site in the future. A new manager was appointed and together with the new team are running what promises to be many more summer seasons at "The Lido at Chipping Norton".
June 2005: Jeremy Clarkson drove a Rolls Royce Silver Shadow into the swimming pool, for BBC TV Top Gear, recreating the urban legend that Keith Moon once drove one into a pool. See the website below for a clip.
Chudleigh: Community Swimming Pool
Lawn Drive, Chudleigh, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ13 0LS
The UK's newest lido, the pool opened in 1997, and is operated by the Chudleigh Community Project, using both paid and volunteer workers. It is the grounds of the primary school.
Cottenham Outdoor Heated Swimming Pool [closed permanently in 2010]
adjacent to Cottenham Village College, Cottenham, Cambridge
This heated outdoor swimming pool, 75 x 28.5 ft, depth 3 to 5 ft, closed in 2010. It was run by Cottenham Village College Swimming Pool Association.
I used to swim here as this pool is in the next village from where I live. It was unusual in having raised sides, so that one goes up some steps and then down into the pool.
In 2005 grant aid allowed the pool to be re-lined. However in 2010 about £170,000 was needed to restore it to working order and to comply with current safety guidelines and the local committee have insufficient funds.
Culgaith Swimming Pool [probably closed]
(exact location not known, may be was in the Recreation Ground opposite the school)
Unheated outdoor swimming pool.
Faringdon Open Air Pool [probably closed]
Lechlade Road, Faringdon, Oxfordshire
[Apart from the address, I can find no other information on this pool, so it probably closed when the Faringdon Leisure Centre opened].
However, off Lechlade Road is Faringdon House, built in 1780, which "has a Gothic-style swimming pool in the grounds, complete with stone winged Wyverns (mythical winged creatures). The floor of the changing room is inlaid with pennies.".
Faversham Swimming Pool
Leslie Smith Drive, Faversham, Kent ME13 8PW
Tel: 01795 532426
33m Outdoor pool with 1m, 3m and 5m diving boards, fun pool with rapids, toddler’s pool, with an indoor pool adjacent.
Greystoke Swimming Pool
Church Road, Greystoke, Penrith, Cumbria CA11 0TW
Tel. 01768 483637
Open-air heated 18 x 7m swimming pool.
Greystoke Swimming Pool
Halesworth Outdoor Swimming Pool [closed in 2009]
Dairy Hill, Halesworth, Suffolk
This 25m x 8.5m open air heated swimming pool had a large grass spectator area, and was run by Waveney District Council (who also used to run Beccles outdoor pool.
In 2005 they issued a press release questioning the future of these two pools. In 2008 Waveney District Council said they will not manage the outdoor pools at Beccles and Halesworth after April 2009 and it closed the same year.
Haltwhistle Swimming and Leisure Centre
Greencroft Avenue, Haltwhistle, Northumberland NE49 9BP
Three heated open-air pools (main pool, learner and paddling pools) built in 1975, plus sports hall, cafe and adventure playground.
Haltwhistle Swimming and Leisure Centre
Hayle Swimming Pool
King George Memorial Walk, Phillack, Hayle, Cornwall TR27 5AA
Tel: 01736 752568
Unheated mid-1970s 25m outdoor pool. It normally opens in early June.
Hayle Triathlon has been held there.
Nearby is the man-made tidal Copperhouse Pool, built to wash out the sand from the entrance to the harbour. It is still used for annual swimming races and model boat sailing regattas. Carnsew Pool was also built as a tidal reservoir.
SOS Hayle is campaigning for the preservation of Hayle beach, harbour, Towans (dunes) and estuary, and to bring about an end to commercial sand extraction. SOS stands for Save Our Sand.
The Friends of Hayle Swimming Pool have disbanded and the residual funds were transferred to Hayle Town Council who are the current owners of the pool.
Helmsley Open Air Swimming Pool
Baxtons Lane, Helmsley, North Yorkshire YO62 5BH
Tel: 0777 239 5368
This 20m heated pool is operated under by Helmsley Recreation Ground, the trustees for which are Helmsley Town Council. It receives financial support from Ryedale District Council.
Janet Smith, author of the book "Liquid Assets", writes: "A glorious little pool nestling at the foot of the North Yorkshire hills. It is open from June to September".
There are some photos of the pool on a website about the North York Moors.
Helmsley Open Air Swimming Pool
Hemel Hempstead: Outdoor Swimming Pool
Sportspace Hemel Hempstead
(was known as Dacorum Sports Centre)
Park Road, Hemel Hempstead, Herts HP1 1JS
Tel. 01442 228188
25m x 12m outdoor heated pool, bubble pool and paddling pool, plus sunbathing lawns.
Andy Hoines writes:
"I have visited this pool several times, including in June 1994 when I took this photo. There was then a large Olympic-sized outdoor pool alongside the later indoor complex from the 1960s-70s. Despite the lack of original pool buildings, it was a very pleasant place, with a large heated pool and extensive lawns.
The outdoor pool still exists. It has, however, been downsized and refurbished into a 25m x 12m and shallower (0.8 - 1.45m) pool to keep it as a viable proposition. The season is flexible between May and October, with it staying open well into October in 2003. A single admission ticket allows access to both indoor and outdoor pools. The sunbathing lawns are still extant and there is a paddling pool with a water feature.
In an era where few other outdoor pools in the UK have assured futures, this appears to be a model success story. The outdoor pool has been reduced in size and depth, but is of recognised dimensions for serious swimming and is substantially bigger than the "token" outdoor pools at Finchley and Aylesbury leisure centres. The flexibility to alter the season according to the weather is also most refreshing to me."
2003: The centre manager, reported that 2003 was a fantastic year, due to the prolonged heatwave, the lack of other outdoor pools in the area following the closure of Ringshall, Welwyn Garden City, and Harrow in the past 5 years, and water quality problems which closed the outdoor pool in Hitchin for several weeks.
Website: via Sportspace
Highley: Severn Centre Outdoor Pool
Severn Centre, Bridgnorth Road, Highley, Shropshire WV16 6JG
Tel: 01746 860000
Jimmy Bullock writes:
"Highley pool, which I use, is heated and a reasonable size, was built in 1970 and was run by a band of volunteers."
John Heywood writes (2006):
This 30 metre pool, plus the same paddling pool, is exactly the same as before, but with different surrounds, fencing and improved changing facilities. It is now part of a larger sports facility called The Severn Centre. It is still owned by Bridgnorth District Council. The pool is heated to an excellent 80-82 degrees F, and opening dates were increased this year, being early May - late September. It is in a sunny and attractive rural location, and is well manned by helpful staff.
Over £1.3m of Lottery funding was invested by Sport England towards total project costs of £3.4m which brought about an innovative combination of facilities "designed to boost participation in sport and physical activity across the local community". As well as the outdoor swimming pool, the centre has a two-court sports hall, fitness suite, football pitch, cricket nets, meeting rooms, outdoor youth area (including a skatepark), library, club rooms and other social facilities.
The reopened pool and centre uses Suntube solar heating from Riomay Ltd on a 20,000 sq ft pergola.
Highworth Recreation Centre: Outdoor Pool [roofed over, with retractable sides]
The Elms, Highworth, nr. Swindon, Wiltshire SN6 7DD
Tel: 01793 762602
This former open-air swimming pool has been roofed over - but there are retractable sides which lift up to 2m. The Centre is a joint venture between Swindon Borough Council and a Centre Management Committee, in association with Highworth Town Council.
2005: "Fundraisers are hoping to build a sliding roof over Highworth open air swimming pool, having this facility the town will be able to offer all year round swimming to its residents. So far over £300,000 has been pledged towards the £800,000 target, including £150,000 from Swindon Borough Council, £50,000 from Highworth Town Council and £50,000 from the pool's trust. The Highworth Recreation Trust, the group of trustees who help manage the centre, is hoping to raise £250,000 towards the appeal through a landfill tax scheme."
2009: Sally Wainman writes:
It was re-opened as an indoor pool, complete with diving boards in August 2008. The official opening ceremony took place on 21st November 2008 (with Tessa Jowell presiding). Unfortunately, electrical problems developed and there was trouble with the boiler, so Highworth had to shut in mid-December 2008 for major repairs, but it re-opened again in January 2009.
See the series of photographs taken before the renovation BBC Wiltshire.
Ann Lewis wrote, after the reopening:
"There is a wonderful feeling of outdoorness as the retractable sides lift up to 2m on both sides. We retained our diving facility and now have a beautiful looking pool that is well used."
Website: via Swindon Borough Council
High Wycombe: Wycombe Rye Lido [reopened May 2011]
was Holywell Mead Outdoor Swimming Pool
The Rye, off Bassetsbury Lane, High Wycombe, Bucks. HP11 1QX
Tel. 01494 769472
Holywell Mead opened on 1 June 1957 and is based on a 1930s design. There is a 30m outdoor swimming pool, 20m teaching pool, grass area and patio for sun lounging and cafe. It is run by Fusion, who have an investment program for the future.
The Rye is High Wycombe's town centre park with an original layout conceived by Lancelot “Capability” Brown and later improvements by Humphry Repton. It covers an area of more than 22 hectares (53 acres). There was once a Roman villa on The Rye and decorative panels either side of the pool entrance are original Roman walling recovered from the site.
In in March 2009 Wycombe District Council voted through the closure of Holywell Mead Outdoor Swimming Pool. See this message to the Lidos Yahoo Group. A fierce public campaign was started and public meetings with visits to and help & support from other succesful open air pools, has led to re-opening in 2011. This was achieved by the Holywell Mead Pool Trust Steering Group and The Friends of Holywell Mead Pool.
2011: Holywell Mead Pool reopened on Friday May 27th, with ribbon-cutting the day after.
Website: Fusion Lifestyle
Hoddesdon Open Air Pool [closed in Feb 2009]
also called Spinning Wheel Open Air Pool
High Street, Hoddesdon, Herts. EN11
Heated 23m x 9m outdoor pool, built in 1949, with plenty of grassy areas for lounging and a patio area where hot and cold refreshments are served. Owned by Broxbourne Borough Council.
For a detailed history see this message by Andy Hoines to the Lidos Yahoo Group.
A temporary synthetic ice rink ran in the Spinning Wheel car park from 14 December to 1 January 2008.
November 2001: Conservative councillors gave strength to rumours that the Hoddesdon Open Air Pool will be run down and be built on. But a member of the Leisure Committee responded, "I say to the users of the pool, enjoy it for as long as you can."
2004: A Development Brief is prepared to assist in the Council's review of development options for the Spinning Wheel site.
Feb 2009: The pool was closed permanently by Broxbourne Borough Council.
In January 2010, the Council agreed to allow a community group a period of time to prepare a business plan to show how it would secure the funding required to keep the facility going for the next 15 years.
The council announced in 2011 that the pool will be demolished by the Council "to reduce the risks associated with empty and disused buildings". The site on which the pool operated is designated for open space and recreational facilities.
Special permission was sought from English Heritage and the Secretary of State since the adjacent Grade II listed building known as The Spinning Wheel was also to be demolished. Originally called the Italian Cottage, it was built in 1849 in a style influenced by Swiss and northern Italian architecture. Its owner was Septimus Warner, the seventh son of John Warner. The Warner family owned a successful bell casting company in London.
Huish Leisure Swimming Pool
Wincanton Road, Langport, Somerset TA10 9SS
Tel: 01458 251055
25m Outdoor pool was built 1970-80s, and is attached to a school.
[2000-2001: local council was to research the feasibility of covering the swimming pool at Huish Episcopi Sports Centre].
The village name Huish Episcopi means "House of the Bishop".
Hunsonby Swimming Pool
Outdoor swimming pool, probably unheated, on the South edge of the village, next to the river.
Irvine: Magnum Leisure Centre
Harbourside, Irvine, North Ayrshire KA12 8PP, Scotland
Tel: 01294 278381
There is a heated circular outdoor pool at the Magnum Leisure Centre, open from April to September, run by K:A Leisure.
Website: via K:A Leisure
Ivybridge Leisure Centre Outdoor Pool [closed in 2009]
was called South Dartmoor Leisure Centre
Leonards Road, Ivybridge, Devon PL21 0SL
Indoor pool and other facilities on site, run by Tone Leisure for Cornwall Council.
The freeform outdoor pool built in 1986 is currently closed.
Bob and Dave visited in July 2007:
"We eventually found the car park leading to the pool. Very friendly staff at reception who wave us through. Yes, the pool was open but nobody was using it (I wonder why?). However, a lifeguard was duly called to do his duty on poolside. The pool is freeform, an impossible shape to describe or swim. It seemed to be bulbous at both ends with huge static marker buoys at each end, one yellow and the other brown. We decided to swim for half an hour rounding each buoy in turn, open water style. Trouble was for me and my long arms, I was pretty well grounded each time I attempted to swim around the yellow buoy. No matter, the job was done and although the swim was not particularly memorable, the pool staff more than made up for it."
In 2010 South Hams District Council said: "The outdoor pool has reached the end of its useful life and is now beyond economic repair. The pool was constructed using glass mosaic tiles 15 years ago. The tiles are coming away from the side of the pool and, as they are glass, make it dangerous to use the pool. The concrete ring around the pool's rim has failed in places causing the sides of the pool to bulge outwards."
Kenilworth: Abbey Fields Swimming Pool
Abbey Fields Park, Bridge Street, Kenilworth, Warwickshire
Tel: 01926 855478
Summer outdoor pool, plus 25 x 10m indoor pool.
Website: via Warwick District Council
Kingsteignton: Swimming Pool
Meadowcroft Drive, Kingsteignton, Devon TQ12 3PB
Tel: 01626 366480
Heated outdoor 21 x 13m pool run by Kingsteignton Swimming Pool and Recreation Association.
Website: Kingsteignton Town Council
Kirkby Stephen: Open Air Swimming Pool
Christian Head, Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria CA17 4HA
This heated open-air swimming pool is run by the Kirkby Stephen and District Swimming Club and is located within the grounds of Kirkby Stephen Grammar School. It is open to members and community groups from May to end of August. Visitors to the area are welcome to attend the swimming sessions.
The Grammar School was founded in 1566 by Thomas Wharton, 1st Baron Wharton, under letters patent granted by Queen Elizabeth I, however the pool is newer!
Website: via www.kirkby-stephen.com
Lazonby Swimming Pool
Barton Dale, Lazonby, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 1BU
Tel. 01768 898346
Heated 17 x 6m open-air swimming pool, attached to a campsite, which opened in the 1964. Plus toddler pool and solar-powered showers. A kiosk is run by volunteers who help take entrance money and serve hot and cold snacks, refreshments and ice creams. It is run by Lazonby and District Swimming Pool Association Ltd, which is a registered charity.
Market Drayton Swimming Centre
Phoenix Bank, Newtown, Market Drayton, Shropshire TF9 1JU
Tel. 01630 655177
Has an outdoor pool and sunbathing area in the complex. The open air pool is decribed as being kidney shaped and suitable more for splashing about and cooling off than serious swimming. It is run by North Shropshire District Council.
The leisure complex is apparently built on the site of the previous lido which opened in 1933 to the designs of J.G. Bailey and built by J. Wood and Co. It was 165ft x 50ft and a local lady, a Miss Amy Onions, put up £1,500 of the £2,665 it cost to build.[Information from Ian Gordon].
Metheringham: Swimming Pool
Princes Street, Metheringham, Lincoln, Lincolnshire PE11 1QD
Outdoor pool run by Metheringham & District Swimming Pool Association.
Metheringham Swimming Pool
Milton Keynes: Wolverton Pool [closed in September 2011]
Aylesbury Street West, Wolverton, Milton Keynes, Bucks. MK12 5BS
33 x 12m outdoor pool, with two smaller pools, formerly run by Wolverton and Watling Way Pools Trust, on land leased from Milton Keynes Council.
Andy Hoines wrote:
This complex, with a 6 lane 33.3m main pool, as well as children's and toddler's pools and extensive lawns was opened on 1st August 1964. The plaque at the entrance indicates that public subscription raised the funds. The deep end has been reduced to only 2.2m - I think that this was done in the late 1990's. There is also an unusual system of railings to restrict diving to the centre of the deep end. I visited it in August 2004 and found it very pleasant, being clean, well maintained having friendly staff.
2004: Pool closed on 27 August due to staff shortages, and also because, due to the poor summer, the community trust has run out of funds. Next summer could be the last for the current pool, as it is planned to replace it with a comprehensive sports complex, including an indoor 8 lane 25m swimming pool.
2006: Radcliffe School sought outline planning permission "to establish the principle of erecting an indoor swimming pool for school and community on the southern side of the school, and the construction of a new access road from Great Monks Street and associated car parking. [It would] replace the existing outdoor swimming pool located adjacent to the southern boundary of the school." (A 2012 bid.)
A simultaneous outline planning permission by South East Midlands Local Improvement Finance Trust was sought "to establish the principle of erecting a health care development [integrated health and social care centre] ... on the site of the existing Wolverton Open Air Swimming Pool."
Both of these were suggested by a committee within Milton Keynes Council.
These were both granted by Milton Keynes Council on 26 April 2006.
Bob and Dave visted this pool on 22 August 2007:
"We eventually find our way to the pool at Wolverton which appeared to be a rather rundown part of Milton Keynes. The outside of the building looked rather careworn but a cheerful lady who immediately warmed to our Challenge greeted us. The pool was 33 x 12 metres, heated and inviting. The lifeguard had a rather lonely vigil as apart from one other swimmer, we were the only people using this lovely facility. We completed our 48 lengths and chatted for a while. Intermittent rain was falling by then and the young lifeguard confirmed that it had been a rotten summer. We spoke to the pool manager on our way out. He had worked at the pool for 15 years and it was [to have been] "the last season". He said sadly the pool would close to be replaced by what everyone hoped would be a spanking new 50 metre indoor pool. We know that this country needs more 50 metre heated indoor pools for competition purposes but we still came away shaking our heads. This was a sad moment in our challenge."
Open for "another last season" starting May 2011. The pool finally closed on Sunday 4th September 2011. Work in due to start in November by Milton Keynes Council to build a 6-lane 25m community indoor pool (with disabled access), plus a learner pool, gym, multi-use studio and café, on the site. It is being funded from the government's Growth Area Fund with completion early summer 2013. See the redevelopment proposals at:- Milton Keynes Council, Leisure Facilities
Moretonhampstead, Town Swimming pool
A solar-heated outdoor pool is located behind the Court Street
free Car Park. It is normally open end of May to beginning of September
dependant on the weather.
Northcroft Leisure Centre, Northcroft Lane, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 1RS
Tel: 01635 31199
This heated lido has unusual dimensions, 216 ft x 39 ft and dates back to 1870. The architect was B. Sargeant and builder D. Weston, it cost £450. The local library has a photocopy of the opening plaque dated August 1870. It started off with two shallow ends and a deep end in the middle. It also used to be segregated by sex, males on one side and females on the other, and was at that time unheated. It was enlarged in 1914 and completely rebuilt in 1937 possibly using the same tank. At that time it was said to be the largest pool in the south of England at 240ft x 40ft, but by 1963 it was the current 73m x 12m.
There is also a 10m heated outdoor baby pool. There is a conservatory overlooking the outdoor pool. Indoor pools and sports complex are adjoining. Now run by Parkwood Leisure.
2005: The pool is struggling somewhat, with year on year 'patch ups', but has recently undergone a £31,000 improvement to install new boilers, heating it to a pleasant 26C. "Enough to see the steam rising off the top on a cool May morning. Its unusually long design it provides me with a daily headache trying to safely lifeguard a pool built long before health and safety of bathers was ever considered to be important!"
via Parkwood Leisure
or via West Berkshire Council
New Cumnock Swimming Pool
Castle, New Cumnock, Cumnock, Ayrshire KA18 4AN
Tel: 01635 31199
Cumnock and New Cumnock are two towns in Ayrshire, only about six miles apart - both used to have outdoor pools, but the older one at Cumnock was closed in August 2003, and has now been demolished.
Graham Kelly writes:
"New Cumnock is smaller but much tidier. It's a little unusual in that it's like a huge bathtub, i.e. it is not sunk into the ground like most other pools are. You have to go up a ramp to get to poolside which is about 10-12 feet above street level. I had a peer through the bars and noticed a plaque which said the newly refurbished pool was opened on 9 June 2001."
Alan Woodison writes:
I've worked at both Cumnock and New Cumnock outdoor pools. Due to lack of funds, New Cumnock Pool, built some time in the 1960s I'd guess, was given to the people and I think is now open over a much shorter season. It has been given a face-lift, including new poolside changing rooms, rather than before when one had to walk 100 yards from the adjacent libary building! I think the Galleon Centre in Kilmarnock (01563 524014) has the responsibility of running the pool at New Cumnock.
Petersfield Open Air Pool
Heath Road, Petersfield, Hants GU31 4DZ
Telephone: 01730 265143
The Petersfield Open Air Heated Swimming Pool opened in 1962 and is now held in Trust for the people of Petersfield. A Supporters Club raises money to improve the pool and keep it open. The profits from the shop also contribute to the upkeep of the pool.
It is one of only two open air pools left in Hampshire - the other is at Hilsea, near Portsmouth.
"We are open from mid-April until the end of September each year and can promise you a bundle of fun in one of the friendliest swimming pools in England. We survive from year to year on a mix of paid tickets and generous donations".
A wide lane for serious swimmers is provided betweeen 11:30 and 14:00 each weekday (except Bank Holidays) and is sometimes available on Saturday and Sunday between 09:00 and 10:30. The pool is equipped with a powered hoist to allow access by the disabled. After paying you are given a big "laundry box" to take to the brightly coloured changing cubicles.
The pool is unusual in having: a springboard with a 3-metre deep end, evening sessions (7-8pm on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in 2006), and such a long opening season.
Oliver swims here once or twice every summer, as his mother lives in nearby Rogate. He went to boarding school nearby.
Website: www.petersfieldpool.org with an excellent photo gallery.
Plymouth: Mount Wise Swimming Pool
James Street, Devonport, Plymouth, Devon PL1 4LA
In Mutton Cove, Devonport. This swimming pool is free of charge. A note says: "a maximum of 300 people will be admitted into the complex at any one time."
Alan Powers writes:
"Originally twin pools with a children's pool. Classical buildings with green roof tiles.".
"The refurbishment of Mount Wise pools was part of a larger £5 million urban park project, jointly funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Plymouth Development Corporation and Plymouth City Council. Thanks to this the refurbished pools reopened in July 2000. The park contains a Redoubt landmark, the Scott Memorial, the harbour and a wild meadow."
The author visited these pools in 2003.
Jason Nolan took nice set of photographs in 2006-07.
For information on the many tidal sea-water pools in Plymouth, see a this webpage.
Website: via Plymouth City Council.
Portishead Open Air Pool, nr Bristol
Esplanade Road, Portishead BS20 7HD
Tel: 01275 843454
This 33m heated pool opened in 1962. This pool is managed by Portishead Pool Community Trust, which was set up to save the pool from North Somerset Council's plans to demolish the building and sell the land for development. The trust has signed a 99-year lease with North Somerset Council.
The pool was refurbished in May 2009 with the help of a TV makeover by Ty Pennington (Ty’s Great British Adventure)
Graham Kelly writes: "It's an amazing setting, set into the cliffside and the huge, steep terracing on one side of the pool gives you an incredible view over the Severn estuary."
The Lockhouse Lounge is an independent all year round restaurant and bar situated next to the pool.
Scarborough: Atlantis Water Park [demolished: 2007]
Peasholm Gap, North Bay, Scarborough, North Yorkshire YO12 7TU
Was an outdoor water park in North Bay, with a heated pool and "two gigantic waterslides, the River Rapids, and the Revolution Waveball creating an amazing sea atmosphere."
2006: Scarborough Borough Council have started a multi-million pound development of the 55 acre site.
"The development will include apartments, holiday accommodation, a state of the art water park, sports and leisure facilities, a hotel conference centre, a casino, shops, bars and restaurants."
The Council thought 2006 might be the final season that Atlantis would open.
Cllr. Eileen Bosomworth, Leader of Scarborough Borough Council said in July 2006:
"Benchmark Leisure Ltd is going to deliver and operate a state of the art leisure pool fit for the 21st century with an 8 lane 25m competition pool. ... The leisure pool will include a small element of open air water to enhance the overall visitor experience. However the main focus is on a much needed undercover leisure facility that will be popular all year round ... ."
Interesting set of photographs taken in December 2006 by TheOss.
2007: There was an application to use the site as a theme park, see item in the local paper. Following approval, the fair operator filled in the outdoor pools.
The nearby South Bay Bathing Pool (1915), which closed in 1989, once had restoration plans by the Twentieth Century Society, see their
casework study. It is Grade II Listed and was once the largest outdoor pool in Europe: 330 ft long and 167 ft wide.
April 2002: Jason Orton writes: "the pool is currently being filled with rubble. The visionary plan (sic) is to then top it with grass!". The derelict pool buildings were also demolished. All paid for with a £900K grant from Yorkshire Forward.
For a detailed history and photographs of South Bay Bathing Pool, see Janet Smith's book, pp. 58-61.
Shaftesbury Community Swimming Pool [now roofed over]
[was Shaston Swimming Pool]
Barton Hill, Shaftesbury, Dorset SP7 8DQ Tel. 01747 853514 [Tourism Office]
Formally a small basic outdooor pool. In April 2006 planning permission was granted to erect a canopy or roof over the swimming pool following a grant of £50,000 from the Big Lottery in the ITV West Region. The pool has now re-opened. See this message to the Lidos Yahoo Group in May 2008.
I'm unclear whether this roof is retractable.
Note that their old website has not been updated.
Shap Swimming Pool
Croft Avenue, Shap, Penrith, Cumbria CA10 3NR
Tel. 01931 716379
Heated 25m outdoor pool and toddler pool, in the centre of the village by the sports field. Claims to be the Highest Open Air Pool in England, 250m above sea level. Run by volunteers, with grant aid from Eden District Council.
Oct 2004: Received a £50,000 grant to upgrade its facilities.
[There used to be an outdoor pool at Kirkby Stephen as well].
Pool website has photographs.
Shepton Mallet Outdoor Pool
Shaftgate Avenue, Shepton Mallet, Somerset.
Tel. 01749 342146.
33m outdoor pool built in the 1950s. The lido won Property of the Year 2007 at the national Leisure Report awards as it's able to get 40% of its heat via special pipes as the cider company, Brothers Drinks, chills its drinks. See BBC News report in November 2007.
The project is the latest part of a £500,000 make-over of this lido which has already seen the installation of a new children's play area, green area and a revamp of the changing rooms and pool.
Skegness: Embassy Outdoor Swimming Pool
Grand Parade, Skegness, Lincolnshire PE25 2UG
Tel. 01754 610675
35m Outdoor pool, open summer only.
The laying out of Skegness foreshore with formal gardens, swimming baths and boating lakes took place in the 1930s. The 1930s lido was closed in the 1980s, to be replaced by another 50 yards away. There is also a large paddling pool.
An indoor pools adjoins the outdoor pool.
Stanhope: Weardale Open Air Swimming Pool
Castle Park, Waterside Court, Stanhope, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL13 2LY
Tel: 01388 528466
25m heated open air pool, open May to September. Opened in 1974, the pool was built with public money, community enterprise and local businesses, working in their own time and supplying goods free of charge.
Websites: www.weardale.co.uk/woaspa/index.htm or www.woaspa.co.uk
Swansea: Blackpill Lido
Mumbles Road, Swansea SA3 5AR Wales
(This "lido" is now just a whale-shaped paddling pool, opened in 1998).
On the seafront
Eastcliff Walk, Teignmouth, Devon TQ14 8TA
Tel. 01626 779063
Teignmouth Lido on Wikipedia
A 25 x 12m heated pool opened in 1976, as you can tell from
this photograph of the outside, by Dominique Bennett.
One of three pools operated by Teignbridge District Council. The others are at Buckfastleigh and Ashburton.
Website: via Teignbridge District Council.
Tonbridge Swimming Pool
Tel. 01732 367449
An outdoor pool linked by a swim-through channel to an indoor six-lane 25 metre pool. Plus a teaching pool and a toddlers’ pool. The outdoor pool is open from April to the end of October. The original heated outdoor pool (on this site?) was built in 1910.
Fore Street, Topsham, Exeter, Devon EX3 OHF
Tel: 01392 874477
"This modern, heated, outdoor facility was built by the community for the community, and was opened in 1979 after many years of dedicated fund-raising. The tiled pool measures 25m x 10m, with a shallow end of 1m and a deep end of 3m for the more adventurous. Heating equipment is augmented by roof-mounted solar panels maintaining water temperatures to a constant 80-83°F (26-28°C)."
Wallingford: Riverside Pool [reopened 2004]
Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8EB
The park, alongside the River Thames, has an open-air 25m heated swimming pool, normally open end of May to beginning of September. There is a caravan and camping site adjoining (May-Sept), as well as boat moorings.
John Griffin writes: "The pools were built in the 1950s on land given by the Lester family to commemorate the Coronation, and are not being reopened this year (their 50th anniversary, I believe) because the District Council won't spend the money to repair flood damage caused around New Year. There is a strong local outcry, as the paddling pool, particularly, and 25m open swimming pool are well used and greatly valued, in the summer."
Waterbeach: Barracks Outdoor Pool [Closed in 2013, and the pool filled in]
Waterbeach Army Barracks (now closed), Cambridge
Former outdoor swimming pool. As this pool was a short cycle ride from my house I used to swim there every day in summer. Lifeguards were provided by the Army. The pool was contructed by the Royal Engineers, next to a wartime building, in 1974.
The barracks closed on 1st April 2013 and the site is to be closed for housing. The Army moved out during 2012-13, for details see the Wikipedia page on the barracks. The barracks were built between 1939 and 1941 as a Bomber base for the RAF, and was transferred to the army in 1966.
The pool was filled in by the MoD in January 2013, because of Health and Safety fears after the barracks had closed.
Stoke-on-Trent: WaterWorld 2000
Festival Park, Etruria, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire ST1 5PU
Tel. 01782 205747 (around £10 per person)
The outdoor pool has a sunbathing and barbecue area. The pool also has a relaxing, 'lazy river' ride and a central spa.
Woodhall Spa Swimming Pool
Jubilee Park, Stixwould Road, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire LN10 6QH
Tel: 01526 353478
Jubilee Park Swimming Pool on Wikipedia
A heated 33m x 13m pool, open May to September. Also in the park are tennis courts, bowling greens, putting and a cricket ground.
Nearby is the "Kinema in the Wood", an early cinema which opened in 1922, in what was formerly a cricket pavilion. Films are shown using a rare original rear projection method.
Photo of the pool and another.
Woodstock Open Air Pool
Shipton Road, Woodstock, Oxfordshire
Tel: 01993 811785
Wotton Outdoor Swimming Pool
Symn Lane, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire GL12 7BC
Tel: 01453 842626
This 20m x 8m outdoor pool opened in 1961.
The pool is owned by Wotton Town Council and operated by the Wotton Swimming Pool Club, in conjunction with Dursley Pool. The pool was financed and built by the local community in a project involving school pupils, teachers and local people.
A retractable roof was installed in 1999 to allow an extended season.
In 2002 a supplementary heating system and pool surround were installed.
Bob and Dave swam there on 24 July 2007:
"The pool was not due to open until 6.30pm and to our dismay the pool appeared to be covered by what looked like a poly tunnel. A lady arrived and was trying to attract the attention of her friend who was lifeguarding that evening who she thought was inside the pool and perhaps enjoying a private swim. This reminded me of the days in the 1960's when the Barnstaple Rock Park pool attendant would throw our water polo captain the key and ask him to pop it under the mat before we left after practice.
Buffy the lifeguard duly opened the gate at 6.30pm and we were welcomed in. It turned out that the giant greenhouse could be slid across and yes, they would certainly do it for us. What kind people! So we got our 4th pool of the day in after all and it was a real joy to meet such friendly welcoming village folk. The was a real community effort run entirely by volunteers. It lifted the spirits after a long, tiring but joyful day."
or via Stroud District Council
The aerial photographs are copyright: The GeoInformation Group or getmapping.com
Not clickable to reduce spam, please type into your email program.
This webpage was first written in April 2002.
Updated June 2012.