Best Lidos in the UK
Blur’s artwork for their new album ‘The Ballad of Darren’ features an image of a solitary swimmer in Scotland’s iconic Gourock Outdoor Pool by British photographer Martin Parr. Gourock is the oldest heated swimming pool in Scotland and back in the days when the pool was tidal, the bottom was said to be covered in starfish and shells and the sea crashed over the sides in stormy weather, no doubt making for a lively alfresco swim session. I love the image and the beautiful bleakness it conjures up.
I’ve searched the UK for the best lidos and outdoor swimming pools and here are my top picks:
Gourock Outdoor Pool, Inverclyde, Scotland
The oldest outdoor pool in Scotland offers swimmers dramatic views of the Clyde Estuary as they swim in the heated saltwater pool. Find out more here. Image credit: Gourock Outdoor Pool.
Pells Pool, Lewes, East Sussex
Pells Pool is an unheated spring-fed pool that’s the oldest documented freshwater outdoor public swimming pool in the United Kingdom. Locals love it and so do I. Find out more here. Image credit: Visit Lewes.
Jubilee Pool, Penzance, Cornwall
Jubilee Pool is the largest and most celebrated Art Deco sea water lido in the UK. Its unique triangular design and views of the Cornish coast make this geothermally heated pool a popular spot. Find out more here. Image credit: Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Growth Programme.
Thames Lido, Reading, Berkshire
Thames Lido first opened to the public in 1902 as the Ladies Swimming Bath and is believed to be the oldest surviving outdoor municipal pool of the early Edwardian era. Would you take a dip? Find out more here. Image credit: Thames Lido.
Hathersage, Peak District
Swim in the heart of the Peak District in the pretty village of Hathersage. This 30 metre open air pool was built in the 1930s and still retains the charm of a bygone era. Find out more here. Image credit: Hathersage Swimming Pool.
Clevedon Marine Lake, Somerset
Run by the community for the community this tidal infinity pool filled with seawater is open all year round and is perfect for water lovers. Find out more here. Image credit: Clevedon Marine Lake.
Lido Ponty, Pontypridd, Wales
Lido Ponty, a Grade II listed lido in Wales, has been restored to its former glory and updated for the modern visitor. Restored features include the 1920s turnstiles and wooden cubicles. Find out more here. Image credit: Lido Ponty.