Top Five UK Lidos
So maybe swimming outdoors is a fantasy you save for your summer holidays…but did you know there are over 100 outdoor pools and lidos in the UK, many of which you can enjoy all year round?
Hotel Price Scanner has rounded up a shortlist of our favourites to point you in the right direction.
Brockwell Park Lido, London
Brockwell Park lido was reopened and revamped in the 1990s to return it to its former 1930s glory, with a generous splash of added 20th-century mod cons. Today it is a thriving meeting place affectionately known as Brixton Village to locals, complete with a gym and studio, spa and café serving good quality food from dawn until dusk. Special food, sport and music events pepper the calendar, and for the hardy amongst you, early morning swimming is on offer all year round.
Jesus Green Outdoor Pool, Cambridge
A whopping 91m long by a measly 14m wide, Jesus Green Outdoor Pool in Cambridge was constructed in 1923 to mimic the narrow stretch of the River Cam that it parallels. The idea was to recreate the experience of taking a dip in the real thing with the added benefit of being chlorinated, free of pond life and complete with changing rooms. Open all year round, Jesus Green offers the perfect alternative to punting if you want to enjoy the river from another perspective.
Bristol Lido, Somerset
Bristol’s recently restored lido was first opened back in 1849 in the heart of the upmarket area of Clifton. Having seen its popularity wane in the latter part of the 20th century, it has now been returned to its former glory, embracing its Victorian architecture and combining its traditional features with luxury spa facilities, a pool bar and a two-storey, galleried formal restaurant. Plenty of natural wood, glass and attractive blue tiles are the order of the day, creating a popular and chic meeting place for Bristol’s well-heeled residents.
Parliament Hill Lido
Back down south once more, we find ourselves at Parliament Hill Lido. Home to the only stainless steel outdoor pool liner in the UK, courtesy of which the pool has a distinctive silver sparkle on a sunny day, the lido is open all year round for everything from summer frolics to bracing water workouts on sub-zero January mornings. A separate paddling pool for the little ones is a nice addition.
Ilkley Lido, North Yorkshire
Lido’s unique mushroom shape makes it perhaps the most impractical outdoor swimming venue in the country, but an attractive one none-the-less. Strictly one for a sunny day, there’s no chance of serious lane swimming here, but what it lacks in practicalities it makes up for in charm, with a central fountain and stunning backdrop across the distinctive rock formations of Ilkley Moor.