UK’s top five natural pools
Following hot on the heels of Hotel Price Scanner’s Top Five UK Lidos, by popular demand we bring you our pick of the UK’s Top Five Natural Swimming Pools. So if you’re partial to a spot of outdoor bathing why not plan on visiting one of these on your next British holiday?
Stonehaven Outdoor Pool, Aberdeenshire
Perched right on the northeastern tip of Scotland, Stonehaven boasts the only outdoor heated seawater pool in the United Kingdom. Open from May to September, the salt water is heated to an impressive 29 degrees Celsius, ready for young and old alike to don their swim kit and enjoy slides, inflatables and traditional seaside fun. For a more peaceful experience, head to Stonehaven on a Wednesday night for child-free swimming under the stars right through until midnight.
Shoalstone Pool, Brixham
Shoalstone may not have the benefits of Stonehaven’s heated water, but it does enjoy an attractive vantage point in the pretty seaside village of Brixham in Devon, and an equally attractive climate to match. One of only a few of its type remaining in the country, Sholastone Pool overlooks a pretty shingle beach, with wider views across the bay to Torquay. Complete with lifeguards, first aid facilities, deckchair hire, a well-stocked café and plenty of space to relax and enjoy the sunshine, this is a popular destination for local and holidaymakers alike.
Serpentine Lido, London
Hyde Park is no stranger to people stripping down to basics to enjoy a rare spot of British sunshine, but you may be surprised to learn that you can actually enjoy an ‘official’ dip in the freshwater lake that snakes its way through London’s popular West End park? From May to September, the Serpentine is open to all for a leisurely dip in the company of ducks, swans and all manner of pond life. Unheated and unchlorinated, the Serpentine offers raw, natural swimming at its finest – with the added benefit of a sandpit, paddling pool, swings, kiosk and sunloungers. Hardcore swimmers can even join the Serpentine Swimming club for serious open water swim practice all year round.
Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds
Another freshwater offering from north London’s notorious Hampstead Heath Swimming Ponds. Formed many years ago from dammed-off clay pits, the ponds are divided into three separate swimming areas, for ladies, men and mixed groups including older children. While the men’s ponds have battled a reputation for offering a little more than just an open-air swim, overall the ponds offer a year-round fun, natural swimming experience surrounded by the greenery of one of London’s more famous parks.
Jubilee Outdoor Pool, Penzanze
Taking to the seas once more, we find ourselves in the far southwest of England – Penzance to be precise, in the turquoise waters of the Jubilee Outdoor Pool. The Jubilee Pool offers one of the most exquisite backdrops of any open-air swimming venue in the UK, with Mount’s Bay and St Michael’s Mount stretching out beyond the walls of the UK’s largest seawater lido – home to a million gallons of the salty stuff. If surfing’s not your thing, this is the place to head instead to enjoy a relaxed dip on your Cornish break.