Lidos: Serene Swim Spots in Unlikely Locations
“Swimming is simply moving meditation.” ― Cesar Nikko Caharian
A lido is a public, open-air swimming pool. Popular all over Britain, you’ll find people young and old enjoying a landlocked dip in their local lido. These outdoor bodies of water have been utilised for well over a century, with the Cleveland Pools in Bath first opening in 1815. Outdoor swimming boomed in Britain in the 1930s, meaning many of the lidos found in the UK today still stand steeped in Art Deco design, and hold a strong sense of history.
Whether they are used for exercise or pleasure, the blue health benefits of visiting a lido are ten-fold. By spending time on, in or near water, we are actively nurturing our mental wellbeing. We can’t recommend water-time enough, so grab your swimmers and sink into one of these famous watery wonderlands.
Jubilee Pool, Cornwall
Whilst it’s not an unlikely location, we love the beautiful Jubilee Pool in Cornwall that borders the ocean. The lido is split into 2 pools, one big main pool that is refreshed by the tide, and a smaller geothermal pool. It is the largest sea water lido in the UK, and it’s beautiful, white, Art Deco design is renowned. The geothermal pool and the cafe are open all year round, and the main pool is open during the summer season.
t. 01736 369224
Photo from Jubilee Pool Penzance Ltd.
Bristol Lido, Bristol
Beautiful Bristol Lido is a haven within the city. Built in 1850, the pool has changed hands many times, and finally closed in 1990. Luckily it was bought by Arne Ringner and redeveloped, before reopening in 2008. Now it is a busy, picturesque hot-spot loved by locals and visitors, where people enjoy a cold dip, delicious food and a space to relax. Booking is essential.
Thames Lido, Reading
The Thames Lido in Berkshire originally opened in 1902 to provide a private place for women to bathe and swim. The classic Edwardian structure fell into a state of disrepair after the pool’s closure in 1974, but was resurrected by Arne and his team, much like the Bristol Lido. It now boasts not only a spectacular outdoor pool, but a spa, restaurant, bar and event space. Open all year, 7 days a week.
t. 01182 070 640
Hathersage, Peak District
This pretty pool in the Peak District is overlooked by rolling hills and green pastures. Whilst it was built in 1936, it has never fallen derelict, and has been maintained and well loved for almost 100 years. The lido also offer Night Swim events, and there’s live music too!
t. 01433 650 843
If you fancy plunging into a piece of history, washing away your worries in the great outdoors and finding a serene swim spot in an unlikely location, then you’ll want to seek out a lido. We love their subtle charm and accessibility, allowing everyone to take a dip, no matter your distance from the ocean.
Photos from Bristol Lido unless stated otherwise