Revealed: The best lidos in the UK

AL FRESCO SWIMMING IS BACK IN FASHION. FROM HIDDEN COUNTRYSIDE GEMS, TO ICONIC ART DECO SEASIDE AND CITY OASES, HERE ARE SOME OF THE BEST LIDOS THE UK HAS TO OFFER.
TINSIDE LIDO

If you’re on a budget, good news – Tinside is one of the cheapest places you can paddle. But with an awesome seaside location, it’s also one of the most spectacular. A grade II listed circular pool originally built in 1935, this seawater filled Tinside Lido is still resplendent in Art Deco glory. It’s family-friendly with poolside deckchair hire and picnics are welcome. Just make sure you position your deckchair for optimal views over Plymouth Sound. Don't miss out on a trip to our Southampton store while you're there!

 

SHOALSTONE LIDO, BRIXHAM
SHOALSTONE LIDO

Shoalstone Lido is a 53 metre seawater lido right on Brixham Seafront, built into a natural rockpool, and has been an attraction since Victorian times. In recent years, the lido struggled due to a lack of funding, but it has recently reopened and is running on support from the locals. Make sure you pay this lido a visit this year and pop into our Brixham store while you're there!

BROCKWELL LIDO
BROCKWELL LIDO

It’s known as Brixton Beach to the locals, and when you see the Londoners who flock here for respite from the city heat, you’ll see why. First opened in 1937, Brockwell Lido is admired for its Art Deco splendour and for being one of the few lidos in the city that’s survived closure. Pop into the poolside café for great grub and brilliant black and white photography of the swimming galas from back in the day.

 

TOOTING BEC LIDO
TOOTING BEC LIDO

Tooting Bec Lido is the other favourite outdoor pool among South Londoners. But at a whopping 91.4 metres long – the largest fresh water open-air swimming pool in England - this one’s for the serious swimmers.The expansive pool and multi-coloured changing huts have been here since 1906 and it’s open to the public during the summer months. But come Autumn it’s only the wet-suited swimming club members who are allowed in.

 

STONEHAVEN POOL
STONEHAVEN OPEN AIR SWIMMING POOL

Since it opened in 1934, Stonehaven Open Air Pool in Aberdeen has faced threats of closure, but is still going strong eight decades on. It attracts holidaymakers, athletes and is the UK’s only seawater open-air pool that’s heated. If you’re looking to fit some nice long lengths into your fitness regime, this impressive 50m Olympic sized pool should do the job.

 

HEMSLEY POOL
HELMSLEY OPEN AIR POOL

It may only be 20 metres long and is on the no-frills side in terms of facilities, but the hidden countryside location in a quaint North Yorkshire market town give this heated pool its appeal. It’s only open during the summer, but treat yourself to a season ticket and you can practice your backstroke in front of those rolling hills as much as you please.

 

CLIFTON LIDO, BRISTOL
LIDO BRISTOL

With foundations dating back to 1849, this is certainly one of the oldest lidos still being used in the UK. And we’d have lost this Grade II listed gem if it weren’t down to the ‘Save Our Lido’ campaign. These days, Lido Bristol has an upscale vibe, with an infinity-style solar-heated pool; steam, sauna and hot tub facilities and a chic restaurant that overlooks the pool. The food is worth the visit alone.

 

PONTYPRID LIDO
LIDO PONTYPRIDD

The future of Pontypridd Lido was a bit touch and go after it closed in 1991. But following a big restoration project, this Mediterranean style pool in the heart of Wales reopened at the end of last August. Located in the Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, there is a heated pool, splash pool and activities pool, as well as Visitors Centre to take you through the restoration process. And the design is  in keeping with its original 1920s charm, who needs to fly to the Mediterranean when you have this?