Take the plunge: outdoor swimming pools in the UK
Heated and non-heated outdoor swimming pools and lidos from the North of Scotland to the South of England
Back in the day Britons needed little excuse to don a stripey, knee-length swimsuit and take the plunge in an outdoor pool or lido. While many facilities closed there are still plenty up and down the country offering outdoor swimming for the summer months.
Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool
Warm water in the north of Scotland, who'd have thought it? This Olympic sized swimming pool is filled with clean seawater and heated to a balmy 29 degrees. There’s fun sessions, inflatables and a chute for the kids and a late night disco swim on Wednesdays for the adults.
Where: Queen Elizabeth Park, Stonehaven
Open: 30 May–6 Sep
Price: Adults £5.30, concessions £3.20, family £14.35, under 5s free
Facilities: On site cafe, free parking, paddling pool, lane swimming, inflatables
Scotland’s oldest heated outdoor pool, Gourock is filled with saltwater, heated to 29 degrees and offers views of the Clyde estuary.
Where: Albert Road, Gourock
Price: Adults £3.80, concessions £2.40-£3.20
Facilities: Gym, diving board, aqua classes
Lazonby Swimming Pool & Campsite
Opened in 1964 this outdoor pool is attached to a campsite, for those who really love being at one with the elements. The pool is 17m long, heated to 26 degrees and run entirely by volunteers.
Where: Lazonby, Penrith, Cumbria
Price: Adults £3.50, concessions £2.50, family £10, under 2s free
Facilities: Solar powered showers, refreshment kiosk, field for picnics/games
Shap Open Air Swimming Pool
At 900 feet above sea level this is England’s highest heated outdoor pool, so don’t look down! Run by volunteers the pool is 16.5 metres long and heated to 26 degrees.
Where: Gayle Avenue, Shap, Cumbria
Price: Adults £3.50, concessions £2.50, family £10, under 5s free
Facilities: Baby pool, picnic tables, small shop selling refreshments
Built in 1935 the pool reflects the outdoor temperature and so can range between 14 and 24 degrees. You can wear triathlon suits or surfing wetsuits to stay a bit warmer or brave it in your speedos.
Where: Denton Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire
Price: Adults £5.80, Concessions £2.90
Facilities: Cafe, indoor pool, putting, tennis, bowls
Nantwich Brine Pool
Before you ask it’s not like swimming in a tin of Tuna. Nantwich’s outdoor pool first opened in 1935, a big year for lidos, and originally wasn't heated. We’re not as tough as they were back in the day so now the temperature is kept at 22 degrees, with solar gain making it feel much warmer.
Where: Wall Lane, Nantwich, Cheshire
Price: Adults £4, concessions £3.20, family £10.30
Facilities: Indoor swimming pool and fitness centre
Droitwich Spa Lido
Closed in the 1990s, Droitwich Spa Lido was reopened in 2007 following a campaign by local group SALT (Save A Lido Today). The 40m open-air saltwater swimming pool offers early swimming sessions for the serious swimmers and water zorbing for the thrill seekers.
Where: Lido Park, Worcester Road, Worcester
Open: 23 May–6 Sep
Price: Adults £4.60, concessions £2.50-£3.20, family £4
Facilities: Cafe, Kids Wet Play Area, sun terraces
Tooting Bec Lido
Opened in 1906, the wonderfully named Tooting Bec Lido is the largest freshwater open-air swimming pool in the UK measuring 91.5 metres in length.
Where: Tooting Bec Road, Tooting, London
Price: Adults £7.80, concessions £5.20, under 5s free
Facilities: Paddling pool, cafe, swim clubs
Outdoor heated pools in the picturesque town of Ardunel in the Sound Downs National Park. Weekly activities include inflatable sessions, zorb ball sessions and adults only evenings for good old-fashioned swimming.
Where: Queen Street, Arundel, West Sussex
Open: 2 May–6 Sep
Price: Adults £6.50, concessions £3.50-£4.50, family £8.50-£16
Facilities: Landscaped grounds, shop, BBQ, picnic tables
Built in 1935 (another one!) this outdoor saltwater pool underwent a £3.3 million restoration in 2003 to restore it to its former art deco glory. The lido overlooks the sea so you can enjoy sea views with no hassle from sea creatures.
Where: The Hoe, Plymouth
Open: 2 Jun–9 Sep
Price: Adults £4, concessions £3, family £11.60
Facilities: Shop, cafe, sunbathing terrace