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Just Keep Swimming: Best Lidos and Outdoor Swimming Pools Near You

Posted 13 August 2021
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Splashing days out at the best lidos and outdoor swimming pools near you may seem out of reach right now, but don’t despair - the June rainy spells will be gone before you know it and sunny summer won’t be far behind. Plus, look at it on the bright side: if bad weather is keeping you indoors, it gives you plenty of time to plan your next family day out. And believe us, once the clouds clear away the kids will be eager for some water fun!

Although not everyone’s lucky enough to live close by the sea, there are lots of big swimming pools and lidos in the UK, so your family can enjoy water play in the sun, no matter where you live. Here are our picks for the best lidos and outdoor swimming pools near you!

Kids playing in pool

  1. Hyde Park Lido (London, Greater London)

    Whether you’re a resident Londoner, or you’re just planning a sightseeing trip to London in the summer, Hyde Park is a great place to take the kids. A walk in the park is always wonderful but during the summer there's much more going on, as Hyde Park is home to one of the best lidos in the UK - the 110 yard Serpentine Lido. When the weather’s nice, you’ll be struggling to get the kids to come out of the water!

  2. Hinksey Outdoor Pool (Oxford, Oxfordshire)

    If you’re looking for a big swimming pool in Oxfordshire where your little swimmers can practice their skills, or simply splash around for a few hours, Hinksey Outdoor Pool is just the place to go. You can work on your tan on the sunbeds around the pool while your kids explore the water park, which features a sprinkling area with shooting flowers.

  3. Cherry Hinton Water Play Area (Cambridge, Cambridgeshire)

    The Cherry Hinton Water Play Area at Cherry Hinton Hall is perfect for mini swimmers. Here you'll discover two small paddling pools with gentle water shelves, where your tiny sprogs can enjoy making a splash in an area designed especially for them! There’s free admission too, so it’s a great little find for local parents.

  4. Blackpill Lido (Swansea, Glamorgan and Cardiff)

    Featuring an outdoor water park with a paddling pool, splash pad, kids’ dry play area, climbing rock and picnic facilities, Blackpill Lido is undoubtedly one of our top picks for the best lidos in the UK. They even throw family-friendly events and activities during the school holidays...Hard to believe it’s actually free!

  5. Faversham Swimming Pool (Faversham, Kent)

    Yes, you can go swimming at Faversham Swimming Pools any time of the year but summer-time is when most of the fun happens, as you’ll also have three fantastic outdoor pools at your disposal. Confident swimmers can dive straight into the 33-metre pool, while tiny sprogs who are still learning start off at the paddling pool. Not to mention, there’s a wild water rapids pool perfect for game time. One of the best outdoor swimming pools near you, that’s for sure!

    Kids splashing each other in a pool

  6. Hathersage Open Air Heated Pool (Hathersage, Derbyshire)

    No need to fly to a tropical island to enjoy warm waters and nice weather! Heated to a lovely 28 degrees throughout the summer, Hathersage Open Air Heated Pool is a heavenly destination for any family staycation. With public swim sessions taking place at the outside pool every day, it’s the perfect place to polish off your swimming skills and get fit.

  7. Droitwich Spa Lido (Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire)

    At Droitwich Spa Lido you’ll enjoy a great family-friendly experience. There you’ll find a big outdoor swimming pool and a ‘Wet Play Area' full of water cannons and fountains to keep the kids entertained for hours. Leisurely day out in the sun - that’s what UK lidos are all about!

  8. Haltwhistle Swimming and Leisure Centre (Haltwhistle, Northumberland)

    For those of you who live in Hadrian Wall Country, the one outdoor swimming pool near you that you should definitely visit with the kids this summer is at Haltwhistle Swimming and Leisure Centre. With 3 outdoor heated pools, an adventure play area, and a picnic area for your family to enjoy, you’re sure to have a wonderful time.

  9. Wimbledon Sprinkler Park (London, Greater London)

    If there's one thing kids love, it's splashing around in the water! The interactive splash pad at Wimbledon Sprinkler Park, featuring six paddling pools, plus two interactive play areas that squirt, sprinkle and tip water, is the perfect attraction for those of you who are craving some wet and wild fun. The best news? This awesome outside pool is completely free!

  10. Nantwich Outdoor Brine Pool (Nantwich, Cheshire)

    How about a swim in the only inland brine pool left in Britain today? Nantwich Outdoor Brine Pool is a unique swimming facility popular with water lovers of all ages. The water’s heated to 74F (22C°) and with summer season running from May to October, it’s open longer than most other lidos in the UK.

    Kids swimming underwater in a pool

  11. Ingleton Open Air Heated Swimming Pool (Ingleton, North Yorkshire)

    Ingleton Open Air Heated Swimming Pool is a local favourite; it has been open since 1934 and is fully community managed. The open-air swimming pool is 20m (65ft7in) long. It’s refilled with water from the nearby river weekly and the temperature in the water is kept at around 80F (26.6 C), so you won’t have to wait for a heatwave to enjoy swimming there.

  12. Sandford Parks Lido (Cheltenham, Gloucestershire)

    Slides, a kiddie pool and a paddling pool for younger swimmers - you'll find all a child needs at Sandford Parks Lido. Set in stunning grounds on the edge of the Cotswolds, there’s plenty of space surrounding the pool too, making it one of the best lidos in the UK and a great day out for the whole family.

  13. Gourock Outdoor Pool (Gourock, Glasgow and Strathclyde)

    Gourock Outdoor Pool is a wonderful heated outdoor salt water pool in South Scotland, which offers classes and activities for all ages. With a range of swimming lessons designed for anyone from the tiniest tots to their grandparents, your whole family can enjoy a swim there. Come along for a Family Fun Session to add funky floats and large rafts to your day by the pool!

  14. Hood Park Lido Outdoor Swimming Pool, Leicestershire

    If you’re planning a family day out in Ashby-de-la-Zouch between May and September, it’s definitely worth making a stop at Hood Park Leisure Centre. The 30-metre outside swimming pool is heated, so the temperature outside won’t be an issue. Plus, there’s a large patio area with plenty of seating where you can put your feet up and relax.

  15. Ruislip Lido (Ruislip, Greater London)

    Who says Londoners don’t have a beach nearby? Ruislip Lido Beach at Ruislip Woods National Nature Reserve is just a tube ride away and it’s got everything from a lake, to an 8-metre wooden kids’ pirate ship, to a miniature railway. What a fitting addition to end our awesome list of the best lidos in the UK!

Girl on a float in a pool

Liked our list of best UK lidos and outdoor swimming pools near you? There’s plenty more going on this summer, so why not have a look at these popular articles from our blog:

UK's best indoor water parks | Best beaches in the UK | Best Family Walks in the UK | Best Places to go Strawberry Picking Near You | Things to do in June | Things to do in July | Things to do in August