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Just Keep Swimming: Best outdoor swimming pools near you in the UK

Lisa O'Keeffe

13 June 2018

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4 minutes
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It’s time to seek out the swimwear, grab the goggles and get planning your visit to a swimming pool with just the sky for a roof - that’s right, we’ve got your guide to the best outdoor swimming pools near you in the UK. As expected, most are seasonal, opening only during the summer months, but for those brave enough to try an outdoor pool in winter, we’ve found some ideas for you too!

So dip a toe in the water and check out our list of lidos (that’s a fancy word for outdoor pools) - now all we need is some sun…

Girl splashing in outdoor swimming pool

  1. Sandford Parks Lido, Gloucestershire

    Right on the edge of the Cotswolds, Sandford Parks Lido is a child’s idea of the perfect outdoor swimming pool! Home to slides, a children’s pool and a paddling pool, there’s plenty to keep your little ones entertained. There’s also the large 50m main pool with two lanes reserved for swimming lengths, leaving plenty of room for water antics. The best bit? Both the main pool and the children’s pools are heated, and there’s oodles of space around the pool for relaxing too.

    Families enjoying the outdoor pool at Sandford Parks Lido

  2. Tinside Lido, Devon

    Not just one of the best outdoor swimming pools in the UK, Tinside Lido in Plymouth is a regular feature in the lists of the best in Europe - sounds like we’re on to a winner! The Grade II listed building is as spectacular as it sounds, with art-deco style and a sun-soaked sunbathing terrace. Back to basics, this outdoor saltwater swimming pool has great views overlooking the English Channel - don’t miss the restored water feature fountain too.

  3. Wycombe Rye Lido, Buckinghamshire

    Wycome Rye Lido is a popular outdoor swimming spot, thanks to its year-round heating and underwater lights after its big refurb - there’s no shivering swims in the dark here! Set within the park, there’s also a separate heated children’s pool, so younger swimmers can enjoy their own splash area. Away from the water, there’s loads of family fun activities too, including Toddler World soft play for preschoolers.

    Wycombe Rye Lido

  4. Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool, Aberdeenshire

    Having originally opened in June 1934, Stonehaven Open Air Swimming Pool is a real Scottish treasure attracting visitors from far and wide! This gem is a saltwater, heated, Olympic sized, outdoor swimming pool, so it’s no surprise that it’s such a popular place to swim in the area. With loads of free parking, sheltered sun terraces, a paddling pool for under 8s and loads of fun sessions for kids, there’s plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

  5. Ilkley Pool & Lido, West Yorkshire

    For a summer spot in Bradford, look no further than Ilkley Pool & Lido. Home to an indoor pool that’s open all year round, it’s the outdoor swimming pool in the summer months that makes this worthy of a spot on our list. Unlike others in this guide, there’s no pool heating, so you’ll need to take a deep breath and take the plunge, but once you’re in you’re all set. With loads of grass surrounding the pool, find your spot and enjoy a great family day out at this lido.

    Ilkley Pool and Lido

  6. Droitwich Spa Lido, Worcestershire

    One of the UK’s few remaining open-air saltwater swimming pools, Droitwich Spa Lido is the ideal day out for the whole family looking to cool off this summer. Open during the summer months, this is one of best outdoor swimming pools in the UK for fun and games, with a Wet Play Area with water cannons and more, plus a cafe for when hunger strikes! Don’t miss the brand new fun sessions too, where kids can try a range of activities in the water.

  7. Richmond Pools on the Park, Greater London

    For an outdoor swimming pool with a view, it doesn’t come much better than Richmond Pools on the Park. Set on the edge of Old Deer Park in Richmond, the 33m outdoor pool is surrounded by acres of green space, meaning you can flit between the pool and dry land throughout the day. Fully lifeguarded, and with an indoor pool too, it even comes with my personal seal of approval - it’s where I used to go as a kid!

    The outdoor swimming pool at Richmond Pools on the Park


  8. Nantwich Outdoor Brine Pool, Cheshire

    One of the few remaining inlane brine pools left in the UK, Nantwich Outdoor Brine Pool is open from May to October. Warmed to a pleasant 23°C, it’s no surprise that it’s a popular spot for an outdoor swim, but with a maximum of 155 people at any one time, this is one pool that will never feel overcrowded! There’s no cafe, so pack a picnic to enjoy poolside.

  9. Hinksey Outdoor Pool, Oxfordshire

    It may only be open during the warmer months, but you’ll still be thankful for the added warmth of the heated pool at Hinksey Outdoor Pool. With a separate area for swimming laps, it’s the large area dedicated to family fun that will have you wanting to plan a visit. Refuel with drinks, snacks and even ice cream from the Poolside Cafe.

    A family in the water at Hinksey Outdoor Pool

  10. Portishead Open Air Pool, Somerset

    This outdoor swimming pool is the pride and joy of local residents, with Portishead Open Air Pool still run almost entirely by volunteers! Open come rain or shine from April to September, it’s heated to a cosy 28°C by green energy, so you can enjoy a dip without the nip. Plus, there’s a separate shallow toddler pool with a special non-slip floor, making it a great spot for a first outdoor swimming experience.

  11. Saltdean Lido, Brighton

    The iconic Saltdean Lido reopened in 2017 after a huge restoration project, and it’s certainly one of the most striking lidos on the list. One of the finest examples of a modernist lido in the UK, the 40m heated swimming pool is surrounded by landscaped lawns, giving you plenty of space to sunbathe. With a children’s paddling pool and splash area too, it’s a great choice for a family day out. Don’t forget to bring plenty of cash - cards are not accepted here!

    The iconic Saltdean Lido outdoor pool

We hope this list has “wet” your appetite for some splashing fun at one of these great outdoor swimming pools near you in the UK - if you’re looking for even more water play, check out our recommendations on the best waterparks in the UK, see the best places to head in a heatwave or perhaps stay dry and admire the marine life at these aquariums in the UK.  Or find your nearest location below to see the other lidos and pools near you:

Outdoor pools in Birmingham | Outdoor pools near London | Outdoor pools in Cornwall | Outdoor pools in Devon | Outdoor pools in Brighton | Outdoor pools near Manchester | Outdoor pools in Wales | Outdoor pools in Scotland | Lidos in Yorkshire

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Lisa O'Keeffe

13 June 2018

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Lisa is Brand Manager at Day Out With The Kids. Originally from London, she now lives in Birmingham and is a big kid at heart!

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