Britain’s Best Lidos

Forget the freezing outdoor pools that you were subjected to at school, with spider infested changing rooms and sub-zero temperatures: lidos are back in a big way and taking the UK by storm.

At Savoo we have rounded up our favourite outdoor pools from across the country, so wherever you are you can enjoy this traditional British pastime.


1)      Stonehaven Open Air Pool: Aberdeenshire

Let’s be honest, Scotland isn’t exactly known for its Mediterranean climate. Luckily, Stonehaven Open Air Pool offers clean sea water at a toasty 29C, which is actually often warmer than the Med! Now in its 80th year, the Olympic sized pool even offers midnight swims where you can float below the stars to the sound of disco music: lovely.

Price: Adult £5.25, Child £3.15

2)       Shap Swimming Pool: Cumbria

Located in the Lake District, Shap Swimming Pool has its very own claim to fame as England’s highest heated outdoor pool, reputedly at just under 1,000 ft. above sea level. It might not be the largest lido on the list (16.5 metres long), but with a baby pool, a small shop and picnic tables you will still have everything you need for a fun day out.

Price: Adults £3, Child £2.50

3)      Nantwich Outdoor Brine Pool: Cheshire

Possibly the only inland brine pool left in the UK, Nantwich pool first opened in 1935 and has been popular for its medicinal benefits ever since; recovering soldiers in the First World War would often flock to the Nantwich brine spring. Nowadays, the water is heated to 22C but is usually much warmer in the summer.

Price: Adults £4, Child £3.20

4)      Ilkley Pool & Lido: Yorkshire

In its lovely location next to the Bluebell Woods and the River, Ilkley lido is a throwback to the 1930’s with plenty of Art Deco charm…. and unheated water! On hot days the café is open for snacks, and on cold days the brave can brave the pool in wetsuits.

Price: Adult £5.70 Junior £2.80

5)      Bristol Lido: Clifton

One of the oldest lidos in the UK (dating back to 1849!), Bristol lido is unlike any outdoor pool you have probably encountered. With a poolside restaurant and bar, outdoor hot tub, steam room, sauna, spa and tearoom, the lido is more of a luxury day out than a typical open air swim.

Price: Non-member afternoon pass: £20

6)      Jesus Green outdoor pool: Cambridge

Among one of the longest outdoor swimming pools in Europe (91m), Jesus Green pool was designed to mimic swimming in the nearby river. We love the retro feel of the surrounding greenery and mature trees, dating back to the 1920s.

Price: Adult, £4.10

7)      Tooting Bec Lido

Another lido with a longstanding history, Tooting Bec Lido first opened in 1906 and remains the largest freshwater open air swimming pool in England. Brad Pitt’s boxing pool scene in Snatch was filmed here, and it the lido is often used as the setting for adverts.

Price: Adults £6, Child £3.70

8)      Tinside Lido: Plymouth

Restored to its art deco glory in 2003, Tinside lido is built in a semicircle design and features a large central fountain and views across Plymouth Sands. A family friendly location, the pool offers inflatable fun sessions, areas for sunbathing and picnics.

Price: Adults £4, Child £3

9)      Bude sea pool: Cornwall                   

Nestling under the cliffs on the north Cornwall coast, Bude sea pool is topped up twice a day by the surrounding Atlantic waves, and provides the perfect place to bathe in fresh seawater without the risks of swimming in the sea. Whilst it is open all year round, the lido is best enjoyed in the warmth of the summer sunshine.

Price: Free

Happy swimming!

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