Welcome to 2017! We are all good intentions here and since midnight we haven’t had a drop of booze.
While reading about the number of lidos that have sadly closed in the last couple of decades, I decided to broaden my horizons – I have visited my local pool in Newbury regularly (a little too regularly, the staff there might say), but thought it might be fun to check out more of the pools around the country.
In my last blog post, I mocked the practice of making new year’s resolutions (or more accurately, those new year’s resolutions that are too vague are likely to fail), so I’m going to call this a “challenge” rather than a “resolution.” I am going to try to visit all of the lidos in England throughout 2017!
Number one was Hampton Pool. Happily it was open on new Year’s Day from 8am to 2pm. We arrived at about 12pm to find the car park full, the first clue that it was extremely busy in there.
It cost us (two adults and one child) £18.40, but it was worth it. After getting changed in the slightly old changing rooms, it was onto the 36m pool. Next to it, there’s a popular learner pool. The larger pool was full of people and complete with rising steam (it’s consistently about 28 degrees), resembling a scene from Iceland, and proved a reassuring sight to MrM who didn’t believe me when I told him the pool was heated.
The pool has two small slides (unfortunately closed today), and today there were three lanes roped off. I selected the slow lane which did exactly what it says on the tin, and plodded along for a mile – about 46 lengths. It’s a gorgeous pool, dating back to 1922, and has survived a turbulent history having been threatened with closure (and in fact, it was closed from 1981 to 1984).
High Street, Hampton, Middlesex, TW12 2ST
t: 020 8255 1116