If you know me (or if you’ve had a look at my hair), you’ll know that I am always looking for new places to swim. I find disused lidos and abandoned outdoor swimming pools extremely depressing – you just can’t help but think of all the history and memories that the place retains.
So when a pool is brought back from the brink, it’s truly cause for celebration. And that’s why I’ve kept a keen eye on the developments in Reading on the site of the former Kings Meadow Lido. The team behind the hugely successful Bristol Lido have now worked their magic on the site in Reading and have opened a beautiful little oasis called Thames Lido.
The site is right next to the Thames and dates back to 1902 when it was the ‘Ladies Swimming Bath’. Sadly the pool closed in 1974, but after three years of building work, it’s now a contemporary spa and restaurant.
I was so keen to get in to see it that I asked to be shown around by a lovely staff member who didn’t mind me oooohing and aaaahing all over the place. It’s such a beautiful building and probably best to think of it as an affordable spa rather than an outdoor pool. With a nod to its past and touches such as beautiful tiles, it’s bang up to date with the pool at the centre with the seating area around it. You can book massages and other treatments and even have a Christmas party there. Thank you to everyone involved for preserving this bit of history and see you at the deep end!