When the weather heats up, there’s nothing like diving into the watery depths of an outdoor swimming pool and cooling off with a leisurely lap or two.
Whether you’re looking for a serene place to paddle in peace, somewhere to soak up the sunshine, or a place to let the kids splash away their energy in the great outdoors, Gloucestershire has plenty of prime swimming pools to pick from.
And with the thermometers soaring to a seven-year high this summer, there’s never been a better time to take a deep breath and dive in.
Sandford Parks Lido in Cheltenham is Gloucestershire’s most popular place for an outdoor swim. The Lido has welcomed bathers into its waters for more than 75 years, with its popularity with serious swimmers and families alike showing no signs of slowing down.
With slides, a 50 metre main pool, children’s pool and a paddling pool, as well as children’s play area and four acres to run around, Sandford Parks Lido is a prime place to take the kids.
When the sun starts to shine, Stroud’s swimmers head to Stratford Park Leisure Centre. As well as being home to indoor facilities galore, a 50 metre outdoor pool also welcomes those wanting to take a dip.
With very reasonable admission prices, and situated within the stunning surrounds of Stroud’s Stratford Park (one of Gloucestershire’s finest), pack a picnic for tucking into after a long swim and a cheap and cheerful summer day out will be complete.
For more information see Stratford Park Leisure Centre or call (01453) 766771.
First opened in 1961, the 20-metre Wotton-under-Edge Pool was originally built by teachers and pupils at a local school. It’s a lot warmer now thanks to solar heating, with water temperatures around 28 degrees celsius, and continues to be enormously popular with locals.
No longer at the mercy of the meteorologist, the pool was fitted with a retractable roof a number of years ago – which can be opened on hot days and shut on colder ones. So even if the British weather is playing up, swimmers can still count on a fun day out in Wotton.
For more information see Wotton-under-Edge Pool or call (01453) 842086.
One of the oldest outdoor swimming pools in the UK, Cirencester Open Air Swimming Pool was built in 1869 and continues to attract the crowds from May to September – thanks to its friendly atmosphere and balmy 27 degrees natural spring water.
As well as a 28-metre main pool with a slide, there’s also a children’s paddling pool and tuck shop, not to mention the glorious Cirencester Park surroundings to take in.
For more information see Cirencester Open Air Pool or call (01285) 653947.
Given as a gift to the ‘inhabitants of Lydney and Ashburton’ by the Bathurst family in 1920, Bathurst Swimming Pool in Lydney is considered to be one of Gloucestershire’s best kept secrets.
Spanning 41 metres, the Forest of Dean outdoor pool is run by volunteers and is open to members of the public from June to September each year. There is a shop selling hot and cold drinks, snacks and ice creams, an area for picnics and sunbathing, as well as toilets. Plus, there is also a Serious Swimmers Club.
For more information see Bathurst Swimming Pool or call (01594) 842036.
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