10 best swimming pools in the UK: cool down at one of our favourite lidos

Grab your swimming costume...

Best swimming pools in UK: A woman swimming in a lane at a pool
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Grab your swimming costume...

Finding the heatwave a little, well, hot, and keen to cool off at one of the best swimming pools in the UK? Look no further, as we've rounded up the best for you.

Just like home workouts and Joe Wicks YouTube videos, swimming can be a great workout, with one Swim England study finding the sport not only improves both physical and mental fitness but lowers your risk of early death by 28%.

Grab your swimwear and get a booking. From glorious open-air spots on the coast of Cornwall to central London pools that'll help you forget the hustle and bustle of the big City, there's an outdoor swimming pool for everyone and every budget. Don't miss our guides to cold water therapy, ice baths, and wild swimming, while you're here.

Best swimming pools in the UK: 10 to try this weekend

1. Tinside Lido, Plymouth

Overlooking the sea and decked out with a cafe and spacious terrace, Tinside Lido is an ideal spot for swimming thanks to its spacious decking area, large pool, and breathtaking views.

Opening? Now - open from 2 May 2022.

Entry fee: £5

Best swimming pools in UK: Plymouth's lido

2. Ilkley Pool and Lido, Ilkley

Enjoy views of Ilkley Moor as you take a refreshing dip in the lido. Although, do note here, if you're a fair-weather swimmer, that it's not heated - one for those who love a bit of cold water therapy. (Read our guide to, is cold water bad for you?, here).

Opening? Now - open from 23 April 2022.

Entry fee: £4.80

Best swimming pools in UK: Ilkley Lido

3. Thames Lido, Reading

Definitely not your standard lido, this one is set by the river Thames in King’s Meadow park and is the result of an intensive three-year restoration project. The original pool was built in 1902 with a budget of just under £5,000. It includes a restaurant, tapas bar and spa – we’re talking hot-stone massages, saunas and hot tub - but do remember it's advised to book massages in advance.

Brunch afterwards, anyone? Don't miss our best brunches in London, if you're City-based.

Opening? Now - open all year round.

Entry fee: £20

4. Lido Ponty, Pontypridd

With three swimming areas (admittedly, one of these is a splash pool), the Lido Ponty has come a long way since it was first built in 1927. It's spacious and a great one for families.

Opening? Now - open from 9 April 2022.

Entry fee: £2

5. Gourock Pool, Gourock

A dip in this 33-metre saltwater lido comes with spectacular views of the Holy Loch. Gourock Pool, located on the banks of the River Clyde, is the oldest heated swimming pool in Scotland and includes a gorgeous waterfront gym that’ll make you want to follow up your laps with a session at the gym.

Opening? Now - open 6 May 2022.

Entry fee: £4.30

Best swimming pools in UK: Gourock

6. Brockwell Lido

Head to Herne Hill and you'll find Brockwell Lido, an outdoor swimming pool first opened in July 1937. Since then, it's closed once, but after a petition from local campaigners, re-opened. On a sunny day in London, the lido will be packed - our tip is to head down early.

Opening? Now - open all year round.

Price: £8

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7. London Fields Lido

Over in East London, you'll find London Fields Lido, a Hackney-based outdoor swimming pool best known for its rainbow-coloured changing room doors. It's 50m long, heated to 25 degrees c, and normally open year-round no matter the weather. Find it in the northwest corner of London Fields Park.

Opening? Now - open all year round.

Price: £5.10

A photo posted by on

8. Jubilee Pool 

Fun fact: Jubilee pool is the UK's largest and, according to its website, most celebrated, art deco seawater lido. Situated in Penzance, Cornwall, it's a real beauty - like something out of a Wes Anderson movie. A bucket list open-air swimming pool, for sure.

Opening? Now - open all year round.

Price: £4.25

A photo posted by on

9. Cowley Manor, Cotswolds

Now this is what you call a hotel with an amazing outdoor pool. Surrounded by 55 acres of manicured gardens, the outdoor pool is large enough for serious swimmers, and ideal if you fancy switching between perfecting your breaststroke and enjoying the treatments at the C-Side Spa.

Opening? Now - open all year round.

Price: Rates start from £205 per room per night.

10. The Mondrian, London

The newly-opened Mondrian marks the brand's return to London and, fun fact: the Curtain Members’ Club will continue to operate alongside the re-branded hotel, providing a world-class offering to members and an amazing lido on the rooftop. Not one to miss.

Opening? Now - open all year round.

Price: Rates still to be announced with the relaunch.

Now you've read our guide to the best swimming pools in UK: happy swimming.

Ally Head
Senior Health, Sustainability and Relationships Editor

Ally Head is Marie Claire UK's Senior Health, Sustainability, and Relationships Editor, nine-time marathoner, and Boston Qualifying runner. Day-to-day, she works across site strategy, features, and e-commerce, reporting on the latest health updates, writing the must-read health and wellness content, and rounding up the genuinely sustainable and squat-proof gym leggings worth *adding to basket*. She's won a BSME for her sustainability work, regularly hosts panels and presents for events like the Sustainability Awards, and saw nine million total impressions on the January 2023 Wellness Issue she oversaw. Follow Ally on Instagram for more or get in touch.