From Cornwall to Clyde – enjoy the best of Britain’s beaches this summer


WE HAVE all spent so much time indoors during lockdowns that even when we feel like swimming, we want to splash around outside. So it’s no surprise that lidos have never been so popular.

TRISHA HARBORD dives to offer you a selection of destinations where you can swim in the open air.

Cornwall

YOU have the choice of diving in cold or hot water at the Jubilee Pool in Penzance.

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Enjoy the views of Mt St Michael and the fishing village of NewlynCredit: Alamy

The art deco saltwater lido was opened in May 1935 to mark the Silver Jubilee of King George V, at a traditional swimming spot in Battery Rocks, near the harbor.

Enjoy the view of Mt St Michael and the fishing village of Newlyn. More recently, after a local fundraising campaign, a new geothermal pool heated to 30 ° C was added as well as changing rooms and a café.

SPLASH: From 9.30am, main swimming pool adults £ 4.25, children £ 3, free for children under 4. Geothermal energy £ 11.75, £ 8.20. See jubileepool.co.uk.

WHAT ELSE? At low tide, you can cross on foot to the island of Mont Saint-Michel to visit the castle. Stroll through the National Trust’s Trengwainton Gardens and take a trip to Mousehole, described by Dylan Thomas as “the most beautiful village in England”. See visitcornwall.com.

London

READY for a fresh dip? Tooting Bec Lido is Britain’s largest freshwater swimming pool, holding one million gallons of water, heated only by the sun.

It has elegant changing rooms with red, yellow and green doors and is often used as a film location

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It has elegant changing rooms with red, yellow and green doors and is often used as a film locationCredit: Alamy

The South London Pool, measuring 91×30 meters, opened as a swimming lake in 1906 and mixed swimming was not introduced until 25 years later.

It has sleek changing rooms with red, yellow, and green doors and is often used as a filming location, including Brad Pitt’s pool scene in the snatch thriller.

SPLASH: From 6 a.m., £ 8. See placesleisure.org.

WHAT ELSE? The Tooting Broadway Market, established in 1936, is one of the oldest in South London, with over 100 stalls selling food, drinks, clothing, electronics and jewelry. The Northern Line Tube will take you to central London in 30 minutes. See visitlondon.com.

Clyde

If you like your hot water then the Gourock Pool on the Clyde is for you – it’s heated to 29 ° C. And with those temperatures, you wouldn’t mind taking a dip in one of its evening “starlight swims”.

There are diving boards, a kids' pool, and a gym

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There are diving boards, a children’s pool, and a gymCredit: Michael McGurk 2018

The 33-meter saltwater swimming pool – Scotland’s oldest, dating from 1909 – offers great views over the Clyde Estuary. There are diving boards, a children’s pool and a gym.

SPLASH: Hours vary from 7:30 am. A swim costs £ 4. See inverclydeleisure.com.

WHAT ELSE? Don’t miss a favorite landmark in the ferry port town, the 6ft Granny Kempock Stone, believed to bring good luck to honeymooners and sailors who circle it seven times. Also visit the castle of Levan and the Saint-Jean church. Gourock is just 45 kilometers west of Glasgow and trains leave from Pierhead station. See tourscotland.com.

Cheltenham

The charity that runs the Sandford Parks lido in the heart of Cheltenham has just been granted a new 35-year lease to ensure the safety of the precious swimming pool.

Besides the 50-meter lido, there is a children's pool and slides, and aqua aerobics, yoga, and Pilates classes are available.

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Besides the 50-meter lido, there is a children’s pool and slides, and aqua aerobics, yoga, and Pilates classes are available.Credit: Alamy

It was first opened in 1935, bringing joy to Gloucestershire families during a time of financial depression and mass unemployment. Besides the 50-meter lido, there’s a kids’ pool and slides, and aqua aerobics, yoga, and Pilates classes are available.

SPLASH: Weekdays from 6.30 am, weekend hours vary. Adults £ 5, children £ 2.70. See sandfordparkslido.org.uk.

WHAT ELSE? If you want to shop and eat, explore Montpellier for its chic boutiques, bars and restaurants. Board a steam train at Cheltenham Racecourse for a 45km round trip through the stunning Cotswolds countryside. See visitcheltenham.com.

Plymouth

TINSIDE Lido enjoys a spectacular setting overlooking the sea in Plymouth Harbor. The semi-circular, art-deco-style swimming pool has a fountain in the middle and a sun terrace with stunning views.

The lido was built in 1935 and listed Grade II

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The lido was built in 1935 and listed Grade IICredit: Alamy

Built in 1935 and listed Grade II, it was voted one of the ten best outdoor swimming pools in Europe. With a shallow and deep end, Devon Harbor Lido is teeming with salt water, ideal for relaxation and detoxification.

SPLASH: Monday to Friday from 12:30 p.m., weekends from 10 a.m. A swim costs £ 5. See everyone active.com.

WHAT ELSE? See over 4,000 creatures at the National Marine Aquarium and visit The Box Plymouth, the city’s new museum, art gallery and cultural center. One of the most exciting high speed sailing events in the world, SailGP, will be held July 17-18. See visitplymouth.co.uk.

Peterborough

BANG in the middle of the city, Peterborough Lido is a favorite day out for families. There is a 50 meter main pool and training and paddling pools, all of which are heated, a large lawn with play facilities, a balcony for sunbathing and a cafe.

There is a 50-meter main pool and wading and paddling pools

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There is a 50-meter main pool and wading and paddling poolsCredit: Alamy

Be on the lookout for special events; the lido recently organized an evening with the british naturism organization.

SPLASH: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., adults £ 5.90, children £ 4.30, children under 5 free. See vivacity.org.

WHAT ELSE? Visit the 900-year-old Norman Cathedral and step back in time at the city museum. Shop in the center and Queensgate Market which serves food from all over the world. Peterborough also loves festivals; the UK’s largest food, drink and music festival – the Sausage & Cider – takes place on August 13. See visitpeterborough.com.

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About Marco C. Nichols

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