Best public pools in Britain

I asked people on Twitter for their suggestions for the best public pools in Britain. Here follows their response. This list is not definitive, there are repeats, and inclusion does not mean that the pools actually ARE the best, it is subjective. From it we can gather this: people love lidos, oh yes they do.

If you want to add, add. This is what we have, so far:

vickyjo Victoria Walberg
 I haven't been in years, but have fond memories of Ilkley…
wilkov8 jamie
Bramley Baths, Leeds #UKbestpublicpools
c3araz Ceara Rea
Hitchin outdoor 50yard pool, only open 3 months of yr but heated. We all love a lido! #UKbestpublicpools
markwildfood Mark Williams
Coincidentally,having 1st indoor swim for years tonight in Kirkcudbright pool-recently saved by community. #UKbestpublicpools
RobertHogg Robert Hogg
Elland Pool in @calderdale s a great family pool, closed for repair will retweet when open #UKbestpublicpools
lacatchat Catriona Soutar
 The Pells! Obviously! Altho not actually founded in 1680 as local paper reported but 1860s, still the best #UKbestpublicpools
Sarinamoliver Sarina Oliver
#UKbestpublicpools The Pells Pool in Lewes, Sussex. An open air pool with grass to sunbath on. One of, if not the oldest lidos.
stuartneilson Stuart Neilson
#UKbestpublicpools Helmsley pool in yorks
Dappybint Annabel Westney
#UKbestpublicpools Guildford Lido
stuartneilson Stuart Neilson
#UKbestpublicpools greystoke outdoor in Cumbria and the outdoor one near Darlington
JenPharoah Jen Pharoah
#UKbestpublicpools Hexham swimming pool in Northumberland is the best pool I've ever been too! Amazing facility! :-)
Beth_bot Beth Marshall
#ukbestpublicpools - Levenshulme Baths, Manchester. Great facilities, amazing staff, caters for everyone - we love it!
parrais Matt L
I nominate Buckley Leisure Centre - cheap, clean, quiet, pleasant environment, friendly staff #UKbestpublicpools
Sheff01 Mark Sheffield
#UKbestpublicpools. Leith Victoria. Also one of the oldest.
jennylandreth jennylandreth
LOTS of people adding lidos to #UKbestpublicpools list. Just as Weston-s-Mare council declare they will demolish theirs. Great, it is not.
simonmorales77 Simon Morales
I also remember Aldershot Lido was excellent while at Uni #UKbestpublicpools #aldershotlido
#ukbestpublicpools - Crosby, Liverpool L23; kids will love the spaceship in the dunes and you can meet the @IronMenCrosby too!
simonmorales77 Simon Morales
#UKbestpublicpools The Open Air Pool in #Cirencester is wonderful, many childhood memories
amyindisguise amyindisguise
#UKbestpublicpools hathersage outdoor baths
batsfordio richard batsford
#UKbestpublicpools Cheltenham Lido - ruddy lovely!
n3rt Simon Gray
Saltdean Lido #ukbestpublicpools
lesleylancelott lesley lancelott
#UKbestpublicpools. Manchester Aquatic Centre. Decent commonwealth games legacy. Use it weekly with grandaughter. V well used
wottonhockey Wotton-under-Edge HC
how about @WottonPool a great community success story! #UKbestpublicpools
DeeGiovanna Danielle Harvey
Beverley Road Baths, Hull, Victorian splendour, lovely staff and a wonderful swimming teacher #UKbestpublicpools
RachelGillies Rachel Gillies
@MoseleyRdBaths, Edwardian Pool in Brum. See for oral hist proj. #UKbestpublicpools Due to reopen Feb.
robertsofhood Laura Roberts
UKbestpublicpools Hillingdon's new pool is brilliant. Outdoor one too. Very clean and very accessible.
laura_barnard Laura Barnard
#UKbestpublicpools Peterborough Lido is ace. Wish it was open in the winter for inadvisable outdoor swimming.
HEW02 Lorna Wilde
Ponds Forge in Sheffield #UKbestpublicpools
nalsa Mike Wallis
 #UKbestpublicpools Bramley Baths, under threat of closure. Has had an orchestra playing in the water.…
danhanley danhanley
 #UKbestpublicpools for families, it has to be Tavistock
simonjmr Simon Marshall
 #UKbestpublicpools the Portishead Lido
 Chella Quint 
Hathersage: outside, heated, and in the peaks! Also, nice fish and chips in't cafe, alleged Little John's grave up the hill.
 Tina Johnston 
 Cleveland Baths, Hampton Row, Bath. Trying to save and restore them.
 Seth Jee 
 Droitwich Lido (Worcestershire) 
 Simon Morales
I also remember Aldershot Lido was excellent while at Uni   
 Laura Roberts 
Can I suggest a terrible one? Westminster Lodge, St Albans. Dire. Felt filthy afterwards. :-) Great blog btw!
 Wotton-under-Edge HC 
how about  a great community success story! 
 Rachel Gillies 
 , Edwardian Pool in Brum. See for oral hist proj.  Due to reopen Feb.
 Robert Sandlan
The Dollan Baths in East Kilbride
 Lorna Wilde 
Ponds Forge in Sheffield 
I love Brightlingsea pool 
 Matt Hall
Jubilee Pool, Penzance, Cornwall  
 Jenny Angliss
Hitchin is nice.


  1. Tooting Bec Lido naturally

    1. I am covered in shame that I didn't include my own best favourite pool in this list. Of COURSE Tooting Bec Lido. Thank you Ape, for reminding me!

  2. York Hall Baths, Old Ford Road. London E2. Best to avoid daytime when noisy schoolkids are there in great numbers.
    Nice and quiet between 7 and 9 am and late night thursdays which is adults only till 9.30pm.Five minutes walk from Bethnal Green Tube

  3. Can I add Fore Street in Ipswich ?

  4. Gotta be my 'daily' - Drumsheugh, Edinburgh (1892). With trapeze and rings over the pool.

  5. Charlton Lido in Hornfair Park SE7. Not currently open but will re-open in Spring. Last year it was spotlessly clean and a brilliant place to swim outdoors (it's heated to 23 degrees). 50m pool. Please support it this year!

    1. London SE7, sorry!

      "Better" had better live up their name with this new centre.

  6. The Wentworth Leisure Centre Hexham. The pool is ozone-sanitised and chlorine free.

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  8. Petersfield outdoor pool: feels like you have stepped back in time. Absolutely beautiful.

  9. Also Hinkley pool in Oxford, unusual shape and beautiful surroundings.