Best outdoor swimming spots and lidos in the Cotswolds
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
On a sunny day there’s nothing quite like making a splash at the pool. From community-run lidos to luxury outdoor pools, we pick some places in the Cotswolds to enjoy an al fresco dip
• The Lido, Chipping Norton
The much-loved Chippy Lido has been run by locals as a charity since 2004, and it’s clear to see that a lot of care and consideration goes into ensuring its preservation for generations to come. Boasting a heated 25 metre pool, toddler pool and slide, and a well-tended grassy area for picnics, means it’s a perfect for an afternoon out for the family.
Need to know: The pool is now open for 2021 - but pre-booking is required with dates being released 14 days in advance.
• Sandford Parks Lido, Cheltenham
Neighbouring the pretty gardens of Sandford Park in Cheltenham, there has been a lido in this very spot since 1935. The pool is extremely popular with residents, especially families, and enjoys a lot of visitors during the summer months. There are plenty of events organised at the Lido throughout the year as well, from open air theatre and cinema screenings, to the popular Dog Swim which takes place once the swim season has finished.
Need to know: Please make sure to book a slot online for swimming which at the moment is one hour per slot.
• Cirencester Open Air Swimming Pool
Positioned on the edge of Cirencester Park, Cirencester Open Air Swimming Pool offers visitors the chance to swim in a 28-metre pool with slide, as well as a sunbathing patio to soak in some rays, all with Cirencester Castle as an enchanting backdrop. There’s also a separate children’s paddling pool for little ones and hot and cold refreshments available.
Need to know: Visit the website for a full list of opening times and timetable. Registering for your swim session is essential, and can be done online.
• Stratford Park Leisure Centre, Stroud
The well-equipped Stratford Park Leisure Centre in Stroud has everything an avid gym bunny would require from a group exercise studio to tennis courts. There are also two swimming pools, one indoor and one outdoor, and a sauna and steam room.
Need to know: Click here to see the full list of opening times, admission prices and timetable. Slots for visits must be booked online or via the app beforehand.
• Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham
Although it’s only a short drive away from the thriving Cheltenham town centre, you’ll feel a million miles away when relaxing poolside in Ellenborough Park’s stunning grounds. The hotel is well-known for its luxury accommodation and excellent spa facilities, and the outdoor pool is no exception.
Need to know: The pool is only for use by residents/spa visitors of Ellenborough Park. Book your stay on the website.
• Cotswold Country Park and Beach, Cirencester
Cotswold Country Park and Beach offers families the chance to visit the beach without leaving the region. Children can build sandcastles on the gently sloped golden stretch and there’s a grassy area to enjoy a picnic before cooling off in the lake. It does get extremely busy so ensure to book your admission before you go.
Need to know: Check online for information regarding restrictions, and book your slot online.
The stylish Cowley Manor, set upon 55 acres of Grade II listed gardens, is the perfect spot for an al fresco swim with its 15-metre outdoor pool, accompanied by rows of sun loungers for topping up a tan. The spa is renowned for its beautifully kept facilities and holistic treatments, including its therapeutic massages and facials.
Need to know: The outdoor pool is open for residents.
• Wotton Pool, Wotton-under-Edge
Open daily throughout the summer to the public, come rain or shine, Wotton Pool’s retractable roof ensures that swimmers can bask in the sunshine or shelter from the rain while they swim. Wotton Pool may be small but it boasts a lovely community feel where staff are friendly and welcoming.