Devices down, bikinis out: Lido revamp sees surge in outdoor swimming

Living la lido loca is spreading fast across the UK

We’ve heard of ‘save our pubs’ and ‘save our music venues’ campaigns, though perhaps not so much about ‘save our lidos’.

Yet outdoor swimming pools are gaining so much popularity that they’re rivalling a night out in Shoreditch. 

Whether due to an increase in mental health and wellbeing awareness, our post-lockdown freedom, or simply a taste of spring, the public cannot get enough of a dip in the water. 

[Credit: Parliament Hill Lido]

Living la lido loca is spreading fast, with Beccles Lido in Lowestoft reporting 4,000 slots had been sold in the first week of opening.

Meanwhile, over at London’s Parliament Hill Lido, they have also seen a huge surge of visitors.

Similarly, Hull locals will soon bask in the glory of the formerly-derelict Albert Avenue pool, which is getting a brand spanking new makeover as it joins demand for lidos across the UK.

The star attraction, however, looks set to open at Cleveland Pools in Bath after the country’s oldest public outdoor swimming pool was awarded £4.7m by the National Lottery Heritage Fund for a major revamp ahead of its scheduled grand unveiling in July 2022.

[Credit: Saltdean Lido]

Speaking out on the new trend, Emma Pusill, author of The Lido Guide, said it’s all thanks to lidos becoming fashionable again. 

Emma said: “In some ways, the pandemic has been the lido’s friend. We rediscovered our local environment and simpler things in life.”

To quench our lido thirst, our friends over at Positive News have collated the top five spots to visit; all of which were saved by locals flying the community flag to save them from demolition.

So, grab a towel and your goggles, and check out the list below:

[Credit: Portishead Open Air Pool]

Saltdean Lido, East Sussex

Nicknamed as one of the ‘seven wonders of the seaside’, this Brighton pool escaped the wrecking ball thanks to the persistence of local campaigners who raised £3m to save it.

Droitwich Spa Lido, Worcestershire

One of only two salt-water lidos in the country, the 1930s-built pool was saved from destruction before its reopening in 2007.

Portishead Open Air Pool, Somerset

The campaign to save this lido received notoriety after US TV show Extreme Makeover featured it, prompting it to stay afloat from closure.

Buckfastleigh Open Air Pool, Devon

In a historic town on the edge of Dartmoor National Park, surrounded by natural beauty, what better place to have fun and relax at the same time?

Brightlingsea Lido, Essex

This classic 1930s open-air swimming pool right on the coast is run by the community for the community, and is perfect for family fun or a fitness session.

We can’t wait to take a dip under the summer rays soon.

[Credit: Brightlingsea Lido]

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