It may have got colder and wetter recently, but that shouldn’t put you off the great outdoors. Not when you could be getting wet anyway, at one of the lidos around our fair city.
Jon Forman went to check out the one at Tooting Bec.
Supposedly, I’m currently in training for a Triathlon which is taking place in the near future. I say supposedly; a more accurate reflection would be I’m eating lots of Pizza (carb loading……) and occasionally thinking about going to the gym. Anyhoo, this week has featured a couple of days which could at least be described as warm, and so I packed the bag and cycled off to Tooting Bec Lido in search of some aqua themed exercise.
According to the website the Lido is; “the second biggest outdoor pool in Europe, and has been voted “Best Outdoor Pool” by the London pools campaign for the second year in succession….” Phew, quite some pedigree.
I have to agree, the place has a lot of Art-Deco charm. The pool is surrounded by sea-side style changing rooms, there’s plenty of space to sun-bathe after some strenuous laps, and it isn’t difficult to imagine many a happy Bank Holiday being spent here since it opened in 1906. (Although mixed sex bathing was not introduced until 1931!) There’s also a paddling pool for the younger members of the family and a café serving the usual assortment of snacks, drinks and iced cream. I also found the water to be extremely clean.
There’s only one thing….it’s cold. Gaspingly cold. A-thousand-tiny-knives-stabbing-you, Jack-from-Titanic-style-cold. OK, I might be exaggerating slightly – Yes, I am a wimp. There were however other people training for Triathlons wearing wet-suits!
Back in the day, this sort of thing would have been called ‘character building’ in schools. Not going in for this style of child abuse myself I’d still maintain it was cold. Let’s not labour the point…… Out of the water the weather was warm if not balmy, and aside from the training I spent a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon reading, napping and taking the occasional dip.
I’d thoroughly recommend a day out here, just make sure the sun is out. Fingers crossed for an Indian summer at the Lido……….
Adults (17+) £5.00
After 6pm £3.20
Child (5-16) £3.20
OAPs (60+) £3.20
Concession/ student/ unemployed £3.20
Family (2 adults, 2 children) £13.20
The lido is open 6am-5pm throughout September, and is located on Tooting Bec Road.
Nearest Tube: Tooting Bec