8 of the best outdoor swimming spots and lidos in the Cotswolds

PUBLISHED: 16:00 03 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:00 03 August 2020

Lidos and outdoor pools in the Cotswolds (photo; Thomas Baur, Getty Images)

Lidos and outdoor pools in the Cotswolds (photo; Thomas Baur, Getty Images)

TomBaur (TomBaur (Photographer) - [None]

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 eight 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 2020 – but you must book in advance and adhere to social distancing regulations. Click here to see full details of reopening after lockdown.

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. Only lane swimming is available as we come out of lockdown, and children up to 16 should be accompanied by an adult.

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. Booking 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 with social distancing rules. Check the website for restrictions.

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. Thrill-seekers can have a go on the Aquaventure: an action-packed inflatable obstacle course on top of 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.

Cowley Manor Hotel, near Cheltenham

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: Keep an eye on the website for restrictions and when spa facilities will be open. 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.

Need to know: Check the website for restrictions on visitor numbers and to book your online slots.

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