6 of the most spectacular outdoor pools in Ireland and the UK

Whether you are after respite from the heat or just want to get some exercise that is not just doing star jumps in your living room, outdoor pools can be the perfect escape.

Swimming is one of the best total body workouts; it is low impact and can do wonders for your mental as well as your physical health.

Throughout Ireland and the UK there are plenty of historic pools featuring stunning architecture and phenomenal views – and here are some of the best to visit…

1. Saltdean Lido, Brighton

Even if you are not a big swimmer, Saltdean lido is worth a visit for the architecture alone. The Art Deco white building looks out over a crescent-shaped swimming pool, situated right next to the sea. The pool itself has been restored, and there are plans to do the same to the building, with the aim of making the whole complex sustainable.

The Baths at Clontarf, Dublin

View this post on Instagram

Calm between the storms

A post shared by Claire (@claireshares) on

Clontarf Baths first opened in 1886 and features a 900 square metre pool, awash with seawater to dive into. Along with the pool, there’s a terrace, bar and restaurant on-site. To swim at the baths, you’ll need to join the historic Clontarf Swim Club.

3. Brockwell Lido, London

Established in 1937, this unheated pool sits inside south London’s Brockwell Park. It’s a peaceful oasis in the city, known to have the odd duck paddling too, and was fully renovated in 2007 to suit modern users.

4. Bristol Lido, Bristol

View this post on Instagram

170 years old today! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Exactly 170 years ago to this day the Clifton Victoria Baths opened its door for the very first time. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This architecturally ambitious building, reflecting Egyptian design influences, served as a community leisure facility for more than 100 years before falling into disrepair and being closed in 1990. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ The threat of demolition hung over the Lido for years as its owners Sovereign Housing tried to get consent to develop the site into flats. Local people campaigned to save the Lido against development and in 1998 the Grade II listing was awarded, elevating the Lido’s status to the top 6% of listed buildings in the country. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In 2006 the Glass Boat Company, a well-established restaurant group in Bristol, was granted full planning permission for the restoration of the pool and associated buildings. Work started on an ambitious project to re-open the Lido as a subscription pool with associated spa facilities, a 75-seat restaurant and a poolside bar. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ In December 2008, the building was reopened as the Bristol Lido where to this day it serves as a secluded oasis providing the perfect escape from the strains of urban life. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Join us in celebration and send us your favourite Lido memories!

A post shared by Lido Spa & Restaurant (@lidobristol) on

If you were in the market for a more exclusive-feeling lido experience, head to Bristol’s outdoor pool. Bristol Lido is permanently heated to between 20-24 degrees C and certainly has a deluxe feel to it. It’s a relatively small pool surrounded by a restaurant and spa, which comes with a sauna, steam room and hot tub.

5. Belmullet Tidal Pool, County Mayo

Belmullet Tidal Pool is a pretty stunning spot for an outdoor swim. It’s a man-made pool built using modernist concrete, jutting out into the sea, and is free to splash about in.

6. Gourock Outdoor Swimming Pool, Renfrewshire

View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Stuart Braithwaite (@plasmatron) on

This salt water pool hasn’t yet reopened, but hopefully soon will. It’s heated to a balmy 29 degrees Celsius, and once you’re done with your swim, you can sit on the terrace and enjoy the sweeping views out onto the Clyde Estuary.