Brockwell Lido – a swimming paradise in South London.
Brockwell Lido has been a haven for fans of cold water for many years and our Swimmers Club is an inclusive organisation for people to share their love of this beautiful urban oasis.
To sign up for your FREE membership click here.
- Book Review – Wild Swimming Dartmoor - Our favourite publishers Wild Things Publishing have sent us another book to review, this time a little closer to home covering walks and swims in the beautiful countryside of Dartmoor and South Devon. The authors Sophie Pierce and Matt Newbury share their favourite swim/walks including wild waterfalls, secret lakes, river meadows and sandy seaside secret […]
- Canterbury to Swalecliffe Walk Swim - Canterbury to Swalecliffe along the Crab and Winkle Way. This is taken from Wild Swimming Walks, walk number 21, distance 8.5 miles. We will be meeting at Brixton tube at 9am, Sunday 4th September, then traveling up to St Pancras London to catch the 10:08am train to Canterbury West station. The walk goes from the […]
- Parliament Hill to the Ponds - Starting at Parliament Hill Lido Saturday 27th August, we’re off for another gentle stroll round Hampstead Heath and finishing with a glorious swim at the ponds. This is a repeat expedition of last October’s event… with warmer water. Meet outside Brixton Tube Station at 10am. We then travel to to Kentish Town, via Victoria and […]
- Welsh Wales Weekend Walk - An amazing weekend in Snowdonia with the Facebook Swim Walks gang. Challenging terrain but well worth the slog to get to those remote Llyns (lakes in Welsh). Big thanks to Claire Towers and Philip Nice for some very tasty food and well planned walks. Looking forward to the next weekend away. share on...Welsh Wales Weekend […]
- Brockwell Water Polo July 2016 - Mainly through word of mouth Water Polo in July proved to be even more popular with the last session filling the pool with 37 players. But with the evenings now too dark that’s it for another year. Sad, but “all good things…” as they say. A big THANK YOU to our amazing coach Jim who […]
History of Brockwell Lido
The Lido was originally opened in 1937 to replace the natural public bathing ponds in the park. The Lido would remain open during the war, though one swimming gala was cancelled in 1944 due to a feared flying bomb attack. From 1947 to 1968 the London Swimming Championships were also held at Brockwell Lido. However, after much neglect and declining usage, the pool was closed by Lambeth Council in 1990.
For 4 years the pool lay empty until two former council employees, Casey and Paddy, won the management contract and reopened the lido in 1994. “It was a time when we let as many things happen as possible just for fun, not necessarily making money, giving people chance to try things out”. However, the future of the Lido again came into question when mounting maintenance costs forced the duo to resign their tender in 2001.
This sparked a strong campaign by local swimmers who produced a survey containing 4,674 signatures from Brockwell Lido visitors that demonstrated the community’s intense attachment to the space. This forced a dialogue with Lambeth Council, resulting in a new three-way framework involving the council, users, and a site management company.
Various management companies were approached and the winning tender was awarded to Fusion Lifestyle who won a 25 year contract to redevelop and run the site (3 million pounds from Fusion and ½ million pounds from English Heritage).
The main alternation to the building was the moving of the south west wall six metres further into the park. English Heritage chose this solution from a number of options developed by Pollard Edwards Thomas architects. Moving this elevation doubled the size of the old changing rooms allowing Fusion to replace these with a new gym and spa complex, ensuring the economic viability of the lido as a whole. The ‘wet’ changing rooms were then moved next to the new entrance on the south east side. Work was completed in July 2007, just in time for the Summer season and the Lido’s 70th birthday.
At first the pool was only open during the Summer, but with the increased popularity of cold water swimming, the unheated pool is now open all year round. Hurrah! As well as the fabulous pool, the building also contains a gym, sauna, steam room, exercise studios, a very fine café… and some very, very enthusiastic swimmers.
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