So here it is. The big one. The super-hyped, super sized, book 5 months in advance online (so it said) opportunity to pretend you are training with Adders and Daley.
I’ve been here a fair few times now, so I think I have just about covered all times and experiences.
I’ve never booked online to go here. Much to my surprise on the first attempt we just walked up, paid and got in for a swim!
When you go into the changing rooms it’s all rather nice and new. Normal kind of changing rooms, quite a bit of space and nice lockers that return your pound coin.
The pool is awesome. It’s so nice to swim in an Olympic sized pool. It’s not too cold, not too hot, and it’s got enough space in the lanes for the amount of people in there. Swimming lengths is great here as there is such a great sense of space. You can really thrash about!
As much as the swimming is great and the pool seems to have every technological advancement going, the post swim experience is less of an elegant glide.
The lockers are situated mostly near the entrance to the poolside, which is great on the way in, but on the way out you get your stuff, place all but your showering stuff back in the locker and delicately tip toe along to the showers. Along the main wall is a wall of unlabelled automatic showers. These turn on as and when they like, which seems to be exactly when you are wearing your towel walking as awkwardly and quickly as you can without slipping over. The showers are a nightmare. When you get to a cubicle it’s the same (non) sensor showers, sometimes warm, sometimes freezing, but they are like a super powered car wash jet stream. I’m all for water pressure but this is ridiculous, to the point where children have been brought to tears and mothers are apologising to them for causing them extreme pain. The worst part is you just don’t know when it’s going to switch on and off.
Once you’ve battled that it’s the epic walk back to the lockers and you are just grateful to find a calm place!
It is all nice and lovely and clean, and you can manage a bit of Daley spotting (he rides a Brompton!) early on a weekend.