After various targeted online marketing had me intrigued, and with Parliament Hill being just a bit too nippy, I thought I’d check out Park Road Lido.
Very high expectations has been set with the £8million refurb having just been completed. As I was locking up my bike there were 3 security guards being briefed on the searching policy and how to ensure they only let in people who have paid. There was an older couple stood by the entrance and the chap was saying ‘it’s like it’s a bloody music festival’.
I went into the main entrance and the lady on the desk said I could pay inside or go straight through the gate (I didn’t want to as the security training was on) as everything was outside.
There are changing rooms and lockers and some showers outside, all new and shiny and looked great, but I didn’t use any of them as I was changed and just left my bag by one of the many benches around the pool.
The pool is surrounded by tall trees, it is very beautiful and there is grassed area at one end. There is a huge sign saying no photography is allowed do I couldn’t take a photo to show it.
The pool is still pretty cold but bearable, and both ends are shallow enough to stand and have a chat in. There were 3 lanes set up, but no system, but it was quiet so people were just swimming up and down undisturbed. So in I ventured….
It was cold, but nowhere near as chilly as Parliament Hill Lido, so it wasn’t too painful to get in, and was perfect once you got going. Pushing off from the wall underwater I was all ready to take a deep breath once I reached the surface, I glanced up, and suddenly thought a length underwater was a better idea!
On the surface of the water there were hundreds and hundreds of dead flies, an entire layer of them. I swam away from the ‘tree end’ as quickly as possible, but they were everywhere. Now, I’m sure if you are a bit more of an outdoorsy type, you wouldn’t mind, but I felt itchy and gross and paranoid that they’d drift into my ears.
I’d gone to the pool with my housemates boyfriend to try to help him to improve his swimming but so far had only taken him to freezing Parliament Hill and now this! I was slightly embarrassed, but happy that he didn’t have to travel far to get there.
After spending most of the time swimming underwater, it was time to hit the showers. I had a good wander around and eventually found my way into the indoor changing rooms, they look half completed and with what looks like tea towel hooks put into the chip board, it’s like an MFI showroom from the mid-eighties.
The shower cubicles are really long, so I was well chuffed that I could hang my bag with everything in it on the back of the door, and it not even get splashed. It’s a simple push-button shower, and it works great, but I used the one on the far left hand side, and the water was scalding hot.
There aren’t really any changing rooms, just randomly placed MDF screens with benches attached, but as I’m starting to accept that changing rooms generally have naked people in them, I don’t really find it an issue, plus there were only about 3 of us in there, so everyone could face a different wall.
Generally I have to say an average place to swim, definite pros and cons, but I will need to go back to make a fully informed judgement!