I’ve heard a lot about these baths, but mostly because of the spa attached. I’m not flush enough to go there (certainly not the last day before payday!), so I thought I’d give the pool a try.
It’s a very beautiful old building, so I was expecting something similar to Kings Hall, or the pool in Chelsea, but I was very pleasantly surprised.
Going in to the centre it looked very nice, it has been recently done up. The customer service wasn’t great, but as I went into the changing rooms it was so clean, and well set out (I’ll go on more about that later) I was really happy to be there!
There are very spacious separate changing rooms, a central open changing area, group changing areas, a VARIETY of locker sizes (all taking a returnable £1 coin), I was in my element. It was a bit on the chilly side, but now I’m being unbelievable fussy. Then I have just one more observation that explained all of the lovely space: children. Screaming children everywhere. I’m going to go back as it might just be that 10am on a Sunday is the worst time to go out to a swimming pool. I’m definitely not going back at that time!
Thank heavens there is a pool for small people, kind of sectioned off! The training pool was split into 4 lanes and not too busy at all. The whole pool area looks really clean and nice, the viewing area looks very posh and the whole feel is very upmarket.
The 30 metre length, I think makes it great for a weekend swim. A nice touch which I have never seen or noticed before is a note on the ‘speed board’s as I’m naming them; slow, moderate, and fast. Underneath the main category is a little time guide. On the ‘fast’ board it says ‘approx 30 seconds per length’ and on the ‘moderate’ board it says ’30-60 seconds per length’. There are also timing clicks at each end of the pool. This is genius. I know I can come across a bit uppity about this, but it’s really helpful, and I totally tried it out. Spot on with timings. And I genuinely think people respected it. I’m intrigued to know how they decided on those timings, if there’s one thing I’ve learned from swimming in different places is the range of interpretation of those 3 little words; fast, medium & slow.
I genuinely think the pool is great. There is an array of accessories at the end, floats etc. There are flags across the ends, and also in the middle, the lanes are wide enough. The pool is a bit cold but it just makes you move quicker, it feels like a speedy pool, and the water feels clean.
There are showers on poolside, where the adult and child pools’ entrances are, and there are open ones and massive shower cubicles in the changing rooms. The showers are push button, and don’t last more than about 3 seconds, but the angle of the shower is set so the if you angle youself so you are leaning on the button you can have a lovely relaxing constant shower, and get this, you can’t control the temperature yourself! What a luxury! I was so impressed that I stayed in there for ages.
Getting ready in the roomiest of changing rooms I found it hilarious listening to the irrational scaldings from yummy mummies to their wild children. I don’t know how they do it. But I’m very grateful to have been in such new, clean and spacious changing rooms and showers, which have blatantly been designed for them.
A couple of really nice touches are the swim suit dryer, which I’ve only ever noticed and used at the Olympic pool, and the positioning of the hairdryers. I said I was going to go on about the layout…there is a very intelligently placed screen to stop people seeing into the changing spaces through the door. The hairdryers are on the same side of the screen as the door. It’s brilliant, as the reflection in the mirror is just of a screen, not a sea of nakedness like most other places! Hurrah!
I think this is my new favourite weekend swimming place! It’s too nice and relaxing for a pre-work swim, and even the screaming kids couldn’t put me off.