I have been very fortunate to have gone on holiday a couple of times in June and swim in the sea in Spain, so I thought to help with the post-holiday blues I would head out to a Lido that I have been looking forward to for a while. It was definitely worth it, and this has instantly become my favourite pool that I have been to so far. As you may know by now, I’m not very easy to please, so do understand that this is something pretty bloody spectacular.
It’s a fair cycle from where I live now, but I used to live just off the Woolwich Road, near Charlton and it was great to see how much Greenwich has changed over the last 8 years. The pool is not newly built, but has definitely had a recent refurb (£2million in 2013). The building and the big dark brick wall surrounding the pool look pretty brutal, but you can see how much effort has been made to modernise it as soon as you get to the front door.
The young man on the reception desk set the bar high for the whole visit, I showed my membership card and asked where to go, to which he gave me directions to the pool, the changing rooms and the lockers and checked if I needed any change as the lockers take 20p. I said I had one, and he opened up the gate and said if I needed anything then just to shout him and he’ll help. The customer service set the tone for a good experience.
As I walked out to the pool, I found the poolside changing cubicles so just used them, and just left my belongings outside (I’ve learnt now that you don’t need lockers unless it’s raining). The pool looked amazing. I had read that it was heated, and it gleamed in the sunshine. It is 50m long and had (on a Sunday at midday) a slow, medium and 2 fast lanes, with an open swimming area as well. A nice added touch is the ‘Group cycling’ at the far end, which had people spinning and was blasting out dance music. I felt as though I was on holiday again!
I got into the pool and it was quite cold, but still clearly heated, and the thing I found a bit strange was that the steps nearest the changing room take you straight into the deep end. I got myself settled in the medium lane as the fast lane did at least look full of speedy people with goggles and hats on. The water felt as though it didn’t contain too many chemicals, and swimming up towards the shallow end, with the deep end not being particularly deep, the pool felt quite fast and as though you could pick up a good pace.
It wasn’t very busy either, the lanes were quite narrow, and you might struggle if you wanted to rush past people, but it was quiet and organised enough for everyone to go along at their own pace. As you swim up towards the shallow end, the water becomes increasingly warmer. This is great for your first couple of lengths to help you warm up, but after a while it does feel a bit weird and uncomfortable, but that’s me reeeeeaaaaally scraping the complaints barrel. I was very happily swimming up and down for an hour, and even then reluctant to get out.
Finally, I took myself to the changing rooms I had been earlier directed to, and was hoping so much that I wouldn’t end up wandering into a cold, concrete floored muck pit. EVEN THE CHANGING ROOMS WERE SHINY AND CLEAN! Almost elated and shocked I popped my stuff on the bench (the whole place felt very safe and secure, but of course I would advise you to be more vigilant) and went to the showers. There are 5 doored shower cubicles, which have plenty of room, and the showers are run on a sensor type thing which works like a push button. It will keep working for a bit if you move around, but you just have to move in front of it or wave for it to start up again. The water pressure and temperature were spot on. I think these are the first showers ever that I have not found fault with!
The changing rooms have got some large cubicles, but I just got changed in the open changing room (there was no-one else in there, and I’m starting to be much less bothered about getting changed near people). I think the amount of space in there just lets you feel less under pressure and there could’ve been about another 5 people in there before you would even worry about it feeling as though your personal space was being encroached on. There are hairdryers available to use. The only point that was a bit annoying was that there was no costume dryer (being more picky now). It even has a sun terrace and a cafe.
Honestly, this pool has really set a high benchmark, really pleased to have taken the trip. Great for families, and for more serious swimmers who want a good workout. My new favourite all-rounder!