Leyton Playtime

This was the only pool close to me left to try. On my first attempt I tried to meet my friend there on a Sunday afternoon, he was told ‘only adults and 8 years olds can use the pool’. Once I arrived, they realised I was not 8 years old and we were left sans swim. Attempt number 2 was on a Thursday evening about 8.30 and I was on my own. The pool had just ended the Aqua Splash, so I was relatively safe. 

The receptionist was really friendly and gave me directions with a smile, and told me I could get my £1 back from the locker after use. I wandered into the mixed changing area, with loads of spacious cubicles and brightly coloured large and practical sized lockers. There was so much changing room space, and there was noone else there. I wandered to the toilets to take my makeup off to find a male member of staff cleaning the mirror, singing away. He was so overly apologetic it was hilarious.

I then went through to the pool, and looked like a right idiot wandering up steps, then back around, past the sauna, and eventually found the main pool. The pool is a bit of a weird shape. There was one lane roped off, and then the pool was about another 3 x 25m lanes wide, and then had a curved area sticking out, a bit like Norfolk sticks out of the uk. The pool was very modern and bright and clean, I really liked it, and of course my hike to find it was to walk all the way around the immense play area. This pool reminded me of the kids section in Ikea. Everything from the primary coloured watermills, to the geometric glass roof. It was really light and clearly built for kids.

There was an elderly couple swimming in the sole lane, so I thought I’d stay out of their way. Which left me sharing the main pool area with a Scandinavian giant who was butterflying and thrashing about, certainly making waves, and a few much more timid people like myself.  The pool is very shallow throughout, only 1.3 metres at the deep end, and obviously no diving is allowed. There is enough space to navigate around a few people, but again it amazed me (like at Tooting Lido) that people all seems to find the same line on the base of the pool to follow, and end up crashing heads. The lifeguard was really friendly and had a chat with all of us at some point, and there was a good amount of banter between the staff.

I didn’t get to see the play/flume area here, so you might feel as though there is a huge gap in this review if you have been there with kids. At this time of night there was only older people in the pool, but they were all happily chatting away to each other, it had a lovely sense of community.

When I returned to the changing rooms I managed to locate my locker, got my stuff and went to the only (only!!) shower cubicle. There were 4 more open showers, and there was a sign on the door saying that the showers would be closed on 15th July for improvement works. I hope that it’s improvements in number! The shower was great, good water pressure and I was happy to give the pool a good review.

As I was getting changed, in a very clean and well looked after changing room, the chap who was cleaning the bathroom mirror and another colleague were cleaning the main space. I knew it was towards the end of their shift as they were talking about being hungry, and then started to compose the rather wonderful ‘Pasta Rap’. By the time I left it was a masterpiece.

This pool is definitely the place to play.

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