Pond Art


I’m always looking for new places to swim to keep up momentum and not keep traipsing from 25m soulless box to the next. Today I went to swim in an art installation, Kings Cross Pond Club. The whole location is very interesting, with the programme at Lewis Cubitt park alone making me want to go back.

To swim here you need to search and book it online, as the pool can only have a certain number of swimmers per day. It does get booked up in advance at the weekend and it costs a fiver. Also, get in quick as I spoke to the fella who was lifeguard/guide and he said it may close in September. Not sure if that is just for Winter or for good.

It’s not the easiest place to find but Google knows it. I’m pretty annoyed that someone has overslept and I’m looking at the bolted gate at 8:26am when I should’ve started swimming at 8. Just to note here I have been offered a free swim for the inconvenience, I’m not complaining, just giving a heads up. It did give me time to read about how the pool and the filtering system work.

As you go in your name gets ticked off and I got directions to the changing rooms, toilets and lockers, showers and was given a padlock. All very straightforward. I love the look of the place. The litte wooden changing rooms and the festival style toilets are all well kept and their red and white shiny stripes gleam in the sun. It is very very cute.

You have to shower in freezing cold showers before getting in to the pool (all part of the keeping it clean and natural process) but that makes getting in a bit easier. It was 19 degrees this morning and pretty comfortable to swim in. As I got in I was advised that I could dive in if I liked. Bloody brilliant! Actually being encouraged to dive was nice. It’s definitely deep enough at well over 2m. The kidney shape of the pool makes it a bit of a pain to swim, there aren’t any lanes and if you are like me you want want to touch the sides or floor.

The water is quite clear and clean, but you are kept aware that you are in a pond by the smell. It’s not quite as bad as the serpentine, but it does stink. There is a lot of redevelopment happening in the area, which means builders and machinery creating a racket, so don’t imagine you are escaping the city at all, it’s like swimming in a quarry.

I was swimming with just one other person in the pond so there was a polite half-half pool split for a while, but once they left I started to swim around the edge of the pool which then felt much more satisfying. I also tried it some new anti-fog goggles which have changes my life. Didn’t have to stop to clear them once!

Feeling pretty gross and tired I headed back to the open freezing shower (which, with my change in body temperature, was now lovely and warm) and washed my hair and as much pond stench off me as possible whilst keeping my cossy on. You will probably want to shower at home after.

Back to the changing huts and then dropped off the padlock on the way out. The really friendly lady then chased me, apologised for the earlier delay and gave me the manager’s email to get my next time there free. If you aren’t too put off by murky water and want to appreciate the efforts to support nature in the city, then you’ll love it here.



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