Kent's unique lido with mini train ride, crazy golf and play area the kids will love

The Strand Lido and Leisure Park in Gillingham, which is owned by Medway Council. It is the perfect day out for the family and this weekend's weather is certainly promising
-Credit: (Image: The Strand Lido in Gillingham)

As the weather finally starts to warm up, the exact date that a popular Kent lido will re-open has now been confirmed. The Strand Lido in Gillingham will re-open for weekends from Saturday, May 25 just in time for the bank holiday.

Notable as Medway’s only open air swimming pool, the lido dates back over 120 years, having first opened in 1896. In fact, the hit attraction owned by Medway Council has recently been recognised for its historic significance, serving as the only remaining riverside tidal saltwater pool in the country.

As such, earlier this month the lido was awarded membership to the heritage group Historic Pools of Britain. Cllr Harinder Mahil, Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and Leisure said: “The Strand Lido is a unique part of our history, not just for those of us in Medway, but for the whole country – as the last riverside pool of its kind in England.

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“It’s fantastic to hear that it has now been recognised by Historic Pools of Britain, and I hope this renewed interest will bring a new wave of visitors to The Strand. It’s been a favourite place to have fun for generation after generation, so why not continue the tradition and find out for yourself with a few lengths of the pool?”

Found on the edge of the River Medway, the lido also features a 300 metre lazy river and slides alongside its leisure pool and toddler paddle pool. During the summer holidays, the pool will open seven days a week, providing plenty of opportunity to beat the heat with a refreshing outdoor swim throughout the warmer months.

The temperatures in Kent are set to reach 23C on both days and there will be plenty of sunshine around, so what better than to head to a lido and leisure park?
The Strand Lido features a leisure pool, paddling pool, a lazy river and slides -Credit:Medway Council

Two sessions will operate each day, the first between 10.30am and 1.30pm, and the second from 2.30pm to 5.30pm. To use the pool, sessions must be booked online first before attending, with tickets priced at £7.50 for adults, £4.75 for juniors and seniors, and free entry for under 3’s. The season will close with the last session on Sunday, September 1.

Standing mostly unchanged since it first opened all those years ago, the pool remains unheated, making it ideal for a refreshing dip on a hot day. While Kent has endured grey skies and rain so far this week, current forecasts predict a return of warm and clearer weather this weekend.

Peaks of around 20C are expected on both Saturday May 25 and Sunday May 26, with plenty of sunshine on the way. However, the forecasts state that there remains a chance for some more thundery showers at times during the bank holiday weekend, particularly on Sunday.

At The Strand, visitors can also find a café, a mini train ride, crazy golf, children’s play areas, a parkour arena, riverside walks and free to use outdoor tennis courts. Pay and display parking is available on site, and The Strand can also be easily accessed via bus. Full booking details for the Lido can be found here.

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