The pretty heated lido 23 minutes from London that feels like you're in Spain

outdoor swimming pool lido in Reading
-Credit: (Image: A. Pattendon)

After a week full of sunshine, there really is no need to rush into booking a holiday getaway. Instead, consider a visit to one of London’s lidos, and soak up the sunshine poolside in hopefully continued sunny weather.

Located just a short journey away at the end of the Elizabeth line and merely an 8-minute walk from Reading station, Thames Lido is home to an open-air swimming pool and Mediterranean-style kitchen. The pool closed to the public in 1974 but 30 years later, in August 2004, the building received Grade II listed status after a successful public campaign.

Following a restoration project initiated in 2013, it reopened to the public in 2017. The atmosphere at Thames Lido exudes a charming Spanish feel, complete with a poolside bar that effortlessly creates a holiday ambience just outside the bustling capital.

READ MORE: The stunning open air swimming lake just 15 minutes out of London where the water is crystal clear

The 25-metre pool boasts year-round warmth, maintaining temperatures between 24-26 degrees Celsius, guaranteeing a comfortably blissful swimming experience regardless of what UK weather has to offer. The restaurant features picturesque poolside scenes and preserves original elements dating back to its original construction in 1902.

Outdoor lido heated pool in Reading
Thames Lido re-opened in 2017 followed extensive renovations -Credit:A.Pattenden

Emphasising traditional Spanish and Mediterranean vibes, the open kitchen and wood-burning oven enhance the authenticity of the dining experience. From hearty breakfasts to tempting tapas, their kitchen offers a variety of options that cater to every palate throughout the day.

For those seeking ultimate relaxation and who want to really indulge in that full holiday retreat experience, an array of treatments await, each lasting a luxurious 60 minutes and tailored to individual preferences. From their classic lido massages to specialised services like pregnancy massages, there is something to pamper everyone, with their prices starting from £85.

Beyond massages, you can also indulge in rejuvenating luxurious treatments for the hands and feet, including fresh spa manicures and pedicures. Thames Lido also offers enticing packages, ensuring visitors get a taste of every aspect this Thameside retreat has to offer, at a fraction of individual prices.

For instance, their Swim, Massage and Meal is available for £85, while the Twilight Spa offers pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub access from 5pm to 9pm along with a one-hour spa treatment for just £65. Additionally, you can enjoy a Swim & Lido Afternoon Tea for only £40. For more information on their selection of packages visit their website at Thames Lido .

Busy restaurant at Thames lido in Reading, England
As well as a swimming pool and massages on offer, there's also a restaurant and poolside tapas bar -Credit:A. Pattendon

If you’re travelling from central London, simply hop on the Elizabeth line at Paddington Station and arrive at Reading in only 23 minutes, making a relaxing day at Thames Lido easily accessible to Londoners and visitors alike. The original Thames Lido, initially known as the Ladies Swimming Bath, opened its doors to the public in 1902.

It is believed to be the oldest existing outdoor municipal pool from the early Edwardian period, designed without windows to provide privacy for Edwardian women. Originally fed directly from the Thames until the 1950s, it is a historic gem turned modern attraction worth visiting.

Plan Your Visit

Location: Thames Lido, Napier Road, Reading, RG1 8FR

When: Monday- Friday 7am- 10pm

Guest Swimming: Pre-book a 2 hour session for £20pp from 10am.

Children Swimming: Restricted to the 2pm to 4pm slot for £7.50 on arrival.

Parking: Limited parking so public transport is encouraged.

Accessibility: One dedicated disabled space however, blue badge holders can park on the double yellows for 2 hours on Kings Meadow Road. Bar, restaurant and spa reception are ground level with a lift to the first floor. There are disabled changing rooms and the pool has wheelchair access.

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