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Thousands get set to embrace the great outdoor pools and open water venues

Thousands of swimmers are set to embrace the great outdoor pools and open water venues as they prepare to reopen tomorrow.

Swim England chief executive Jane Nickerson has expressed her delight that facilities are set to welcome the return of swimmers saying: “It’s been a long time coming.”

Several outdoor pools are reopening earlier than usual on Monday 29 March as the national lockdown is gradually eased.

There are around 110 outdoor pools in the country – 89 public and 21 private – and according to Swim England researched published at the end of 2019, 7.5 million people enjoyed swimming in the open air.

With indoor facilities not due to reopen until Monday 12 April, clubs which traditionally train indoors have booked slots at outdoor pools to enable their members to return to training.

Jane said the chance to return to pools would be a welcome relief to so many people who rely on aquatic activity for their mental and physical health.

She added: “We’re delighted to see so many wonderful outdoor pools and open water venues confirming they will be reopening on Monday 29 March.

“Outdoor swimming has always been incredibly popular, whether that be at a heated outdoor lido or among the natural beauty of lakes, rivers and seas.

“Swimming offers a huge boost to people’s mental and physical health and to have been deprived of that opportunity for such a lengthy period of time has been a bitter blow to so many – especially when the data has shown that pools are safe environments.

“It is a unique activity in that anyone can do it, regardless of age or physical impairments and it helps make people feel happier, healthier and more confident.

Support their local facility

“Physical and mental health has never been more important and we’re sure people will embrace the great outdoor pools and open water venues ahead of indoor facilities being allowed to reopen again on Monday 12 April.”

Jane added that the north-south divide of where outdoor pools are located showed that it was imperative indoor facilities were allowed to reopen again next month.

Only one in five lidos are in the north of the country – while 44 per cent of all outdoor pools have seasonal opening times.

Jane said: “While outdoor pools opening again is cause for celebration, especially as the Easter holidays begin, we realise that many still won’t have access to a swimming pool.

“That’s why it is vital that indoor pools do reopen on 12 April so the vast majority of people can get back into the water.

“In the meantime, we hope many swimmers and families will take advantage of outdoor pools and open water venues opening again and support their local facility.”

Share your stories

We’d like to hear about your experiences of returning to the pool or open water.

Tag us on social media – @Swim_England on Twitter and @SwimEngland on Facebook and Instagram – or drop an email to