Outdoor pool on a sunny day

Staycations will be the staple of summer 2021 in the UK. While restrictions ease, the prospect of an international vacation seems limited for many. But there’s no need to worry. With heatwaves, happy vibes, and a little know-how, we can still have a great holiday in our own country.

What do you love the most about a holiday? Is it experiencing a new culture, discovering local history, or diving into a cool pool? If you’ve said yes to any or all of those three activities, then we have the perfect staycation solution for you: Lidos. A lido is an open-aired swimming pool or bathing beach that is open to the public. They’re an icon of classic UK beach holidays, and thanks to the rise of the staycation, they’re set to make another big splash this summer. Here we discover five of the UK’s best lidos and why they’re the perfect place for a fun family getaway.

Saltdean Lido, Brighton (England)

An iconic lido representing the best of 1930’s holidaying, Saltdean Lido only reopened in 2018 after years of neglect. The pool was once described by Historic England as “one of the seven wonders of the English seaside,” emphasising its impressive art deco architecture. It’s not just a fun place to hang around; it’s a site of cultural and historical significance – everything you need from a good holiday location. You can even enjoy Brighton beach while you’re there too.

The Gourock Pool, Gourock (Scotland)

Only a short drive from Glasgow, the Gourock Pool is one of the most popular lidos in Scotland. Its popularity is unsurprising, as the pool offers expansive views over the Clyde. Even better, the salt-water pool is heated. So even on days when you’re more likely to need a windproof umbrella than a beach towel, you can still enjoy swimming in the warm water. It’s a perfect spot to visit, no matter the weather.

The Rock Pool, Newcastle (N. Ireland)

The Northern Irish seaside town of Newcastle is home to a lido with some seriously impressive pools. The Rock Pool was opened in 1933 and now remains as one of the last outdoor pools on the island. Look up and you’ll see the impressive Mourne Mountains; glance the other way and you’ll be treated to the coast of Country Down. Pools are set to open on 7th August, so you can prepare yourself for splash and a swim in the late summer.

Brockwell Lido, London (England)

There’s more to do than just swim at the Brockwell Lido in London. Hidden in Brockwell Park, this 1930’s outdoor pool has seen a multi-million-pound restoration, preserving its historic art deco setting. Not only can you enjoy a few laps of the pool, but the lido is also home to a great health and fitness facility, offering yoga and dance classes throughout the year. This summer, you can also see your favourite movies in the outdoor cinema nights around the pool. Who needs to visit a movie theatre when you have a lido?

Blackpill Lido, Swansea (Wales)

The Blackpill Lido in Swansea is the perfect place to take your little ones for an adventurous day out. You’ll not be doing lengths in this outdoor pool. Instead, you’ll find shallow waters that are great for paddling. Tall fountains also make it fun to dodge the falling water. The lido is complete with picnic areas and surrounded by cafes, so you can always take a break for some lunch or ice cream. It’s right next to the Swansea promenade too, so there are more fun-filled activities to enjoy while you visit.

We all love to lounge by the pool and take a dive for a refreshing swim on holiday, and there’s no reason that we can’t enjoy doing the same on a UK staycation. Even when the sun is lurking behind clouds, the amazing views and history that surrounds our lidos are enough to satisfy any holiday-hungry family.