The pool was closed to the public in 1974, and 30 years later, in August 2004, the building was granted Grade I listed status after a public campaign. A restoration project was carried out in 2013, which finally reopened to the public in 2017.
Bathed in history
The original Thames Lido was first opened to the public in 1902 as the Ladies Swimming Bath. It is believed to be the oldest surviving municipal outdoor pool from the early Edwardian era. It was built without windows to allow Edwardian women to bathe in privacy and was originally fed directly from the Thames until the 1950s.
This Thameside retreat now has a 25m outdoor pool, which is heated to around 26°C all year round, MyLondon reports that. It also has a poolside tapas bar serving home-baked sourdough, charcoal-grilled lamb and wood-roasted spiced cauliflower.
There is also another restaurant overlooking the pool, with the restaurant retaining many of the original features of the 1902 building, such as the vaulted beams.
Don’t feel like swimming after your tapas? A variety of massage packages are also offered, with all treatments lasting a total of 60 minutes. You can take part in all three activities for under £100, starting with a 2-hour swim, an hour-long massage, followed by a ‘restorative’ meal in the retreat’s restaurant.
How to get there
The Thames Lido, on Napier Road, is just an eight minute walk from Reading station according to Google maps, making it incredibly easy to get to from central London as Reading is part of the newly inaugurated Elizabeth line.
Just hop on from Paddington Station and you’ll be in Reading in just 25 minutes.