Charlton Lido reopens at 9.30am today


The lights were burning into the night yesterday as Charlton Lido prepared for its reopening. After two years of closure, the lido will be back open for business at 9.30am today for the summer, ahead of further work on refurbishing the pool which will begin in the autumn.

Two gripes – inconveniently, GLL has made it cheaper to buy tickets in advance online rather than just turning up with cash, a slightly strange way of operating a community facility surrounded by thousands of potential visitors in walking distance.

The opening hours seem a little restrictive, too – no chance of a pre-work dip, as the pool will open at 9.30am on weekdays and 8.30am at weekends. If GLL wants to establish Charlton Lido alongside the likes of the pool at Brockwell Park, it’s going to have to open earlier than that.

But at least the pool is back. If you get a chance to visit, please let us know how the water was for you.

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33 Responses to Charlton Lido reopens at 9.30am today

  1. Chris says:

    Well that’s a little bit of good news.

    At least with the weather we’ve been having they won’t have had to have filled it themselves.

  2. Mary says:

    This is brilliant news! Thank you!

  3. Neil says:

    Is it heated now? Someone had suggested it wouldn’t be in phase 1, but I have no recollection of who or when.

    Anyway, I’m looking forward to trying it out.

  4. John says:

    The website says it’s heated. I think Darryl said here a couple of weeks ago that he’d been told this wouldn’t be the case initially, but who knows …

    Find out soon enough …

  5. MR says:

    I just got back from a brilliant 20 lengths here and loved it. The facilities are adequate, had a lick of paint and promise to be as great as at London Fields once Charlton Lido is fully refurbished next year. It may open late but also stays open til 20.30 for post-work dipping and if you get a swim London card, it’s included, along with dozens of pools across London. Oh and: it IS heated.

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  7. VJ says:

    was just checking their website and it’s going to be open 6am to 10pm for the school holiday period.

  8. Mrs Ape says:

    Had a lovely swim there in the pouring rain today. I was the only person in the pool at 11:30am! The water temperature was a balmy 25C, I had to take my hat off as I’m used to swimming in an unheated pool. There is still some serious rebuilding work to be done (as we came in through the reception area, it was raining as hard inside as it was outside!) and the outdoor showers are more than a little unusual and the toilets need some serious work! However there is massive potential for it to be a really lovely pool again. Let’s hope they keep it open all year round like London Fields. It’s quite steep if you don’t book online (£6) and it’s sessional, so make sure you check what time the sessions end to make sure you get value for money. The lifeguards were very friendly and accomodating and had been sensible enough to leave the lanes in place “as that’s the type of swimmers that are here at the moment”. I really hope that Charlton Lido gets used. SO TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!

  9. Guy Richardson says:

    Great to see the pool looking so good – such to perfect place to swim.
    But! Disappointment! Some very strange choices from GLL.

    1. Prices extortionate (£20 for 2 adults + children 3,6), unless you book on shonky looking whitelabelled website which apparently will only let you book 1 adult + 1 child at a time.
    2. Session based swims. Despite an almost completely empty pool (see 1), there is an expectation that we should turn up and leave at specific times.

    Doesn’t feel very lido-ish.

  10. Nikki says:

    I’m in love – I’ve been twice this weekend and had brilliant swims both time, once in the rain, once in the sun. I agree about the sessions, but the place doesn’t look to have armies of staff so perhaps this is the only way they can fit lunch in? I’d rather not have been chucked out 900m into my planned 1km swim but it’s my fault for getting there late in the session.

    I really appreciate the lanes being there – I’ll be selfishly sad if I can’t swim up and down with my own thoughts once it’s more popular on sunnier weekends. But even so I’d rather as many people as possible get to use the Lido before it’s closed again for the rest of the refurb. As you go in there’s an apologetic little sign asking for patience while they’re still rebuilding but there isn’t much to be sorry about; it’ll probably be better next year but it’s great now. We’re so lucky to have a 50m pool here – as previous posts about the planned pool at the Heart of Greenwich at 853 and on the Phantom have reminded us, modern pools are often skimpily built, tiny and shallow. No such worries here. If you are planning to make a regular habit of going, like MR says above, a SwimLondon membership is probably your best bet – less than £30 for a month and unlimited swimming. I will be sad to have to drag myself back to the Arches/Waterfront or even Eltham (which is quite nice) once the summer’s over.

  11. Neil says:

    I went this afternoon and thought it was really good. The facilities are basic, but the pool itself is great, which is the main thing. It was quite busy by the time I left.

    The online booking system is pretty clumsy, it has to be said.

  12. Scott D says:

    Visited on Sunday and was pleasantly surprised, especially by the heat – both in the pool (very mild) and in the surrounding pool area, which works well as a sun trap even when there’s very little sun. As others have said, there is clearly a lot of work still to be done, but what the place lacks in facilities it more than makes up in charm. It felt a bit like a cross between a 70s holiday park and down at heal public school pool. I stayed for about 30 minutes which was quite long enough for a short blast of exercise and fully intend doing the same again on a regular basis.

  13. neilclasper says:

    Important question: does one pronounce lido as ‘lie-doh’, or ‘lee-doh’? I’ve never known (didn’t have any near where I grew up).

  14. woolwichsquire says:

    went in today just for a nose around staff really pleasant and helpful in filling me in and showing me around , this is phase one and improvements are to be made all round as regards the out buildings ,pool looked amazing !
    they will close again in 4 months and re open for easter next year all bells and whistles . My goggles are packed . dont tell your friends i want it all to myself !

  15. Mary says:

    Officially it’s “lee-doh” but I just can’t bring myself to say that. I grew up near Brockwell “lie-doh” and it’s too late to change that now. When are these sessions? I really don’t want to get kicked out halfway through a swim and a read/flask of coffee on the concrete. And who’s going to book ahead when you have no idea of the weather?

  16. neilclasper says:

    Had a chat with one of the staff today – the times don’t change next week, it’s an error on the website, apparently. So it remains 9.30am to 8pm weekdays.. A bit disappointing – I was looking forward to some late evening swimming.

    It was a bit busier this morning when I went, but still basically quiet, and very relaxing. A butterfly flew over the water at one point.

  17. Raven says:

    Thanks for all this info – love the idea of a local open-air pool, I can’t wait to take the children at some point – or is it all serious laned swimming….

    • neilclasper says:

      Today half the pool was laned, and the other half not. It’s big enough and, at the moment at least, quiet enough to easily accommodate families splashing around, serious lane swimmers, and people (like me) plodding lazily up and down the middle.

  18. Mary says:

    There are family sessions as well as fitness sessions. But why sessions at all? Sometimes you might want to go across two sessions, but you just can’t. It’s annoying!!! We’ve waited soooo long for the lido and the session thing just feels sort of unfriendly.

    • neilclasper says:

      Has anyone been to one of the fitness sessions? I wondered if, given how quiet it is, they’d just let you in for a standard swim anyway.

      • neilclasper says:

        Turns out I’d misunderstood the ‘swim fit’ sessions: it basically means ‘no kids’, otherwise you can just turn up and swim during those sessions. No shouting fitness instructors or anything as annoying as that.

        They should get some sunloungers and deck chairs out, I reckon. There’s plenty of room, and last night there were quite a few people sitting around in the sun. The steps and concrete floor can’t be that comfortable, though.

        The staff seem quite relaxed about people bringing their bikes in and leaving them poolside, but I’ve not seen ‘proper’ bike racks outside (might just not have noticed them). Quite a few bikes locked to signposts and the railings outside.

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  20. I agree why the sessions?
    I used to spend the whole day there as a kid.Happy days.

  21. Paul says:

    Went for a swim last night, the deep end is no longer DEEP used to be 12 feet if I remember correctly, but i guess that would be a mare to heat, and with no diving no need), and the shallow end is ridiculously shallow, I am rather tall and my hands were touching the bottom whilst swimming my laps for at least a third of the pool. and I doubt it could be used for competition.
    I’m glad its open, I’m not too chuffed about having to pay three quid on top of my greenwich leisure membership mind

  22. Neil says:

    Looks like they’ve listened to the pleas for earlier opening; a new note on the website says: “Please Note: Charlton Lido is now open from 6.30am – 9.30am for a Fit Swim session on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from Monday 6th August.”

  23. 5kittens says:

    hoorah, this pool is fantastic..went yesterday with my husband, three children and their friend and by booking online first ( I agree slightly arduous ) it cost £15 !!! ( a family ticket ) I think the set up is great with lane swimming , a large area where you are actually allowed to have fun ; ie throw a ball around and my children absolutely loved being able to jump in the deep end !! I am looking forward to the rest of the complex being restored with as much love and attention !

  24. Kate says:

    Can anyone explain what a Swim Fit session is please? Is it suitable for slow, middle aged lane swimmers or is it just for proper swim club training?
    I’ve been and thoroughly enjoyed myself at 11 am on a rare sunny day. Staff were great and there’s a Comments book left open near the entrance. Lots of comments about the lack of bike racks.

    Bit miffed that Arches membership doesn’t get me any £ off, but they explained that they are private and are leasing it from the Council, so have to charge more than eg Arches. (?)

  25. Anna says:

    Had a lovely swim today at 6.30pm under leaden skies. Temperature seemed perfect to me, and staff friendly and tolerant of bikes left at the side of the pool. Lovely and quiet – maybe a dozen other swimmers. I gather it’s to be closed again soon for further refurbishment, so enjoy it while you can!

  26. Mary says:

    Yes, I think it’s a bit too shallow too. And expensive! I’ve had to give up running because of a knee problem so I’m left with swimming. If I go 3 times a week that’s going to set me back £15. Isn’t there some kind of membership thing they could do that actually saves you money?

  27. Kate says:

    Mary, I’m a member at the Arches and by booking online (arcane and daft session system etc) I got a swim at £3 .
    They do need to make their booking system and ‘sessions’ more user friendly. Right now it’s only the thought of the chlorine fog at the Arches that keeps me going to the Lido. A 4 hour session that you can only book for up to 1/2 hr before it starts is ridiculous. They say it’s to avoid overcrowding. Doesn’t make sense either that you can’t use your membership card at the door. Hopefully they rethink this when it re-opens after the winter closure.

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