Charlton Lido – reduced opening hours from October


UPDATE OCTOBER 2nd The times below have since been further amended, with the pool remaining open on Fridays, and closing on Thursdays; the cafe will also close on Tuesdays and Thursdays. See the lido website for details.

An update on the Lido website brings news of reduced opening hours for the pool through October:

The October Pool Opening hours will be as follows :

Monday 7.00am-2.00pm

Tuesday Closed

Wednesday 12.00-7.00pm

Thursday 7.00am-2.00pm

Friday Closed

Saturday 9.00am-5.00pm

Sunday 9.00am-2.00pm


Additionally, from this week the pool will close at 8.30pm, rather than 9.30pm, on Wednesdays.

Lido sign, photo by Steve Toole

Meanwhile, London Fields Lido (also operated by GLL) looks to be maintaining its standard opening hours year-round, while also benefiting from investment in floodlights and underwater lighting to improve evening swimming.

Customer Forum?
There’s a Customer Forum taking place at Charlton Lido on 16th September to discuss the opening hours and other issues, with the centre’s management. We’re told invites have gone out to Lido members by email, and that the event has been advertised in the reception area. This particular member didn’t receive the email, and a number of readers have reported the same, so – if you are a member – it may be worth checking that you haven’t opted out (or been opted out of) email communications from GLL.

If you can’t make the meeting, and would like to have a say, we suggest emailing with your feedback in advance (and let us know what you think in the comments box below!).


17 thoughts on “Charlton Lido – reduced opening hours from October

  1. Kate September 9, 2014 / 09:23

    Predictable, but extremely disappointing especially as the opening times are reduced from as early as October (earlier than last year, if memory serves?). It’s unacceptable that it is closed entirely 2 days a week. I can see total closure over the winter. London Fields Lido takes ages to get to – and you’re right, it’s always crowded. Perhaps there are more swimmers in that area, but it’s well run. It’s not as nice to swim there as the Charlton Lido either, so something is being done wrong….
    I haven’t been invited to their feedback forum evening, but am “only” a Swim member. I do know someone who is a full member who got an email and who is going to attend. He’s reconsidering his membership, as the gym there isn’t that special – its main drawcard is the pool and if that’s not going to be open then he says he may cancel.

    • Neil C September 9, 2014 / 11:00

      I was told all pre-paid members should have received an email, so I think you should have got one. Might be worth asking if you’re on their opt out list.

      Given that they have a clunky website and no social media presence, they really need to get better at communicating with users.

  2. Sarah R September 9, 2014 / 11:22

    Do you know what time the Customer Forum is?

  3. Svenja September 9, 2014 / 16:01

    Hi I’m a swim member too and didn’t receive anything from them. Does anyone know at what time the meeting is on the 16th. I’ll try to go.

  4. Tamasin rhymes September 10, 2014 / 11:49

    I certainly won’t be able to justify continuing my membership or my daughters with the reduced hours. My only chance to swim is after work on Monday , and I’m only able to take my daughter after nursery on Tuesday and Thursday. All of these will be impossible once the reduced hours start. What is the point of spending a fortune renovating the pool for it to be closed half the time.

  5. Kate September 10, 2014 / 15:41

    From the Lido website:
    As you are aware your Better Swim memberships and Better UK memberships do cover your access to all other Better operated pools across London and the UK. Whilst other pools may not give you the same experience as to the uniqueness of Charlton Lido, there are many to choose from which will help keep your fitness swimming up over the colder months.

    ie don’t ask for a reduced Swim membership rate as you can still swim elsewhere during the winter! I don’t want to ‘swim elsewhere’; just want what I was promised when I joined.
    Hope lots of members can attend on 16th. I know they’ll just say they can’t afford to heat the pool throughout the year.
    I’d have thought that in the winter months it’d be more sensible to open the pool in the post 12pm afternoon slot as the mornings are the coldest? That’s assuming it doesn’t shut entirely, which I think it will. Crazy and confusing to have these different opening hours for each weekday.

  6. Sarah R September 10, 2014 / 17:50

    Several Charlton Mummies have emailed to register for the forum and have been told its full. This is the email response:

    Many thanks for showing interest in attending this customer forum.
    I have waited til now to reply as I wanted to ensure we got a range of members attending the forum based on their memberships type. Unfortunately we have filled the number of allocated spaces for the forum and I can not put you on the register to attend. If there is anything particular you would like to raise may I ask you to email me directly as we do still value your feedback.
    We will send a summary of what the outcomes of the forum are to the members and we look to have forums in the future which again will be on a first come first served basis also considering membership type.

    Kind Regards,
    Charlton Lido & Lifestyle Club Team

    Victoria the Manager has said that its 15 members only but can’t really give an answer as to why so few. She is going to ask her senior manager if it can be extended…

    Miranda Williams our councillor is going to look into this – I’ll report back with any further developments!

    • Neil C September 10, 2014 / 21:16

      We’ve heard tonight that some people who got those emails got in touch with the lido and have now been offered places. Hopefully ‘better communication with customers’ will be on the agenda for Tuesday!

  7. Lolawomble September 11, 2014 / 10:08

    I had no notice of the forum, wrote and asked why. I was refused entry on the same email we have all had, wrote back to ask why and then suddenly I was welcomed.
    I would like to express my sadness and frustration that such a wonderful and worthwhile community asset cannot be marketed and made to work, where there are so many examples of lidos all around the country with fantastic marketing and community suppport. As well as the cut back on hours there are numerous issues of course which need to be addressed [mine are about kids and their communication, as below], but I think the forum needs to be positive support from the swimmers, and I would like to find out how we can offer that, but also what Better’s part is in giving us the pool hours and the marketing.
    These hours simply don’t make the cost work for me, and I was promised longer hours across all 12 months when I joined, so I had been about to cancel three memberships, but will now wait until after Tuesday. Also my oldest child has lost interest because the [female] cafe staff have been so horrible to her and she feels unwelcome, and youngest has mentioned that they ‘don’t like children at the lido’. My formal complaint about this, and my two chases have so far gone unanswered.
    [I would like it on record that I have found the man in the cafe and the lifeguards to be welcoming, friendly and extremely pleasant, and I would also like to safeguard their jobs and their part in our swimming community.]

  8. Neil C September 26, 2014 / 15:51

    I haven’t had the chance to write anything about the customer forum meeting, but in (very short) summary: I came away feeling slightly more optimistic than when I went in.

    There was a good turn out (20+ members at a rough count); they (GLL) acknowledged that they have a problem communicating with members – they need to work out why we’re not receiving their emails asap (in a show of hands approx 2 of the people present said they’d had an email from GLL in the last year); they committed to regular meetings in the future (every two months, I think, though it would be good to have confirmation); it was suggested that a Facebook/Twitter presence would be useful, and they promised to look into it; I was slightly less convinced that they understood members’ frustrations with their poor marketing and promotional efforts. It seems quite clear that they can’t open all day every day with the current numbers of swimmers, and that they anticipate that it will take a few years to build up (comparing it to their experience at London Fields) – the question is ‘what are they doing to build those numbers?’. It was noted more than once that they’re promoting it as they would any other indoor pool, and not pushing any of things that make lido swimming special.

    Interested to hear what anyone else who attended thought of the meeting.

    (PS many thanks to those of you who told GLL that you heard about the meeting on the Charlton Champion – it all helps)

  9. Kristina October 2, 2014 / 08:50

    Re October timetable: it is actually closed on Thursdays and open 7-2 on Fridays

    • Neil C October 2, 2014 / 09:05

      Interesting – the original announcement (still live on the website: said it would be closed Tuesdays and Fridays, but the website ‘opening times’ section shows it closes today and open Friday. I’ve emailed for clarification.

      • Neil C October 2, 2014 / 11:23

        The lido’s website has now been updated with the amended dates

        Looks like the cafe is closing on Tues and Thurs too – sounds like it’s mostly being used by swimmers, which seems like a missed opportunity to bring in revenue to support year round swimming…

        • Sarah R October 2, 2014 / 12:17

          Oh good, was planning to swim on Fridays and in fact probably Mondays and Wednesdays too!

  10. Spoon Taneous October 17, 2014 / 22:34

    Wow! That’s my membership cancelled. I’m going tomorrow to make sure they don’t charge any more money. I work 9 to 5 Mon-Fri so I’ll pay ad-hoc when I go.

  11. Spoon Taneous October 17, 2014 / 22:36

    And I don’t get any emails. Charlton Lido is the best kept secret in London. Not even locals know it has been refurbished!!!!

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