Charlton Lido reopens this week…but in what state?

Charlton Lido, 14 March 2012
The old lido entrance has been demolished

Good news for local swimmers as Charlton Lido is set to reopen on Thursday this week. While the local press reports suggested that it would be reopening “after a £2m refurbishment“, recent photos suggest “will reopen while building works go on around it through the summer” might be a more accurate summary.

The plans are available to view online now but, in short, the developments will mean the introduction of:

  • indoor changing rooms
  • gym facilities
  • a cafe.

While some regulars will look back fondly on the basic facilities provided previously, anyone familiar with London Fields Lido will know that the addition of the cafe should prove very popular, providing somewhere to socialise and warm up or cool down after a swim. (In the current weather conditions anyone enterprising enough to turn up with a supply of hot chocolate this weekend could prove very popular).

What price a swim in SE7?
Pool users will be pleased to see that prices seem to have been held since last year, but would be justified in wondering why, at £6 for a pay-on-the-door adult swim, they pay a third more than swimmers at London Fields Lido, an identically-sized pool run by the same operator. A Twitter conversation with GLL earlier revealed not a great deal more than ‘prices vary from borough’ because of differing arrangements with ‘local partners’, ‘the majority of whom are local authorities’. This is presumably a reflection of the amount of subsidy that councils provide to the operator, but we’d greatly appreciate any insight into how this arrangement works in the comments box below (particularly if you’re a local councillor!). It’s also interesting to note that when I visited London Fields Lido on a chilly January morning, it was busier than I’ve seen Charlton Lido, save for the very brief heatwave in August last year.

Overall, though, it’s great to see the return of one of London’s few heated outdoor pools; if you go this weekend, tell us what it was like (and remember to wrap up warm when you get out of the pool).