Relax with friends at the luxurious Clifton Lido. The outdoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room, hot tub and poolside bar make for a gorgeous day of indulgence. It’s £20 for an afternoon pass so is one of the more expensive adventures for this student explorer, but as a special girly treat it was perfect.
I am lucky enough to have the self-confessed Queen of disorganisation as one of my very best of friends. She is notorious for triple booking herself -which to prioritise? A frisbee training session, a night out on the town or a 5,000 word essay due in the next morning? – and you can see her bedroom floor biannually at a push (it’s a great event and a wonder to behold.. there’s sometimes even a champagne reception). But the absolute best thing about my glorious best friend’s disorganisation, is that I got to enjoy my Christmas present last week in the gorgeous July sunshine.
As a special luxurious treat, we snuck off to Clifton’s hidden oasis, the fabled Clifton Lido. For £20 each between 13.00 – 16.00 the Lido baths open their doors to the public for swimming – and seriously.. It is so worth SPLASHING out (hahahahaha).
Off St. Paul’s Road and round the corner of Oakfield Place, sits the unimposing Lido, next to the equally unassuming Victoria Pub. But stepping through the doors, first opened in 1849, you find yourself in a completely different land. The outdoor pool, glistening blue and tumbling over the sides sits in the middle, with changing booths with coloured drapes on one side and wooden tables with potted plants overlooking from the other.
It is a world away from the local leisure centre’s warm patches and shrieking, splashing children. It is decidedly classy and ‘grown up’ and we grinned to each other, in our (almost identical, Urban Outfitter) bikinis remarking that it was hard not to feel wealthier and more glamorous with each serene length that you complete (keeping you hair and sunglasses, of course, out of the water). Bathers lounge in the sun at the far end, chatting, laughing, often with prosecco in hand. Diners sit at the tables along the waters edge, nibbling on tapas and freshly made bread.
After having enough of swimming and basking in the heated but refreshing central pool, we nipped into the hot tub, tucked away at the side. Utterly relaxing – lacking only some chilled out music and maybe some mojitos… We then popped into the steam room (which – surprisingly – was pretty hot.. and steamy) once again looking out onto the pool, and then into the sauna and finished off the circuit by pulling a chain that dumped a bucket of cold water onto our heads. Everybody in the pool heard our shrieks and giggles.. Hardly the chic, adult vibe we were aiming for.
We then spent some time chilling out with some drinks at the tapas bar by the side of the pool. There’s a lengthy menu of exciting drinks and snacks – some of which are naturally more expensive than others – but there is still some choice which isn’t crazy expensive for students wanting to treat themselves. We both decided to enjoy the Lido Classic teas which were only £2.50 for a pot each. Maddy enjoyed a sort of spicy, black and green china tea with ginseng, lapacho bark and lemon fruit, while I (ever the sweet toothed one of our duo) enjoyed a green leaf Indian tea with hawthorn fruit and mint. We also had a small sample from the tapas menu, with the most delicious and light tasting houmous I have ever sampled (£3.00 for a bowl with a little freshly made bread) as well as some syrian lentils (also £3.00).
To end our classy classy day of classiness, we made full use of the Spa Boudoir, overlooking the pool, with vintage dressing tables equipped with hairdryers and straighteners.
- Afternoon swimming pass available Mon-Fri, 1pm-4pm for £20. Including full use of pool, sauna, steam room and hot tub.
- Spa and Poolside Bar opening times – 8am -11pm (9am-6pm Sunday)
- Cup of coffee – £2.25.
- BRING: Swimming costumes, towels, conditioner and moisturiser (for afterwards obv).