There is something especially sumptuous about sunshine after rain (and we’ve had a long winter - and spring! - of rain and snow). And when sunshine arrives you want to be outside enjoying it. There’s no better way than with a visit to an outdoor pool and there’s one at Halo ’s Severn Centre in Highley.
There aren’t many of these outdoor pools around these days. Following the golden age of the lido in the 1930s (read all about them in the box below), outdoor swimming went into decline as everyone headed abroad for holidays. But there has been a revival as people across the country have discovered just how lovely it is to bathe under blue British skies.
Severn Centre’s had a pool for over 40 years and is the happiest place in Shropshire when the sun’s shining. It was actually created to give local children a safe place to swim (or to learn to swim) when local rivers proved so dangerous, and has been saved and maintained by people in the area who love it and don’t want to lose it. This 25 by 10m heated pool (with picnic area and indoor cafe) has just had a makeover in preparation for the season and is open from 14th of May to 9th of September, giving you more than 100 days of opportunity to make the most of every minute of sunshine. Enjoy!
Halo ’s Severn Centre is on Bridgnorth Road in Highley.
Tel 01746 860 000 or visit www.haloleisure.org.uk
5 things you should know about lidos
1. Lido is the Italian word for beach, and now the name given to outdoor pools, areas of beaches dedicated to swimming, or the swimming deck of a cruise ship.
2. The lido’s golden age was the 1930s when over 150 outdoor pools were built by local councils. There are, though, some grade listed ‘lidos’ dating back to the 1800s, the oldest believed to be in Bath.
3. Many lidos closed during the 50s and 60s as foreign travel became cheaper and more popular among Brits, but soon after there were a whole string of campaigns to save the lidos by local people who loved them. There has even been a national conference on the issue.
4. In the last ten years long running campaigns have managed to reopen lidos in London, Oxford and Bristol.
5. There are now around 60 lidos in the UK, but only three in Shropshire and only one in this area: Severn Centre’s pool at Highley. It’s here thanks to local people who fought to keep it open, and when you visit you’ll know why…
The perfect recipe for good health too…
If you needed more reasons to pack your swimming costume and come along, remember
1. Children love swimming, and it's a great way to get them into exercise.
2. It's good for their physical and mental health. It not only increases strength, flexibility and balance but helps prevent health issues like childhood obesity. It also promotes positive moods, good sleep, and is a great way for you to spend time together in the sunshine.
3. Swimming skills and water confidence (the whole reason this lovely outdoor pool was built) are essential for children. Drowning is, shockingly, still the third most common cause of accidental death in youngsters and Halo are on a mission to challenge and change that statistic. Ask the centre about swimming lessons when you visit.