Northcroft Lido

150-year-old lido reopens in Newbury

After a £5.7m restoration, Northcroft Lido in Berkshire has reopened to the public, boasting beach huts, a decking area and slides

Northcroft Lido in Berkshire has reopened to the public after an exciting £5.7m restoration. The lido, which was first built as an unheated pool in 1870, has undergone major changes, including the pool being reduced from 72m (236ft) to a 50m (164ft) Olympic length pool.

The pool’s resizing has made room for a new interactive splash pad and slides, beach huts and a decking area where people can relax. The spiral flume is nearly six metres high, with the racer slides around three metres high. The lido’s changing facilities have also been improved and made accessible for those with disabilities.

Northcroft Lido

The pool has also been made shallower with a new depth of 0.9m-1.58m. The 0.9m depth runs for 20 metres and enables less confident swimmers to enjoy the lido as well as providing opportunities for water based activities. According to leisure operator Everyone Active, the shallower depth requires less energy to heat the pool and is, therefore, better for the environment.

Originally built in 1870, the pool can be seen on the First Edition Ordnance Survey mapping of 1880-1881. The pool was enlarged in 1914 and completely rebuilt and converted to a lido in 1937, when it was said to be the largest pool in the south of England at 70 metres long.

Retaining its unique personality

While the pool has undergone a major transformation, Janine Lewis, West Berkshire’s Executive Member for Public Health, Culture, Leisure, Sport & Countryside believes its character has been retained. “This is a wonderful transformation of a truly iconic facility that is embedded in the history of Newbury. The Northcroft Lido has been brought completely up to date but still retains the unique personality that local people love so much.”

To visit the lido, you’ll need to create a free booking profile. This can be done by registering your details online, on the Everyone Active app or by calling Northcroft Leisure Centre (01635) 31199.
Visitor numbers are limited, and booking is advisable to avoid disappointment. Under 8s must be accompanied by an adult. 

Due to the popularity of the lido, Everyone Active recommends arriving at least 15 minutes before your session starts to allow adequate time to get through reception and into the lido for the start of your session.

Northcroft Lido’s swimming season runs from April to end of September.

Sign up to The Dip, our free weekly newsletter, for more updates on places to swim.

Stay up to date with The Dip, our free weekly outdoor swimming newsletter.

Abi writes swimming news stories and features for the Outdoor Swimmer website and manages the social media channels. She loves to swim, run, hike and SUP close to her home in Herefordshire. While she’s a keen wild swimmer, Abi is new to the world of open water events and recently completed her first open water mile. She has previously written for The Guardian, BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC History Magazine and Ernest Journal.