Cleveland pools

Exciting news! The £4.7m Cleveland Pools restoration is underway

17th February 2019

Bath is home to many beautifully maintained Georgian treasures, from the Assembly Rooms to the sweeping Royal Crescent. The city is now set to see another amazing visitor attraction from the past be brought back to life in magnificent style – Cleveland Pools.

This historic swimming baths, located on Hampton Row outside of the city centre, sits beside the River Avon. It was a popular outdoor swimming site in Georgian times, with two bathing pools, original changing rooms and a private pool for women. It is believed to be the oldest public outdoor swimming pool in England.

Visitors to Bath may well have visited the Grade II listed site, as it has been open to the public for tours and visits despite the swimming facilities being permanently closed.

The history of Bath’s lido

Cleveland Pools in Bath was first opened in 1815, making it over two hundred years old. It was designed by John Pinch the Elder, who was also commissioned to design other buildings in Bath including Daniel Street, Prior Park Buildings, Cavendish Place and Cavendish Crescent. The lido was at its peak when Bath was at its most popular as a spa town, but it was also used as a public swimming baths all the way up to the 1970s.

It was sadly closed in 1984 and fell into disrepair, until a passionate group of campaigners, The Cleveland Pools Trust, managed to secure preliminary funding. This money, raised in 2013, was used to bring the circular-shaped Bath lido (arranged just like a Georgian crescent) into a fit state that the original architecture could be preserved and the site opened to the public for tours and visits.   

Bringing Cleveland Pools back to life – when will you be able to swim there?

In an exciting development in the story of this historic site, new funding from the National Lottery has now been secured. The £4.7 million grant, along with money raised by the Cleveland Pools Trust, will be used to bring Cleveland Pools back into life. This means that in just a few short years, visitors will be able to go open air swimming in Bath lido once again.

The plans include reopening a 25-metre pool which will be filled with naturally treated water heated by alternative energy sources in spring and summer. The Georgian changing rooms and cottage will be refurbished, and new refreshment facilities will be added. If you plan to arrive by boat along the River Avon, you’ll be able to pull up at the reinstated river landing stage.

You’ll have to wait until early 2021 until you can swim in Cleveland Pools Bath, but it’ll be well worth it! There’s already lots of excitement building about this unique gem of a historic leisure site, so you can bet that the new and improved Bath lido will be popular.

There may still be some time to visit Cleveland Pools on a walking tour before restoration work starts, but don’t delay if you want to see it – book your Bath Holiday Rentals accommodation now and head out for a look around.