A lido is a public outdoor swimming pool or part of a beach where people can swim, and enjoy the outdoors. Lidos usually have areas for sunbathing, relaxing and eating and are all about activities in and around water. Lidos reached their zenith in the 1930s, particularly at seaside resorts but fell into decline after WWII. There used to be lots more Sussex lidos and perhaps, as temperatures rise, we’ll see them return. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a bit of lido time, the Sussex lidos we do have are fantastic!
Perhaps one of the most well-known, Saltdean Lido is the only Grade II listed lido in the UK. First built in the 1930s, with all the style and panache of the Art Deco architecture of the period, it was saved from redevelopment back in 2010. Their summer swimming programme runs from the 17th of May to 6th of September and caters for all visitors including serious swimmers, leisure seekers, families and even private hires.
Pells Pool in Lewes is the oldest freshwater outdoor public swimming pool in the UK. Their summer season runs from May to October. Pells first opened in 1861, and as well as the main pool, there’s a paddling pool for kids. The pool is heated by the sun. Booking is recommended.
Arundel Lido is a heated pool in a stunning setting and is the only Lido in West Sussex. It is operated by a Charitable Trust. Their summer season for 2023 runs from Saturday 29th April – Sunday 17th September.
Brighton Sea Lanes
A modern take on the lido is the brand-new open-water pool in Brighton. Sea Lanes opened in June 2023, and is the UK’s first National Open Water Swimming Centre. Representing a regeneration of a derelict site at the east end of Brighton Beach, the pool is open to the public on a pay-per-swim basis with membership also available. There are beachside cold showers and lockers available for sea swimmers to use free of charge. The pool is heated all year round. Sea Lanes Brighton is delivered and funded by a passionate group of Brighton-based businesses and open-water swimming enthusiasts, and it’s centred on physical wellbeing and environmental sustainability.
Findon has an outdoor pool but it is currently closed and raising funds for urgent repairs.
The last splash
Worthing has a lido which has some great things to do but no pool anymore. Hastings St Leonards Bathing Pool also had a magnificent lido which opened in 1933. Sadly, it was demolished in 1993.
If you like this post about Sussex lidos, and are in the area looking for other things to do, you may also like: