Kent’s best pools and natural beauty spots for outdoor swimming this summer

The recent sunny weather has got us all thinking of things we can do when the weather heats up, and swimming will be high on the list for most people.

When the temperature rises what better way to cool down than with a dip in the pool. Whether you prefer to dive straight into a lake or ease your way off a sunbed into a heated pool, there are plenty of options to choose from across Kent.

Some locations remain open all year round, others are due to open for the summer season in the next couple of months. Booking is required at some of the more popular destinations so check with the venue to ensure you get your spot.

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Faversham Pools

Faversham Pools

Address: Leslie Smith Drive, Faversham, ME13 8PW

Indoor and outdoor swimming is available at this much loved venue in the heart of Faversham town centre.

The 30m outdoor pool has a 1m, 3m and 5m diving board and is open 7 days a week. There is also a wild water rapids pool with splash zone and toddler pool with slides.

Normally open from May to September, they recently announced on Facebook that they are opening the outdoor pool complex earlier than usual this year with this statement.

“We’ve got a surprise for you.

“So many of you have asked and we’re thrilled to confirm that we’ll be opening the outdoor pool complex a full month early this year, in time for the Easter holidays.

“From Friday April 1 the outdoor pool, rapids and paddling pool will be open 11am-5pm daily.”

Advance booking is strongly recommended, for more information you can visit their site HERE

Tonbridge Swimming Pool

Tonbridge Swimming Pool

Address: Castle Street, Tonbridge, TN9 1HR

This unique heated outdoor pool is open from April to September. It has a water arch, beach area and a swim through channel to the indoor pools.

A booking band system is in place and customers are limited to a 90 minute stay.

For more details on what is available at this facility and information on how to book, you can visit their website HERE

The Strand, Gillingham

The Strand in Gillingham

The Strand in Gillingham

Address: Strand Approach Road, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 1TT

Medway’s only open air lido offers something for everyone, from families to serious swimmers. The 25-metre pool includes a paddling area and lazy river.

The pool uses filtered salt water from the nearby River Medway, and is open from May to September.

An online booking system is currently in place and can be found on their website HERE

Walpole Tidal Bay Pool

Walpole Bay Tidal Pool

Walpole Bay Tidal Pool

Address: Cliftonville, Margate

The Walpole Bay Pool is the largest tidal pool in the UK, so a great choice for those who might enjoy getting closer to nature with a longer swim outdoors. According to the Walpole Bay Swimmers Community Facebook page, swimming the width of the pool is roughly equivalent to swimming 6 lengths of a 25m pool.

Described by one reviewer on TripAdvisor as a “Great wild swimming treat”

Another said: “Lovely place for a swim with grandchildren without worrying about the tide and waves.”

Leybourne Lakes

Leybourne Lakes

Leybourne Lakes

Address: Lunsford Ln, Larkfield, Aylesford ME20 6JA

This is an all year round destination for open water swimmers in Kent, you can also go scuba diving, kayaking, and windsurfing at this venue.

It is compulsory to complete an induction before swimming at Leybourne, and everyone must use a tow float. Children from the age of 8 can complete an induction but must be accompanied by an adult at all times when swimming.

More information and booking procedure can be found HERE

Haysden Lakes

Haysden Lake

Haysden Lake

Address: Lower Haysden Ln, Tonbridge TN11 9BB

There is a 1000m and 600m circuit at Hayden. Opening from May 6 and running through until September, sessions take place on Mondays 5-8pm and Fridays 5-8pm

Swimming here is organised by Triswim who offer open water training for all levels including juniors. Wetsuits and tow floats are not obligatory.

Triswim is an award winning pool and open water swim community that operates in open water and wild swimming venues across the South East of England.

For more information visit HERE.

Chipstead Lake

Chipstead Lake

Address: Chipstead Sailing Club, Longford Lake, Chipstead, TN13 2SD

Open water swimming on the lake is also ran by Triswim, not the sailing club so if you are interested in swimming at Chipstead you will need to contact Triswim to organise this.

To find out more you can go HERE

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Mike Hunter

Mike is the owner of the local pool shop. He's been in the business for over 20 years and knows everything there is to know about pools. He's always happy to help his customers with whatever they need, whether it's advice on pool maintenance or choosing the right chemicals. He's also a bit of a pool expert, and is always happy to share his knowledge with anyone who's interested.

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