Ok so you’re not a fan of running. We get it. It’s TOO hot out there now, (you’re never bloody happy) to run for a few minutes without slipping on your own sweat and running at lunch–time means a grapple with the office shower and probably a queue to get that far. We propose an alternative: outdooor swimming. It cools you down, sterilises (if the chlorine is stinging your eyeballs it’s just perfect), facilitates a whole body work out and you’re more than likely to catch a bikini nipple slip or two. Even if you’re more Eric the eel than Phelps you’ll probably want to pool hang at some point during this short–lived sweltering heatwave.

It's not always easy to find a pool that's not festering with kiddie piddle, plasters and cigarette butts so we've come up with a list of 10 lidos in Britain that might not give you a fatal water borne disease.

1/ Brockwell Lido, London – find your 'chi'


Like most Lidos in Britain this one’s been open for decades (since 1937 to be exact) and still retains some of its 1930s art deco charm. Apart from that, it has a whole ‘fitness and wellbeing’ centre where a selection of posh Jacuzzis and spa baths promise to leave you more wrinkly than before you arrived. Alternatively you could take part in one of the many yoga programs available. At the very least you’re promised a great view of bent over yoga bums in tight leggings.

What’s bad about it?
For £5.20 you'd expect it to be frickin' heated.

Opening times:

Entry fee: £5.20

2/ London Fields, Hackney - newly refurbished


'Hackney's Urban beach' may not be the greatest nickname for this impeccable example of watery goodness. After being closed for 18 years London Fields reopened just three years ago, emerging as one of country's best outdoor training pools. The facilities are spotless and the cafe is passable, but the location is excellent for those looking for an oasis in central London's concrete jungle.

What’s bad about it?
It is in Hackney so it's probably not an option if you're looking for a picturesque landscape.

Opening times:

3/ Ilkley Pool & Lido, West Yorkshire – a bit of everything


Ilkley is one of the best pools/lidos in the North of England, boasting lawned sunbathing and picnic areas, huge changing rooms, café, putting greens and tennis courts. Lots to do if you get bored of doing lengths. It also has an indoor heated pool, which is open all year round.

Opening times:

Entry fee: £4

4/ Pells Pool, Lewes, East Sussex – the relic


The fact that this lido is the oldest in Britain shouldn’t put you off. It’s also one of the largest too, which means you’re less likely to accidentally brush past the old man who lost his 50 year old trunks mid dive. The place is far from falling apart and is constantly aiming to improve its facilities.

What's bad about it?
If you’re looking for slides, fit lifeguards and a power shower, this place probably isn’t for you.

Opening times:
Saturday May 16 to September 6 inclusive
12 noon - 7pm daily - (last ticket 6.30pm)

Entry fee: £3.80

5/ Sandford Parks, Cheltenham – the training pool


This outdoor pool is ideal for those who like to take it seriously. It’s heated, Olympic sized and two lanes are reserved for those who want to train, every day. Even the changing rooms are heated. You can play table tennis and basketball for free in the landscaped gardens and refuel at the onsite café.

What’s bad about it?
Local lane swimmers are easily irked if you’re swimming too slowly, so best do a little bit of training before hitting this one.

Opening times:

Entry fee: £4.00


6/ Parliament Hill, London – the trendy one


If you’re looking for somewhere you can show off your D&G speedos, the outdoor pool in Hampstead Heath is the place that will accept you with muscle bound arms. Its 60m x 28m pool has a cool stainless steel lining and stunning amphitheatre style surroundings. You can set up your own bbq or settle for posh snacks from the poolside café. This place is a must for pool hanging and idle discussions about house prices.

What’s bad about it?
Don’t bother if you’re not at least 40 percent pretentious.

Opening times:

Entry fee: £1.00-£4.10

7/ Tooting Bec Lido, London – without chlorine


It covers all the bases, gigantic vat of unheated pool water, sunbathing and picnic area, but above all else it’s in an excellent location for anyone in central London where decent pools are few and far between.

What’s bad about it?
It’s a fresh water pool i.e no chlorine, so there’s more than a half chance you’ll get cholera

Opening times:
23th May 09 - 31 August 09 6:00am - 8:00pm
1st September -30 September 6:00am - 5:00pm

Entry fee: £4.10

8/ Guildford Lido – Surrey’s finest


Guildford is quite leafy anyway and its lido is no exception with 4 1/2 acres of lawn to loll about on, it is rather nice. It’s close to the A3 so easy to get to if you’re not local and is also home to the Workshop gym which is the only heavy weights gym in Guildford. Perfect for pumping up those guns before resting uncomfortably on your elbows and eyeing up the ladies.

What’s bad about it?
It’s likely to be packed as people in Guildford really have nothing else to do when it gets hot. It attracts 60,000 people during open season.

Opening times:
The swimming pool is open until mid-September, from 10.30am - 6.30pm for public swimming.

Entry fee: £4.90


9/ Jubilee Pool – a very grand affair


Possibly the most aesthetically pleasing on the list, the Jubilee pool even brought out its own 2009 calendar. Located in Penzance in Cornwall it’s literally been built on the sea with amazing views of the promenade. It also has a pretty decent café which serves dinner as well as lunch.

What’s bad about it?
If anything the venue is a little too big and could do with a few modern retouches.

Opening times:
The pool opens 10.30am until 6pm everyday except Thursdays when the pool will stay open until 7pm(weather dependant).

Entry fee: £3.30

10/ Woburn Lido - doubles up as a safari


Yes it’s the very same Woburn with the wildlife park. So small is Woburn that the two are right next to each other, allowing bathers to do some elephant watching. No, seriously and it’s heated and Olympic sized ya-da-ya-da-ya etc.

What’s bad about it?
Our only complaint here is that it doesn’t have showers. That’s a pretty big negative when you consider all the elephant faeces dropping into the water every hour after feeding.

Opening times:
Open from late May to September each year 10:00 - 19:00 daily.

Entry fee: £3.50