CAMBRIDGE swimmers will be able to keep swimming through the autumn and winter at Cambridge’s famous outdoor lido, following a consultation that showed overwhelming support for extending its opening times.
Cambridge City Council and its contractor, Better, who manage the pool, asked swimmers whether they would brave the cooler weather for an outdoor swim in a consultation that ran from July to August.
Over 1,200 responses were received, with 91% of responses from CB postcodes. Some 70% of people said they would continue swimming if the water stayed around 10 degrees Celsius and below, with 17% of respondents stating they would still swim in temperatures below five degrees Celsius.
People supported the idea of keeping the lido open as long as possible after the traditional mid-September closure and many left comments that show how valued and well-loved the lido is.
As a result, the council and Better will be looking to keep the pool open. The lido will be open a daily basis to 31 October.
Current opening times are detailed here: https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/cambridge/jesusgreenlido/timetable with the new times available to booked from 20 September. The booking system will remain throughout the extended opening.
Prices will remain at the same levels. Hot showers and basic changing will continue to be provided and swimmers will be advised to bring warm clothing to change into, and their own hot drinks as the café will not be open.
Opening times from 1 November onwards will move to several morning and evening sessions per week. Weekend availability, times and days will be confirmed in due course.
Cllr Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, said: “I'm thrilled that we are able to make this announcement.
“When Better first approached us in April about exploring winter opening, we jumped at the chance, and the fantastic response we’ve had to the survey absolutely endorses that.
“I want to pay tribute to the many months of hard work that's gone into this.
“We think we are one of very few unheated lidos to be trialling opening hours in the winter months, and I hope people really make the most of this great opportunity and fantastic facility.
“We know that many people love outdoor swimming because it is not only great fun but also good for body and mind. I hope that people will make the most of this great opportunity.”
Daryl Emes, Cambridgeshire Partnership Manager for Better said: “We are delighted to be able to extend the 2021 season at Jesus Green Lido.
“The huge uptake in outdoor swimming we have seen, as we have come out of lockdowns, just shows the level of demand out there and we believe the positive impact it has on people’s physical and mental wellbeing can’t be underestimated.
“Better health for all is our number one priority and we’re delighted we can continue to help facilitate this at Jesus Green Lido.”
Jesus Green Lido is a 100-yard-long unheated outdoor swimming pool that has previously opened on a seasonal basis (May to September) offering outdoor swimming in a safe and controlled environment.
Outdoor swimming has a recognised beneficial impact on wellbeing and mental health, and participation has increased in recent years and accelerated during the coronavirus pandemic.
A report on the trial autumn and winter opening will be presented to the Environment and Communities Scrutiny Committee next year.
For information about Jesus Green lido go to: