There have been some advantages to a worldwide pandemic. There was the farmer who grumbled to me that he was having to douse his fields with further minerals as a result of, in his phrases: “We’re simply not getting the air air pollution we used to.” After which there’s all of the individuals who have taken up cold-water swimming, little question hoping to spice up their immune methods (the proof stays equivocal: this tutorial paper is value studying).I’ll personal up right here: I did wild swim each day till early December, when the water temperature was 2C, after which in the future, in a downpour of freezing rain and a second of deep private perception, I realised how a lot I like heat water. Many others, product of sterner stuff, have saved it going, however now with lockdown easing there’s the possibility to swim open air in lovely countryside with out being chased by dragonflies, standing in sheep poo or swallowing algae (all issues I skilled earlier than retiring).The heyday of British lidos was the Twenties and 30s, when huge crowds would go for the day and luxuriate in competitions and exhibits, most famously Roy Fransen’s Dive of Demise, normally carried out after darkish with the water alight with petrol and Roy himself, in a silver swimsuit, additionally ablaze. I assume he didn’t like chilly water both, however a lot of this choice are literally heated.From the Sixties many lidos closed and people who stay immediately have typically been saved by decided group motion. There are lots of gems round Britain the place you possibly can get pleasure from an open-air swim in clear water with altering amenities and nonetheless be within the countryside.Hathersage Swimming Pool, Peak District {Photograph}: Danny Lawson/PAMany giant cities would envy Hathersage (inhabitants 2,000) its 30-metre outside pool, inbuilt 1936 with funds from native philanthropist George Lawrence (and lately refurbished). Views lengthen out north-east in the direction of Stanage Edge, certainly one of Britain’s premier rock-climbing venues. As it’s open till 9pm (Mon-Thur), the place higher to unwind after conquering rock classics like Excessive Neb and Marble Wall? The water is maintained at 28C and there are scorching showers. Opened 29 March, £7 adults (tickets go on sale on-line each Friday for the next week), cafe, picnic within the park subsequent door, hathersageswimmingpool.co.ukSandford Parks Lido, Cheltenham {Photograph}: James O Davies/Historic England/PAAnother of the traditional Nineteen Thirties technology of lidos, Sandford’s 50-metre pool was saved and refurbished in 2006 after a lot campaigning by native folks. It boasts a high quality setting for an open-air swim, with intensive lawns backed by mature bushes. The principle pool is heated to 25C and there’s a 30C youngsters’s pool, a formidable fountain and altering amenities. Opens 1 Might, £7, cafe, picnic on garden, sandfordparkslido.org.ukDroitwich Spa Lido, Worcestershire {Photograph}: Colin Underhill/AlamyYearning for the Cote d’Azur or the islands of the Adriatic? Nicely, Droitwich Spa might present the reply. This lido is a uncommon factor certainly: an inland saltwater pool that’s heated to the identical temperature because the Mediterranean, 23C, and surrounded by pretty parkland. Droitwich stands on huge deposits of salt, therefore the pure brine which is pumped in yearly – 40,000 gallons of it. Inbuilt 1935 in an artwork deco type, it has a youngsters’s moist play space with fountains and cannons and a solar terrace. Opens 1 Might, £6, cafe, picnic on the lawns, visitdroitwichspa.comPells Pool, Lewes, East Sussex {Photograph}: Scott Ramsey/AlamyThis is the grand outdated unique of all open-water swimming pools: opened in 1861 as a 50-yard-long unheated pool lengthy earlier than the times entrance crawl caught on (two Native American swimmers, Flying Gull and Tobacco, had defeated the English in an 1844 swimming competitors held in London however the British refused to undertake the stroke for an additional half century, deeming it ungentlemanly). Surrounded by lawns, bushes, and a flint wall, the pool is a beautiful place within the South Downs to spend a day with a picnic. Heat showers await when you’ve emerged from the unheated pool, which makes use of water from chalk aquifers. Aiming to open 8 Might, from £3, cafe, picnic on the lawns, pellspool.org.ukChagford Pool, DevonFed by water from the River Teign, this 1933 traditional within the north of the Dartmoor nationwide park is properly value visiting. The unique mud backside and excessive diving boards are lengthy gone, however the web site is little modified in different respects: surrounded by bushes with a tea shed for refreshments. The water is heated to a balmy 26C and is UV-treated with minimal chlorination. Restricted opening from 7 June, admission value tbc, cafe, picnic tables, chagfordpool.co.ukHelmsley Open Air Pool, North York MoorsNorth of England lidos and outside swimming pools are in brief provide as of late, so it’s good to incorporate this little North Yorkshire treasure – really Yorkshire’s solely heated outside pool. The 25-metre pool is about in pretty gardens within the village of Helmsley, itself a superb base for exploring the North York Moors nationwide park. Run by an enthusiastic group, it usually has occasions comparable to night-time swims and numerous courses. Aiming to open on 21 June, £5, cafe within the village, picnic tables, helmsleyopenairpool.orgIlkley Lido, West Yorkshire {Photograph}: Danny Lawson/PAIn 1935, the city of Ilkley did one thing magnificent: it opened a lido with moorland views which was 46 metres vast and formed one thing like a mushroom. It had diving boards and slides, and to get issues rolling they awarded a prize for the “smartest and neatest fashionable bathing costume”. Sadly, the diving boards and slides have gone, however this unheated lido retains going, with the assistance of volunteers. As with most lidos, on a scorching summer time’s day it might probably get very busy. Anticipated to open in June, £4.80, cafe, picnic on lawns, bradford.gov.ukGourock Pool, close to Greenock, Scottish lowlands {Photograph}: Danny Lawson/PALidos and outside swimming pools aren’t frequent in Scotland, which makes Gourock significantly particular. It boasts an excellent sea view throughout the Firth of Clyde to the hills of Argyll, however extra importantly, particularly on a cold day, this saltwater pool is heated to a beneficiant 29C. It’s the good place to idle away an hour or so whereas awaiting a ferry throughout to Dunoon or to look at large ships crusing previous. Legend has it {that a} basking shark was as soon as swept up into the pool by an enormous wave and landed subsequent to a swimmer. There may be additionally a monster in Loch Ness. Opening date and admission value tbc, inverclydeleisure.comShap Pool, CumbriaEager for a little bit of excessive altitude crawl? Overlook the Himalayas, England has its personal choice at nearly 1,000 toes. This volunteer-run, 16.5-metre pool is heated to a civilised 26C and has a youngsters’s pool and sandpit too. Opening tbc, £5, picnic tables, shapswimmingpool.co.ukGreen Financial institution Pool, Avenue, SomersetThis magnificence is within the giant village of Avenue, however surrounded by lawns and bushes, it feels pleasantly rural. Sadly it won’t be opening till 2022 due to the pandemic, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly one to go to when it does reopen. The pool was inbuilt 1937 after a bequest from one of many Clark household – as within the shoe dynasty – who thought the employees deserved a swim after work. And we’re not speaking “chilly water is sweet for you” dips: Greenbank maintains a tropical 30C regime. You gained’t see Wim Hof diving in right here – he’d get heatstroke. Reopening 2022, £5, cafe, picnic on lawns, on Fb