Free Time

Line up for the Lido

We may have just had a very peculiar kind of British drought recently – it wasn’t always easy to make out the parched landscape because of all the constant rain – but with a proper summer hopefully now on us, there is a much better way of staying cool in the water. And that’s with a visit to Peterborough Lido

Housed in one of the city’s most distinctive buildings, the Vivacity Culture and Leisure Trust-run open air pool is now open for another swimming season through to the beginning of September.

The two-and-a-half acre site off Bishop’s Road on the Embankment, with lots of handy parking nearby and within easy walking distance of the city centre, boasts three pools. And, for those conscious about the typical temperamentality of the British weather, don’t worry too much, as all of them are heated. The main pool stretches for 50 yards and holds 500,000 gallons of water, with smaller ones for learners and paddlers alongside. In addition, there’s also a large lawn area for sunbathing, play facilities for children, and a balcony and refreshment facilities. So, whatever your swimming ability, there’s something at the Lido for everybody to enjoy, and on a sunny Peterborough day, it’s a great place to cool off or top-up the tan.

The historic art deco-inspired Lido, with its trademark clock tower, has welcomed millions of outdoor bathers since its 1936 opening

The same year that King Edward VIII abdicated the throne to marry American socialite Wallis Simpson and the BBC started regular national TV broadcasts. It was almost destroyed just a few years after construction, when a stray German bomb landed on it during the initial World War Two raid on Peterborough in 1940. Fortunately, it survived the Luftwaffe’s obvious dislike of Cambridgeshire al fresco bathing facilities and was rebuilt. In the more peaceful years since, it has become one of Peterborough best-loved structures, so much so that it was designated a Grade II listed building in 1992 as one of the few survivors of its type left in Britain.

Always a popular venue with city residents, the Lido was so busy during 1973 that 181,396 people visited it, a record yet to be beaten. Not everybody wanted to pay the five pence entrance fee though, for in the same year, a 14-foot tunnel was found beneath one of the walls. It was believed to have been dug by very ambitious children wanting to get in for free.

The Lido is open from 9am to 6pm seven days a week from May to September, and during July and August, closing is extended through to 8pm. It does sometimes shut during bad weather though, so it’s best to check in advance if unsure.

For all current price and admissions information, visit

Peterborough Lido, Bishop’s Road,
Peterborough, PE1 5BW

Telephone: 01733 343618

Leave a Reply

Register an Account