This summer has been one of the UK's hottest on record. And I bet a lot of you are yearning to be poolside as soon as possible as there's nothing like cooling off by having a quick dip.
Here in landlocked Swindon, it does get a bit hard to get anywhere near a lovely refreshing dip in a pool unless you have a garden big enough to house an adult-sized paddling pool, which is something that is out of reach for most of us.
So, what are your options in Swindon? I mean you might be able to afford to go to Spain or Portugal and just languish in a pool for two weeks, but not a lot of us have that option. There's just so many costs involved from flying to travel insurance and it's just so expensive. Tour operators have so many costs themselves, like rising hotel prices, car hire and tour operators insurance, that sometimes a staycation is just such a cheaper option.
Or failing that, you could build your own pool in your back garden but the cost is astronomical and then there's the ongoing maintenance costs to also consider. It's a dream right (unless you take up a Mr Green Sign Up Offer or something), so what are your real options if you want to get that outside pool experience in the Swindon area?
Luckily for Swindon there are a few options that are only just down the road.
One of the best things about this wonderful park near Junction 15 of the M4 is that it has its own splash park. A way to keep those kiddies truly refreshed. Better check the opening times first though as it has been known to be closed a lot of the time.
Just up the A419 is the Cirencester Open Air Swimming Pool, which is a great place for you to take the kids for a bob about. Be warned though. It gets extremely busy so you might want to check availability online. Originally opened in 1869, the pool is fed by natural spring water, heated to an average temperature of 27°C. Together with a children's paddling pool and sunbathing patio, the pool offers a wonderful swimming experience in a fantastic location. Definitely one to book in advance though.
If you don't mind travelling a bit further you could visit the Sandford Parks Lido in Cheltenham. Sandford Parks Lido was first opened in 1935 and has been here for the people of Gloucestershire ever since. Following the successful refurbishment of the main pool and surrounding area in 2006/07 the people behind the pool felt it an appropriate time to document the history of swimming and to celebrate the 1930s boom in lidos and their struggle for survival in a changing world. A very popular destination, this one definitely requires pre-booking.
Although it's not actually an outside pool, the Cotswold Water Park Beach is a perfect place to cool off. The beach rests on the sides of freshwater lakes in parkland area for watersports and walking, plus adventure playground.