Napier Rd, Reading RG1 8FR
It’s not often you get to swim in an original Grade II listed Edwardian bath. After an extensive three-year refurb by the team behind Bristol Lido (and its Jay Rayner-endorsed restaurant), Thames Lido is back in business. This place doesn’t feel like it’s in the city, and yet it’s only a 20-minute train from Paddington.
The entire building surrounds the central (heated) outdoor pool, which at around 25 degrees, is the perfect temperature for swimming (and a nice contrast to the hot tub next to it). The iron detailing harks back to the pool’s history, but overall the vibe here is luxe and modern, with Scandi touches like wooden panelling that echoes the sauna inside. Reception is warm and welcoming, and they’ll supply you with everything you need (towels, flip flops, robes) before you head through to the changing and shower area. We’d recommend a night swim, when everything is lit up and the pool feels very zen.
Here, it’s all about the circuit: pool, hot tub, sauna, steam, ice shower (terrifying but worth it) and repeat. There are also separate treatment rooms where you can book in for a massage or facial. There are stone-clad shower cubicles stocked with products, and a vanity area where you can refresh before dinner in the restaurant.
£20 for three hour use of the pool, sauna, hot tub and steam room. Massages start from £65. Swim and dine packages are available from £35 per person.
Don’t skip dinner here. From the restaurant, floor-to-ceiling windows look out onto the calming lights of the pool – this is a relaxing place for a post-swim dinner. The Med-inspired menu changes daily, but you can expect rustic dishes cooked on a charcoal grill and over wood.