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Kid-free lido where water temps naturally hit 23C & you get cream teas poolside


IT’S a rare treat for me to take a dip without the kids, which makes taking to the waters at an adults-only geothermal lido sheer bliss.

The geothermal lido, which lies in the shadow of the impressive limestone cliffs of the Derbyshire Dales, is about to celebrate its 90th year.

The New Bath Hotel in Matlock Bath has its very own geothermal lido


The New Bath Hotel in Matlock Bath has its very own geothermal lidoCredit: Alamy
I visited an adults-only geothermal lido in the UK


I visited an adults-only geothermal lido in the UKCredit: Supplied
Entry tickets into the lido cost £10


Entry tickets into the lido cost £10Credit: Supplied

The New Bath Hotel in Matlock Bath also boasts a spa where you can warm up in the sauna or steam room.

Guests can also book a treatment or savour a cream tea after a dip in the outdoor pool.

The lido is open to both members of the public and hotel guests.

It draws water from the natural springs underground to maintain a
constant temperature of between 15C and 23C throughout the year, without needing any extra heating.

It’s also chlorine-free as the water is constantly being replenished by the springs.

I will warn you that while the temperature is fairly constant and even though the lido is open year-round, the water does feel chilly – especially, if you’re used to heated pool temperatures.

Even on the warm spring day I visited, when the water was about 19C, I was glad to be wearing a woolly hat and neoprene gloves and boots to keep my extremities warm.

It’s for this very reason that children are usually not permitted to swim at the lido, as their body temperature drops quicker than adults.

The pool depth is also a concern for smaller children and

However, family-friendly sessions do run during the school holidays.

Splash and Play: The Best Water Parks in the UK

The sessions, which run at 4pm on most days, are where youngsters aged 10 or above can take a dip while accompanied by an adult.

For the rest of the year, the pool remains child-free, but there is a
climbing frame and slide just round the corner behind the hedge, if
you’ve got kids in tow and someone to watch them while you swim.

The pool itself is an oasis of calm, lined with lawns, shrubs, hedges
and flowers.

The old changing cabin has cubicles and toilets but no showers, and swimmers will need to wear a hat and bring footwear like flip-flops to wear poolside.

There are baskets offering spares of these essentials for you to borrow, if you haven’t brought your own.

This little gem of a lido could easily have been lost when the hotel
shut down in 2012.

But thanks to people power led by triathlete Jason Skipper, it opened back up five years ago and will celebrate 90 years on the summer solstice next month.

If you’re not staying at the hotel, it costs £10 to visit and
prebooking online is advisable – although I paid on the day at the
hotel reception.

The signposting as you arrive on site isn’t very clear but you need to turn right as you come up the hotel drive to find the lido and its free parking.

The hotel itself reopened in 2016 after a £3m refurbishment.

It first opened in May 1745, housing a basement plunge pool fed by naturally warmed spring water.

Things to do in Matlock Bath

While you’re in the area, a trip into Matlock Bath is a must, with a plethora of amusement arcades and fish and chip shops running alongside the River Derwent – it’s been dubbed the seaside town that’s not by the sea.

It’s been popular with tourists for centuries, with royalty visiting and Lord Byron describing it as Little Switzerland because of its dramatic landscape.

Next door to the lido is Gulliver’s Kingdom, a theme park set on the steep slopes of the peak district.

From my many childhood visits, I remember lots of walking uphill to get between rides!

New this year will be an upside-down house and safari kingdom – a themed area with rides and an outdoor playground.

At the other end of Matlock Bath is the Heights of Abraham, which
boasts the UK’s first alpine-style cable car, taking visitors up to a
hilltop park with cave tours, playgrounds, woodland walks and views
out over five counties.

The waters that give this town its name are ready and waiting to give
you a warm welcome, so why not take the plunge and visit this historic hotspot for yourself?

Inside the UK lido where kids can swim for free

It’s not often I go for a dip without my kids, so it’s safe to say I know a great place to take the children swimming without forking out on expensive tickets.

One of our family favourites is something of a well-kept secret, given that it’s just half an hour north of London but rarely seems to get a mention on lists of lidos.

If you’re looking for your next day trip, then give Hitchin Lido in Hertfordshire a try.

It has a beautiful art deco pavilion dating back from 1938 as well as a hexagonal fountain surrounded by railings.

The star of the show is its 50m heated swimming pool but there are plenty of other facilities too, including sunbathing terraces, a lawned area for picnics and a baby pool and sandpit zone.

You can read more about my visit to the little-known lido, here.

And Cleveland Pools in Bath, the oldest lido in the UK, reopened last year following a 20-year campaign by the Cleveland Pools Trust.

Here are some other outdoor pools in the UK to visit.

The lido will be celebrating its 90th birthday later this year


The lido will be celebrating its 90th birthday later this yearCredit: Supplied
Despite being part of a hotel, members of the pubic can book to use the lido


Despite being part of a hotel, members of the pubic can book to use the lidoCredit: New Bath Hotel
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