List of Olympic-size swimming pools in the United Kingdom

List of Olympic-size swimming pools in the United Kingdom
Locations of Olympic standard pools in the UK

List of Olympic-size swimming pools in the United Kingdom is an annotated list of swimming pools in the United Kingdom which conform to the Olympic standard. Additionally, it lists other long-course facilities that do not quite come up to the full standard of 50 × 25 metres, 10 (middle 8 used) lanes.

At the start of the 21st century, the provision of 50-metre swimming pools in the United Kingdom was very poor for a developed country. Few universities possessed 50-metre pools, and there was a marked reluctance on the part of municipal authorities to build new public long-course facilities. As of 2011, however, a substantial number of pools have either recently opened, or are under development. The successful bid to hold the 2012 Summer Olympics in London has undoubtedly added impetus to the latter, with a number of new venues due for completion before the Games, although some existing pools are under threat and may not be replaced by 50-metre facilities. As of 2011, no university in the UK possesses an Olympic standard pool, though several have an 8-lane 50-metre pool.


Olympic size pools

Location Pool/centre name Pool dimensions Further information
Length Width (lanes)
Cardiff Cardiff International Pool[1] 50 m 25 m (10) Part of the Cardiff International Sports Village. Opened 12 January 2008.[2]
Glasgow Tollcross Park Leisure Centre[1] 50 m 25 m (10) Second 50 m pool to be added for 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Leeds John Charles Centre for Sport 50 m 25 m (10) Formerly South Leeds Stadium.
London London Aquatics Centre 50 m 25 m (10) Venue for the 2012 Summer Olympics.
50 m 20 m (8)
Sheffield Ponds Forge International Sports Centre[3] 50 m 25 m (10) Used for a large number of English and British National events
Sunderland Sunderland Aquatic Centre[4] 50 m 25 m (10) Opened 18 April 2008.[5]

Planned or under construction

Location Pool/centre name Pool dimensions Further information
Length Width (lanes)
Bangor, County Down Valentine Playing Fields 50 m 25 m (10) Being built for North Down Borough Council - due for completion Summer 2012.[6][7]
Birmingham Birmingham Aquatics and Leisure Centre (BALC) 50 m 25 m (10) Initial budget of £58 million cut. Pool expected to be finished by 2014 as part of a Commonwealth Games bid.[8]
Plymouth Sharron Davies Centre 50 m 25 m (10) As part of the new £26m Sharron Davies Centre.[9][10]

Other 50 metre pools

Location Pool/centre name Pool dimensions Further information
Length Width (lanes)
Aldershot Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre 50 m 18 m (8) This is a British Army swimming pool, but it is open to the public at certain times.[11]
Banbury Woodgreen Leisure Centre Woodgreen Leisure Centre[12] 50 m (8) Heated open air pool.
Bath University of Bath Sports Training Village[13] 50 m (8) The University of Bath had promoted free student access to prospective students but has recently reneged on that promise without consultation.
Cheltenham Sandford Parks Lido 50 m 27 m(10) Open between May and September.[14]
Corby Corby East Midlands International Swimming Pool[15] 50 m (8) Opened July 2009.
Coventry Coventry Sports And Leisure Centre[16] 50 m (8)
Crawley K2 Crawley[17] 50 m (8)
Crystal Palace Crystal Palace National Sports Centre[18] 50 m (8)
Ealing Gurnell Leisure Centre[19] 50 m Under threat of closure and replacement with new 50 m pool in Acton (see below).[20]
East Kilbride The Dollan Aqua Centre 50 m (6) Currently under refurbishment, due to reopen May 28 2011.[21]
Edinburgh Royal Commonwealth Pool 50 m 21 m (8) Built for the 1970 British Commonwealth Games. Site to be refurbished, with 50 m pool retained.[22]
Guildford Guildford Lido 50 m An outdoor pool that is open during the summer months only.[23]
Guildford Surrey Sports Park 50 m 20 m (8) Part of the University of Surrey.[24]
Hackney London Fields Lido[25] 50 m 17 m (8) Lido, opened in 1932, closed in 1988, and re-opened in 2006.
High Wycombe Wycombe Sports Centre[26] 50 m (6)
Hillingdon Hillingdon Sports & Leisure Centre[27] 50 m 20 m (8) The new indoor pool adjacent to a refurbished Uxbridge Lido, opened on 23 March 2010.[28]
Hitchin Hitchin Swimming Centre[29] 50 m Hitchin Swimming Centre sports indoor and outdoor pools. Outdoor pool opens between May–September
Letchworth Letchworth Outdoor Pool[30] 50 m Open between May–September
Liverpool Liverpool Aquatics Centre[31] 50 m (8)
Loughborough English Institute of Sport 50 m 20 m (8) Based at Loughborough University.[32]
Manchester Manchester Aquatics Centre 50 m 20 m (8) Only current UK venue with two 50 m pools on the same site. Built for the 2002 Commonwealth Games.
50 m 8 m (4)
Norwich Sportspark[33] 50 m 17 m (8) Part of the University of East Anglia.
Portsmouth Mountbatten Centre[34] 50 m 17 m (8) Run by Parkwood Leisure.
Stirling National Swimming Academy 50 m (6) Part of the University of Stirling.[35]
Stockport Grand Central Pools 50 m (8)
Street, Somerset Millfield School 50 m (8) School's private pool, only open to staff and students.
Swansea Wales National Pool[36] 50 m 21 m (8) Part of the Swansea University.

Planned or under construction/refurbishment

Location Pool/centre name Pool dimensions Further information
Length Width (lanes)
Aberdeen 50 m 20 m or 25 m (8 or 10)* Aberdeen City Council is proposing a 50 m pool at the site of the current Linksfield Swimming Pool. * Pool width undecided.[37][38][39]
Acton 50 m Ealing Council is considering a 50 m pool at this location.[40]
This may result in the demolition of the Ealing 50 m pool, to be replaced with a 25 m pool.[20]
Basildon 50 m Basildon District Council is planning a "50 m Olympic-sized swimming pool" pool in the town, to be constructed in time to support the 2012 London Olympics.[41]
Bristol Hengrove Park Leisure Centre 50 m (10) Due to open Spring 2012.[42]
Redbridge 50 m Architects appointed for new 50 m pool.[citation needed]

Other notable long-course pools


  • Tooting Bec Lido — 100 × 33 yards (91.2 × 30.2 metres) open air pool
  • Yearsley Swimming Pool, York — 50 × 16 yards (45.7 × 14.6 metres)[43]
  • Jesus Green Swimming Pool, Cambridge — 100 × 15 yards open air pool
  • Stonehaven Open Air Pool, Aberdeenshire — 55 × 20 yards (50.3 × 18.3 metres) open air, heated seawater pool


  • Murton, Co. Durham the only Olympic-size pool between Leeds and Edinburgh until its closure in 1991 when Murton Colliery closed.
  • Broomhill Pool, Ipswich — 55 × 20 yards (50.3 × 18.3 metres) open air pool, plus 5 yard (4.5 metre) diving pit. Subject of campaign to reopen.[44]
  • Empire Pool, Wembley (now Wembley Arena). Venue for the 1948 Summer Olympics.
  • Leeds International Pool, Leeds — 50 metres, 8 lanes. Closed 21 October 2007; now demolished.
  • Wales Empire Pool at Cardiff. Venue for the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games; demolished during construction of the Millennium Stadium.[45] Replaced by the Cardiff International Pool.
  • White City Stadium swimming pool. Venue for the 1908 Summer Olympics; site demolished in 1985.
  • Wigan — 50 metres, 8 lanes. Closed 21 September 2008; scheduled for demolition and replacement with a 25 x 21 m pool, to open in 2010.[46]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Tollcross Park Leisure Centre". Glasgow City Council. 
  2. ^ "£32m world-class pool is opened". BBC News. 2008-01-12. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  3. ^ "Ponds Forge ISC". 
  4. ^ "Sunderland City Council". 
  5. ^ "Celebrations mark 'Olympic' pool". BBC News. 2008-04-17. Retrieved 2010-01-06. 
  6. ^ New Leisure Centre and Olympic Pool
  7. ^ "Poots confirms 50m pool for Bangor". 
  8. ^ "Birmingham's Olympic Swimming pool budget to be slashed". Birmingham Mail. 2010-09-02. 
  9. ^ "Plymouth City Council". 
  10. ^ "Plymouth City Council". 
  11. ^ "Aspire Defence - Aldershot Garrison Sports Centre". 
  12. ^ "Woodgreem / Swimming". 
  13. ^ "Team Bath / Swimming". 
  14. ^ "Sandford Parks Lido". 
  15. ^ "Corby International Pool". 
  16. ^ "Coventry Sports Trust - Swimming - Coventry Sports and Leisure Centre". 
  17. ^ "Crawley Borough Council:: K2 Crawley". 
  18. ^ "Crystal Palace National Sports Centre". 
  19. ^ "Gurnell Leisure Centre". 
  20. ^ a b "The Development of Swimming Pools in Ealing". 
  21. ^ "South Lanarkshire Leisure - Dollan Aqua Centre". 
  22. ^ "Edinburgh Leisure - Royal Commonwealth Pool". 
  23. ^ "Guildford Spectrum - Guildford Lido Introduction". 
  24. ^ "Swimming Pool Surrey Sports Park". 
  25. ^ "London Fields Lido". 
  26. ^ "Wycombe Sports Centre". 
  27. ^ "Hillingdon Sport & Leisure Centre". 
  28. ^ "Olympic-size pool costing £31m opens in Hillingdon". BBC News. 2010-03-23. 
  29. ^ "North Hertfordshire District Council - Hitchin Swimming Centre". 
  30. ^ "North Hertfordshire District Council - Letchworth Outdoor Pool". 
  31. ^ "Liverpool City Council - Liverpool Aquatics Cente". 
  32. ^ "Loughborough Sport - Loughborough Pool". 
  33. ^ "Sportspark - Swimming". 
  34. ^ "Portsmouth Council". 
  35. ^ "University of Stirling - Sports Facilities". 
  36. ^ "Wales National Pool Swansea". 
  37. ^ "City hopes to splash £5m on pool". BBC News. 2006-10-25. 
  38. ^ "Backing sought for 50m pool plan". BBC News. 2007-08-21. 
  39. ^ "City's hopes for 50m pool raised". BBC News. 2007-11-13. 
  40. ^ "Ealing Council - Facility improvement projects". 
  41. ^ "£35m sports complex given backing". BBC News. 2006=07-12. 
  42. ^ "BBC - Work starts on Olympic-sized pool for south Bristol". BBC News. 2010-07-13. 
  43. ^ Yearsley Swimming Pool
  44. ^ Broomhill Pool Trust
  45. ^ "Fears for Cardiff swimming pool". BBC News. 2001-12-13. Retrieved 2010-05-08. 
  46. ^ Wigan International Pool

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