Swimming Pools in the Lake District

Cumbria is certainly not lacking in water with the wettest place in England to be found in the heart of the Lake District. However, most of that water is pretty cold, and unless you a hardcore outdoor swimmer, our lakes, rivers, and sea, are not that appealing for a leisurely swim. Thankfully, we have around 25 heated pools in the Lake District and Cumbria, dotted around the county, meaning that you can swim without feeling the need to stand by a furnace once you have finished.

About half the pools in the Lake District and Cumbria are found in leisure centres, whilst the rest are either community run indoor and outdoor pools, or privately owned pools that are available to hire – usually on an hourly basis. Prices range from £3 for adults for a session to £20 for an exclusive one-hour hire. Some facilities are brilliant for children with slides and toys, whilst others are perfect for serious swim training sessions.

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The Health Club at Low Wood Bay

Low Wood Bay Resort, Ambleside Road, Windermere, LA23 1LP

The swimming pool at the Health Club at Low Wood Bay is 50 feet in length and is a great option for some quick laps or for leisure swimming. You'll also find a hot tub in the pool area with plans to add an additional outdoor infinity pool in the near future.

Sports Trek Gym at Embleton Spa Hotel

Embleton Spa Hotel, Embleton, Cockermouth, CA13 9XU

The pool at Sports Trek Gym is available to hire on a private basis, with prices starting at £20. Along with the gym and steam room, this 14m long pool forms part of the facilities of Embleton Spa Hotel, and is managed by the gym’s operators. Swimming lessons are also held here, whilst refreshments are available in the hotel restaurant / bar.

Sanctuary Health and Fitness Club – Riverside Hotel

Riverside Hotel, Stramongate Bridge, Beezon Road, Kendal, LA9 6FS

Sanctuary Health and Fitness Club is housed in the Riverside Hotel in the centre of Kendal, and is home to a small, 10 metre long pool, with a partitioned paddling pool for children. Non-members and non-residents of the hotel can access the pool through the purchase of a day pass for £8. There is also a hot tub, sauna, steam room, and gym here.

Pulse Health and Fitness – Castle Green Hotel

Castle Green Hotel, Castle Green Lane, Kendal, LA9 6RG

The pool at Pulse Health and Fitness forms part of the leisure facilities within the Castle Green Hotel, and is generally open for members and hotel residents only. However, one to one swimming lessons are open to all, costing £16.50 for 30 minutes. There is also a steam room and gym, spa with treatments, and a restaurant / bar.

North Lakes Hotel Spa & Fitness

Ullswater Road, Penrith, CA11 8QT

The pool at the North Lakes Hotel Spa is part of the hotel’s leisure facilities. Use of the pool is limited to members of the spa, those with a day pass, hotel residents, and those booked for treatments. The pool is 13m long, and therefore more suitable for leisurely swimming. Other facilities include saunas, a steam room, spa treatment rooms, and a gym.

DW Fitness Carlisle

Currock Road, Carlisle, CA2 4AX

The pool at DW Fitness is available for members of the gym, but you can get a free first session in the centre by booking online. The pool is 20m long and 9m wide, ideal for lengths. You will also find two hot tubs here, and a steam room. In addition, there is a gym, fitness studios, café, and sports store.

Cascades Health Spa and Fitness Club

Whitewater Hotel, Lakeland Village, Newby Bridge, LA12 8PX

The pool at Cascades Health Spa & Fitness Club is a sumptuous affair, with loungers around the poolside where you can relax. This 18m long pool is accompanied by a hot tub, sauna, steam room, gym, and spa treatment rooms. A day pass costs just £10, and the club is conveniently located for visitors to the south Lake District.

Bannatyne Health Club & Spa Carlisle

50 Kingstown Road, Carlisle, CA3 0AD

Bannatyne Health Club & Spa Carlisle has a 20-metre long, 8-metre wide swimming pool that is part of the health club’s spa facilities. Swimming lessons are available here for children, and you can access the club for just £15 which includes use of the gym, saunas and steam rooms. Spa treatments are available, and there is a café.

Ambleside Salutation Health Club and Spa

Lake Road, Ambleside, LA22 9BX

Ambleside Salutation Health Club and Spa has a small, 13 metre long pool that sparkles under LED lights. The pool is part of the spa suite, where you will find a hot tub, steam room, sauna, and tropical shower. Private swimming lessons are available here, whilst a day pass gives you access to the gym.

Workington Leisure Centre

Griffin Street, Workington, CA14 2DX

Workington Leisure Centre benefits from two swimming pools, so you will almost always find a session open for you to swim. The main pool is 25m long and has 8 lanes, whilst the teaching pool features a moveable floor and is ideal for young children. You can learn to swim here, or simply enjoy a splash about in the general swim sessions.

Ulverston Leisure Centre

Priory Road, Ulverston, LA12 9HT

Ulverston Leisure Centre has a delightful 25m long pool with four lanes. The pool is situated within a bright hall lit by natural light from large windows that give you fantastic views of the Cumbrian fells. Swimming lessons for all ages are held here, along with dedicated swimming sessions for adults, families, and the over 50s, along with water aerobics classes.

Trinity Leisure Centre

Strand Road, Carlisle, CA1 1JB

Trinity Leisure Centre in Carlisle has a 17m long “L” shaped pool, making it unique in the area. Open in the evenings and weekends, the pool has sessions for general swimming, adults only, and family fun sessions with floats and toys. Swimming lessons for children are available here, and the pool can also be hired for birthday parties.

The Pools Swimming and Health Centre

James Street, Carlisle, CA2 5AH

Not one, not two, but three swimming pools are located within The Pools Swimming and Health Centre. Choose from general swimming in the 33m pool, a water workout in the 20m pool, or family fun time in the 10m pool. With three pools to choose from you are almost always guaranteed to find an open session during the centre’s operating hours.

The Park Leisure Centre

Greengate Street, Barrow-In-Furness, LA13 9DT

For a family splash about you will struggle to beat the leisure pool at The Park Leisure Centre in Barrow-In-Furness. This free form pool has a beach style entry, pirate splash zone with slides, and interactive play boards. If you prefer a more serious style of swimming, head over to the six lane, 25m long training pool instead.

Penrith Leisure Centre

Southen Road, Penrith, CA11 8JH

Penrith Leisure Centre benefits from two swimming pools. For children and learners there is a 13m long shallow pool, and for the more experienced there is a 25m long, five lane pool. Children can learn to swim here, families can enjoy a leisurely paddle, and keen swimmers can challenge their personal bests. The swimming pool has features to improve accessibility, including a hoist.

Morton Leisure Centre

Wigton Road, Carlisle, CA2 6LB

The pool at Morton Leisure Centre is 20m long and has four lanes. It offers a range of swim sessions, including family, adult only, and women only, as well as swimming lessons and water aerobics. It has a moveable floor and poolside hoist, making it ideal for disabled users, whilst the large inflatable that is available for some sessions is a hit with children.

Keswick Leisure Pool and Fitness Centre

Station Road, Keswick, CA12 4NE

The free-form pool with beach style entrance at Keswick Leisure Pool and Fitness Centre provides a great rainy day activity for the whole family. There is a wave machine, interactive play panels, and two slides; one for toddlers and a 40m long tunnel slide. Sessions at the pool include adult only, toddler time, and the family orientated Splash Zone.

Kendal Leisure Centre

Burton Road, Kendal, LA9 7HX

In addition to the main 25m long six lane pool at Kendal Leisure Centre, there is a smaller learner pool making this a family friendly venue. The poolside hoist and Changing Places toilet facilities makes the pool one of the most accessible in Cumbria, and a range of lessons, classes, and swim sessions are available, including adult only and family fun swim times.

Dalton Leisure Centre

Chapel Street, Dalton-In-Furness, LA15 8DA

The swimming pool at Dalton Leisure Centre is a great resource for families. Alongside the main pool there is a separate toddler pool and a recently added splash zone, with lots of features to keep children entertained. Whilst the free form pool is more suited to those seeking a casual dip, adult only sessions and aquacise classes are available.

Cockermouth Leisure Centre

Castlegate Drive, Cockermouth, CA13 9JR

The pool at Cockermouth Leisure centre is ideal for those who are keen swimmers, with the temperature slightly lower than many other pools in the area. It is therefore popular with those who swim for fitness, and a range of sessions are available to accommodate this. Lessons are also available here for adults and children, along with general swimming times.

Wigton Baths

Stony Banks, Wigton, CA7 9GZ

Wigton Baths is a community run pool in the small town of Wigton between Cockermouth and Carlisle. Though led by volunteers, the pool offers a rich programme of activities, including aqua aerobics, parent and baby sessions, and swimming lessons for children. Heated by solar panels, the pool boasts some great green credentials, and is a very popular local resource.

Tower House Pool

Melmerby, Penrith, CA10 1HE

The Tower House Pool can be found a short distance from Penrith in the picturesque village of Melmerby. This pool is available to hire on a private basis, with prices starting at £20. Swimming sessions are held each morning. The pool benefits from a current machine that provides the user with a current to swim against, resulting in an invigorating workout.

Shap Swimming Pool

Gayle Avenue, Shap, CA10 3NS

Swim amongst the fells in the open air at Shap Outdoor Pool. It’s the highest outdoor pool in England, sitting 900 feet above sea level. Along with the main, heated pool, there is also a small paddling pool for toddlers. Easily accessible from the M6, this is a great place to cool off when the weather is hot.

Longburgh Pool

Longburgh House, Longburgh, Carlisle, CA5 6AF

Costing just £16-£18 per hour for private, exclusive use, the pool at Longburgh is great value for money, especially when you consider that for a family of four you could pay a similar amount at a local leisure centre, without the added benefit of exclusivity. Located a few miles west of Carlisle, hire includes the use of a hot tub.

Lazonby Swimming Pool

Lazonby, Penrith, CA10 1BL

If you are looking to cool off on a warm summer’s day then consider visiting Lazonby Swimming pool. This heated outdoor pool is a short drive from Penrith and is complemented by a toddler pool, kiosk, picnic area, and adjoining campsite and children’s playground. Open daily between May and September, a lifeguard is available for public sessions.

Greystoke Pool

Church Road, Greystoke, Penrith, CA11 0TW

The iconic ridge of Blencathra provides the perfect backdrop to Greystoke Outdoor Swimming pool, a community run pool close to Penrith. With a separate toddler pool, slide, café, and adjacent playing field with a playground, this is a great facility for the entire family. The pool is open between May and September, and private hire is also available.

Dalston Leisure Pool

18 Brow Nelson, Dalston, Carlisle, CA5 7LE

Ideally located if you are staying in Carlisle, Dalston Leisure Swimming Pool is available for private swimming sessions. This is a small pool that has the added benefit of a hot tub and sauna room in the same building, available for an additional charge. Sessions are one hour long with guaranteed exclusive use. Prices start at just £14.

Cardew Lodge

Dalston, Carlisle, CA5 7JQ

A private swim in the grounds of a former hunting lodge of a member of the Lowther family? If that sounds appealing then consider booking a session at Cardew Lodge. This small pool is available to hire privately, giving you the guarantee of exclusivity. Located within the picturesque gardens of the lodge, the pool is a short drive from Carlisle city centre.

Calvert Trust Water Centre

Little Crosthwaite, Keswick, CA12 4QD

Open to both residents of the Calvert Trust adventure centre and members of the public, the Water Centre at the Calvert Trust near Keswick offers a unique sensory swimming experience, with an array of sounds, lights, and images designed to create a calming atmosphere. The pool is packed with accessible features, and swim sessions here must be booked in advance.

Appleby Leisure Centre

Chapel Street, Appleby, CA16 6QR

There are two swimming pools at Appleby Leisure Centre. The main pool is divided up into four lanes and is 25metres long. The smaller learner pool is adjacent to the main pool, and is better for young children. Aquafit and swimming classes are available, as are general swim sessions, and family fun sessions that include the use of a large inflatable.

Copeland Pool and Fitness Centre

Cleator Moor Road, Whitehaven, CA28 8RW

Copeland Pool and Fitness Centre has a 25m long six-lane pool and a smaller learner pool that is ideal for children. The pools have timetabled sessions each day, including general swim sessions, adults only, lane swimming, lessons, and sessions aimed at younger children with floats and an inflatable climbing structure. Aquacise classes are also held here.

Askham Outdoor Swimming Pool

Askham Swimming Pool, Askham, CA10 2PN

Just a short drive from Penrith you can swim outdoors at Askham Outdoor Pools. With a 20m long main pool and adjacent paddling pool that are both heated, this is a great facility for the whole family. Open during the summer months, the pool is monitored by a lifeguard and has a kiosk where you can buy ice cream and other items.

Arkleby Leisure

Arkleby, Wigton, CA7 2BP

Arkleby Leisure is home to a small pool with a hot tub and sauna facility. Located in the tiny hamlet of Arkleby between Cockermouth and Wigton, this pool is available on a private hire basis only, giving you the opportunity to enjoy a private swim. Hourly sessions cost just £20, and the pool is also home to a swim school for children.

Ainstable Leisure Swimming Pool

Faugh Head, Ainstable, Carlisle, CA4 9QW

Ainstable Leisure is a small private pool that is located between Carlisle and Penrith, just a short drive away from the M6. This pool is only available on a private hire basis, with hourly slots costing between £16-18. At just 12 metres long and 1.3 metres deep throughout, the pool is particularly ideal for children and those less confident in the water.

Choices Health Club

Troutbeck Bridge, Windermere, LA23 1HP

In 2012 Troutbeck Bridge pool sadly closed, having fallen into a state of disrepair. Thankfully, Choices Health Clubs stepped in, and the entire facility was refurbished and rebuilt. Now part of the health club, this 15 metre pool has a modern sleek design and is complemented by a sauna, steam room, hot tub, and large gym. Day passes are available.